It was literally minutes after walking off the stage at last years Navajo Nation Outreach Festival that I told everyone in Headnoise that we were going to play this event every friggin' year, even if I had to pay for it out of my own pocket! 😁 That was the year that someone fainted during our set and Robert dashed off stage to bring her back around and keep her steady until an ambulance arrived. Nothing that crazy happened during our set this year but the feeling you get from playing in front of these people who are just soooooooooo grateful that you traveled hundreds of miles on your own dime to play for them is indescribable. The festival takes place at the New Testament Indian Gospel Church in Inscription House, AZ, which is 15 minutes from Shonto if you know the area. The land out there is breathtaking and always a joy to see. The festival is basically to show the kids on the Rez that there are other options out there besides drinking and doing drugs to cope with life, like music of all types and genres, and I'm all about that. Rez life is not an easy one to live, believe me I know, and to do anything I can to help alleviate that burden is my priority. I even came bearing gifts this time, packing up all the free space in my car with jackets, shoes, clothes for the kids, all to help out those less fortunate. We all brought stuff for them. We had to. We were compelled. The hospitality extended to us by these amazing people gives me hope for the human race in general. PLUS they made me an honorary member of the Navajo Nation and gave me the official nickname of 'adoo'nííł', which means 'Thunder'. Wow. That's some humbling shit right there. Fucking Hell. Oh the frybread was plentiful, seeing all the good friends and Tribal elders we met the year before was beautiful, the drive out there was gorgeous (no snow this time), and Erika was with me the entire time, which just meant it was pretty much a perfect day. ❤ Headnoise at the Navajo Nation Outreach Festival. Can't wait to do it again next year.
Every year it gets more pathetic and recycled, a old folks home revival con show that sells you nostalgia for nostalgia's sake, with gullible tourist type of people all trying hard to out-Punk each other in dress and attitude and willing to pay loads of cash for VIP access and a good vantage point to possibly see and hear a glimpse of their glorious Punk Rock past come to life, or to take selfies with all the "cool" people in attendance so they can boast on social media how cool they are too and how much money they "blew in Vegas" - did you see the pictures, and every year I get another handful of friends telling me that "they're over it" and "never going back again", which just makes me sigh. You shouldn't of been going for as long as you did in the first place silly. Why do you care? Shawn Stern doesn't. Shawn Stern doesn't care about Punk Rock or Punk music anymore! All you're doing is lining his pockets with cash that pays for another condo by the beach in CA for him or another one of his surfing expeditions to South Africa or wherever the fuck apathetic old fucks go to laugh at the rest of us and our daily struggle. And if you think the bands playing give a shit then you're sadly mistaken. It's just another overpaying gig to them and it's all about a free trip to Vegas and a chance to sell their merch to the sheep in attendance and give them a good fleecing before sending them back to the real world broke and drunk and clinging to cheap shitty band merch while watching the videos they shot on their phones from hundreds of feet away with the blown out sound of a song played by a band much better 30 years ago when they were sincere about playing it. As an outsider looking it I don't see the appeal in it all anymore, and I'm not sure I ever did. Punk Rock Bowling, before it became corporate Punk Rock Boring, was really fun. You should of been there. You would of loved it. 😎
Well since I've got nothing but too much time on my hands, and I can't use my arms that well right now, I'm just gonna sit here on my amber colored couch and talk into my iPad through my headphones and work out the kinks in this diatribe later. I got another cool crazy story to tell you again, with the moral of the story being don't get old and please take care of yourself medically. The life you save will be your own, or in this case, mine. "I felt fine I swear." Dumbass. Me.
The whole week before the weekend of the Vegascendents / Hub City Stompers gig at Triple B's and the Headnoise / T.S.O.L. gig in Big Bear, I had these crazy, painful as fuck lumps in my armpit - like 6 total. They varied in size and placement, constantly getting bigger and smaller in size and density, and after I played that weekend they started oozing pus and gawd knows what else was in there, but the drainage helped alleviate the pain I was dealing with, so I thought it was a good thing, so I kept constantly mopping it up and changing the bandages daily, with Erika having to practically become a nurse overnight and she brought me back from the brink of Death as she always does. I think this is the 6th time so far... heh So I'm resting, taking it easy because I know I have this gig in AZ with the Vegascendents, which was fantastic BTW, very cool venue Shady Park is, and check out The Pugilistics, they were fantastic, and Corky's Leather Jacket was pretty good as well, and after the gig some random drunken "nurse" gives me a handful of Tylenol 800's which get me through the weekend and back home safely. By this time the lumps in my armpits are about the size of peach pits, rock hard and oozing blood, I mean, I know it's bad now, so when I get back home I send a picture of what's going on with me to Robert Headnoise, who's a registered nurse, and he advises me to go to the emergency room like yesterday. Now it's official. NOW I'm in trouble.
Monday morning I'm on the phone with the clinic on the Paiute reservation begging to be seen, and mercifully they put me as the last patient of the day at 3 pm, maybe earlier if somebody cancels but nobody ever does on a Monday. Nobody. Driving myself there was a nightmare. So they take me to the examining room and the Dr. walks in with his usual "so what seems to be the problem here" and I tell him I got some lumps in my armpit, and when he asks me to show him I do, and he immediately bolts from the room with a horrified look on his face.
Well this can't be good... I think to myself, and it wasn't.
A nurse comes in, dressed in a bio-hazmat suit of sorts, a stack of papers an inch thick in her hands, and starts telling me to start signing these emergency operation papers immediately, and ask me if my next of kin information is up to date on my medical info card. WTF!?!?! I said, what's going on here? The Dr. now returns to the room, dressed in a similar bio-hazmat suit, followed by another nurse pushing a tray with medical tools and big swaths of cotton on top of it, setting up on one side of me. "He doesn't have time to sign all those papers - just give him the important ones quickly!" Now I'm really losing it, about to get up and punch somebody in the face when I yell What the fuck is going on here? and the Doctor looks at me and goes "You have a borderline toxic septic infection that requires immediate attention. We have to operate now because if we don't you might go blind or die. We don't even believe that you're stable enough to survive an ambulance ride to the hospital." And with that they started sticking needles in my armpits., telling me to relax, and setting up a border/shield type of thing to keep me from seeing what was going on.
Well fuck me running...
Long story short... they operate on me for like an hour, using only local anesthetic so i kind of got to see and feel everything that they were doing, and what they were doing was cutting stuff out of me and mopping up all the liquid bile that was emanating from my profusely bleeding wounds, making sure not to get any of it on them. Afterwards they told me if I would of waited any longer I would have, of course, died of septic shock within hours, which brings us full circle to this; take care of yourself medically. We're all not getting any younger that's for sure. And if you ever have painful lumps in your armpits, get that shit checked out pronto. Trust me on this one. 😉
I didn't think it was going to be as much fun as it was but damn I had fun playing at the Regal Inn last Friday with Headnoise and a bunch of other bands. Or more exact, I had fun hanging out with the awesome friends and family of the band who came out in droves and from places far away to see us perform... heh heh I spent the whole night in the parking lot chatting with everyone and anyone, talking shit, sharing laughs, trading war stories, blah blah blah. It was great. I did get to hear some of the bands that played though, but didn't get to actually see them. RecOi!l were pretty good, reminding me of Blanks 77 with their charged up Pogo Punk sound. Culo were good too, a female fronted D-Beat band that shredded. They did an Anti-Nowhere League cover so you know they're pretty Punk as fuck. 😎 Then we played and we did alright, except for the drum set bouncing about from everyone jumping around while we played. Then The Bastard Monarchs played, and they sounded very OC and reminded me of a more mellow Custom Made Scare if you can remember those crazy fuckers. Fun night. Again, thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting the band, and special thanks to Ricky Menace and the lovely Jena Menace from Taxi TV for doing a live broadcast while we were playing and sharing the video afterwords. It was great meeting you two. Thanks for all the kind words, and see you at the next gig with Spider and T.S.O.L. in Big Bear!