It was FREEZING cold on Saturday, the night that the Rest In Punk - Be Like Joni fest was going on, which just made hanging around outside of Money Plays even more of a daring act, an act I assumed we were all doing for the boat loads of free booze that were just laying around in ice chests everywhere... ha ha Thanks to Jamie Jackson for being such a gracious host - as usual! We were all there to pay our respects to the almighty Joni Mackin, who's 2 year death anniversary still seems unreal to me. Not saying I was her BFF or anything like that, just saying it's crazy that she's not here among us anymore, at least not physically anyways, because she was certainly there in spirit, that's for sure. Money Plays was packed to the brim with peeps and friends both old and new, and not even the stink eye I was getting from certain females was enough to kill my good mood... lol
I'm fully convinced that the only reason I even play gigs anymore is an excuse to feed my face with delicious food and nothing more... lol If it wasn't for that I wouldn't even bother. I didn't see any of the bands play, but I did hear that Acoustic Front went on for waaaaaaayyyy too long but who cares? They're funny. At least they're not that other shitty surf band that plays too long and overstays their welcome... heh heh I was there filling in for Billy with Lean 13, and we played a GG Allin song in his honor, and even had Brian from NE Last Words come up and sing Pepsi with the band, a song he may or may not have had a hand in writing, I dunno anymore... ha ha ha The Bitters played right after we did, and man, those guys are fucking sick as well as twisted. I was too busy socializing and shivering in the cold to be inside watching them where it was all warm and boozy, but they sounded fantastic from where I was standing. I'm a fan, what can I say? I'm that dick friend and didn't stick around to see Guilty By Association or NE Last Words, because I was cold and wet and tired, and all the booze and weed in the world wasn't gonna help with or change that, so I dragged Bob away before heading home to call it a night. It was a good fun night for all the wrong reasons, if that makes any sense. LVHC. Yahoooooo...
Spending St. Patrick's Day in Long Beach opening up for a Legendary LA hardcore Punk band? Sure, why not? 😋
There's just something life affirming about playing music with your friends, no matter the situation or no matter how shitty your band are and their music is. Playing in a real band again has me giddy. Playing real venues - no backyards or slabs of concrete in East Los or wobbly pallet stages in spray painted warehouses, has been a blessing. Opening up for some crazy cool bands has been fun. Getting blown off by one of them isn't. I didn't say blown away, I said blown off, with their BS Rockstar "we gotta play now or else our crowd is gonna leave" move that I haven't even heard of since the Battle of the Bands days back at Gazzarri's back in 1985... 😂Oh well. It doesn't matter. I saw Circle One enough back in the days with their real singer to wash away any negative BS I gotta deal with from their current incarnation. Shame too, because they sounded good. Destroy Exxon and Fuck Off still shred, same with Mike V., holy shit that guy's a monster guitarist still, but the guys in the pit sporting bolts and the other one with the "88" sports jersey were kind of offsetting to say the least. The band has always had that gangland goon following though... I just thought we were all a bit old to still be carrying on like that is all. Le sigh. Pico Rivera Hardcore is alive and well, sort of, and despite all the BS is still sounding good. Salud!
Oh Chalo ?
Too many stories... too many laughs... too many memories. What a fucking loss. I woke up to the news this morning and was just gutted to the core. To say that The Plugz were the soundtrack to my youth would be a ridiculous understatement - they were even more of the soundtrack than The Clash were because the Plugz played everywhere and at every gig! Remember when they opened for P.I.L. at the Olympic Auditorium? Was that not SICK?!?!?! I mean they opened for everybody. They were practically the house band at The Vex, and they even played lunch hours at high schools when I was a kid all over the So Cal area, and they were always hanging out talking to all of us wannabe young Punks after the Principal or somebody in power would inevitably pull the plug on the bands performance and make the music stop because the kids were slam dancing or getting rowdy. Chalo was the coolest guy. He just oozed Rock and Roll. To a kid like me who didn't have the nerve to get on a stage and play drums in public, Chalo was inspirational. I've seen him play dozens if not hundreds of times, and every time watching him play was just the best. He wasn't fancy, but his drum lines, hs creativity, his accents/marks, were just impeccable. He was a rock solid hard hitting in the pocket drummer, and that's just alright by me. Last time I saw him was backstage in 2003 at the G.B.H. / Circle Jerks Punk Rock Bowling gig at The Huntridge (remember that? Of course you don't!), and I must of talked his ear off for an hour just catching up with him and tripping out on seeing him again after so many years. Can't believe he's gone. I miss him already. I don't know the circumstances surrounding his death, but whatever it is, it was too quick, too soon, and it wasn't right. Gawd damn. Here's some rare videos of The Plugz in action - the first from San Francisco in 1978, and the second from somebody's chewed up and eaten a few times VHS copy of the bands appearance on New Wave Theater I'm guesstimating is from 1982, and the last is from The Masque Reunion show in LA in 2007 that I still kick myself in the ass for missing out on. I think that was the last time the Plugz ever played live. RIP Chalo. Your peace and rest is well earned. Salud! amigo...
I think I should just move to California, I'm there so friggin much lately. lol I've been so wiped out and busy with band shit that I can't get a good night's sleep or catch my breath, much less sit down and put stuff up on the website. I didn't say anything about seeing Walk Proud rip shit up at the Blacklight District Lounge, or even comment on the whole Lean 13 debacle that I find myself currently involved with. When your friend calls and says 'Hey - our drummers in jail, can you fill in at the gig?' the only answer you can say is Yes, right? 😂 I don't know what's going on with Billy, but it's fucking tragic, and I'm 98% sure he's innocent, of these charges anyways, and the whole thing is just horrible beyond belief. I was sworn to secrecy and issued a statement to give to anyone who asked about the situation, and I actually did that for a while and then just said 'fuck it' because I was never one to follow rules too good anyways. I saw everyone commenting about it on social media, so I figured WTF, ya know? And besides, I only told my friends, and they're all real good at keeping my secrets and not telling anyone else... right? hahahaha