"It was 20 years ago today..." 🤣🤣🤣 Sorry to quote that hippy dippy Beatles song, but it really WAS 20 years ago today, tonight actually, that this legendary gig starring T.S.O.L. The Dirty Babies, and The Loud Pipes, went down in the parking lot of the Rio Hotel And Casino, both in celebration of the Las Vegas Mercury's birthday, and as a celebration of the Kodak Rock X-Posed photography exhibition that was going on inside a huge white canvas tent filled with elitist snobby people, crazy cool photos of various Rock And Roll godz doing their thing in front of famous Rock photographers, various free drinks galore, space heaters, and lots and lots of yummy food, all punctuated with Local scumbag musicians and their friends doing their part to take full advantage of all gratuities being given. I don't remember it being as cold outside as it is now when I'm writing this, 33°, but it was definitely chilly, and there was definitely something in the air, a sense of 'us against them' kind of thing, one, because it was a weird place for a show, and two, we definitely didn't belong on the bill... heh. We were dirty Rock 'N' Roll kids. We were waaaayyyy out of our element. 😁
We had to get there early for soundcheck, waiting around with everyone else while T.S.O.L. went through the motions they've done a thousand times before. I've known those guys forever, from back in my California daze, and we all hung around together while the general public was let into the standing room only area directly in front of the rental stage. The Loud Pipes had a bit of a buzz going at the time for only playing all ages shows, so that the kids here in town would have something to do and a place to go, because Vegas, just like now, doesn't give a fuck about the kids in this city, and The Loud Pipes offered a band they could get behind and support, exposing the kids to some good music to check out, and giving the kids a place to go and hang out beside the local park closest to their homes. That was us in a nutshell, and we had quite a few fans and friends in attendance, including future influencer and promoter Pulsar, supporting his JNCO pants and extra large wallet chain, who braved the weather to see T.S.O.L. and us play a gig together. Roxie had booked us as direct support to the headliners, and somehow she got The Dirty Babies on the bill last minute, playing directly before us. They were soooooooooooooooo fucking good, playing a set filled with future legendary tunes like County Jail, Up All Night, Driving Me Mad, and Stash, which they always played for me... heh One of the other opening bands, Split Second, from CA, got the kids going with some very Emo Pop Punk sounding songs, and the other opening band, Red Means Go, played some very adult sounding alternative college rock, which bombed horribly in front of a bunch of young kids and old Punx who just wanted to hear some good music obnoxiously played. The Loud Pipes were all that and more. And we were more than ready to play. To paraphrase Beetlejuice, It was now showtime. The Loud Pipes were primed and ready to hit the stage. 😎
Our set was filled with loads of stuff breaking. Drum sticks, guitar strings, bass heads, cymbals, tuners, you name it. I don't remember how I got it, but I got a cassette recording off the soundboard of The Loud Pipes set that night, and I've shared it with a few people, and everyone that's heard it says it's very Punk Rock sounding. To me, it sounds like Motörhead but with cleaner sounding guitars, Turbonegro with a major Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers attitude permeating throughout everything we played. Right before we started someone got on the microphone and admonished the crowd about circle pitting or dancing around in general, saying that it wouldn't be tolerated and that they would kick you out if you dared to dance, so of course in between every song we're encouraging the kids to break the rules and dance around ha ha. The in-between songs commentary is priceless, much too much to get into here, but I gotta say The Loud Pipes of that time were a vicious sounding monster of a band. We played a bunch of songs we never recorded, songs like The Loud Pipes Anthem, Jenny Won't Go, and Skate Or Die. With Dan 45, future Unfair Fight frontman extraordinare, up front on vocals, all lyrical content was basically about fighting and skateboarding!! hahaha Jesse and Pitt layed down this crazy mesh of interwoven guitar noodling that was rooted in like The Allman Brothers Band and Thin Lizzy, playing their leads thick and fast and precise, feeding off each other, all supported by Roxie and I, the hardest, thickest rock solid foundation ever laid down in the valley of Las Vegas. In her I had a solid competent bassist that could keep up with me and feel what I was throwing down thunder wise. We were earthquake proof. We were untouchable. ❤ This show was the public debut of future masterpiece Insurrection, freshly written, and we closed the set out with our "hit single" Out Of Time. We later fond out they threw A LOT of people out for dancing around while we played. Oh well. Seemed pretty ironic for a "Rock 'N' Roll Show" at a "Rock 'N' Roll Photo Exhibit", which featured, gasp! 😲 Pictures of kids dancing at Rock 'N' Roll Shows... tsk tsk.
T.S.O.L. then played and mopped the floor up with every band that had played before them. They were sooooooo fucking good, playing in support of their Divided We Stand release, as well as their Disappear album which came out a few years before. Songs like Terrible People, Fuck You Tough Guy and Sodomy were played in between the hits like Man And Machine, 80 Times, Silent Majority, Property Is Theft, and, of course, Code Blue. Jack was his usual magical, charismatic self and Ron was playing through the very same amp set up he used to record the Dance With Me album, which is probably why they sounded so good. I vaguely remember the official after party (I stole a tool box full of booze), and I definitley don't remember the party after that. Hell, I don't remember how I got home but I do remember playing this gig 20 years ago today. It was quite a proud acheivement at the time, a prestigious feather in the cap of The Loud Pipes (one of many to come) and this T.S.O.L. gig is just one of many long forgotten about "Legendary" gigs that Las Vegas is famous for, like the NOFX in the desert gig, or the Operation Ivy gig in the desert outside of Stateline. If you were there then you know, and if you weren't you'll never understand. Words will always fail to put into importance how magical this gig was, but at least I tried!! 😁