Guns N’ Salad: Detroit Rock City

Detroit to me is…….punk rock, Hell’s Angels, guns, and salad.

Brian, the bass player from Electric Love Muffin, reminded me recently on this blog of the crazy time we played together in Detroit. What follows may read as fiction, but most of this is actually true. Brian- feel free to correct and/or corroborate.

This was Short Dogs Grow’s first time in Detroit and we were booked to play the Graystone. Tom had booked the show, and in our tour phone book he listed the promoter as “Scary”, complete with quotation marks because we weren’t really sure if he went by “Scary” or if he had some foreign name that just sounded like “Scary.”

We were booked for the 4th of July, and “Scary”said we should come by early because he’d be barbecuing in the back . We didn’t eat meat at the time, but it never hurt to get to a club early to try to find a place to stay for the night.  “Scary” (also known as Cary) turned out to be a big guy somewhat like a typical Hell’s Angel.

Scary’s first words to us were, “I hope you’re not a bunch of California Faggot Vegetarians!” followed by laughter. We all squirmed and shuffled and looked at our Converse. Certainly we would need to defend our gay brethren, but I don’t know if I  was more nervous about the homophobia confrontation, or whether I would have to eat meat to keep this guy from kicking my ass. After an uncomfortable silence, Greg Foot smiled and gestured to all of us. “Yeah,” he said “we’re all  California Faggot Vegetarians.”  Scary laughed again and hit Greg on the back. “I knew you would be, so I made you guys a big tray of salad and vegetables.” And he pulled out a big meat pan full of salad and cut veggies and proceeded to grill our lunch.

There were a lot of young punk kids hanging out and he was feeding them too. I started to think that his nickname was just a tease, and that he was a just big ol’ teddy bear at heart. I didn’t hear anything homophobic or derogatory from him the rest of the time we were there.

electric love muffin

(Electric Love Muffin in Philadelphia)

The Love Muffins arrived later and we made friends pretty quickly. I was on some kind of hair-cutting jag (I think I was exploring being a stylist) so I offered to cut their hair. Having absolutely no training whatsoever except cutting my own hair (which looked pretty bad) only one of them was brave enough to take me up on it- Brian, who had short curly hair, so it was pretty easy to clip the ends of his curls. We went to a little upstairs room so he could sit down, and I could have some space to work. At some point while I was cutting, there was a loud bang and it startled me enough that I stabbed my hand with the scissors (luckily for Brian I didn’t stab him in the head). It didn’t bleed but I wondered if I would be the first SDG band member to go to the hospital for lockjaw.

A little while later  Greg ran into the room, pretty breathless. “Have you guys been here the whole time?” he asked. We said yes, and we were just about to come downstairs. “No way you guys missed the whole thing????!!!!!!!!!!!” And we were like What? What happened? Greg then recounted the incident:

“We were all hanging out drinking beer with the Detroit punk kids and Scary. All of a sudden we heard a loud bang and we’re like WTF???? I look at the front of the club and the doors are just gone. It turned out this guy drove his car into the front door of the club. When this happened, all of the punk kids dropped immediately to the ground. The only people left standing were Scary, me and Tom (I can’t remember if Greg mentioned where George was). Then Scary pulls a gun out of his waistband and starts firing at the guy. So Tom and I dropped to the ground. The guy put the car in reverse and pulled out.  I don’t think Scary got him. I can’t believe you guys were up here the whole time and missed it!!!!”

greystone

(I found this pic of the club on the web, I think it’s fairly soon after the incident)

Brian and I looked at each other, and I realized that I was busy stabbing myself while the punk kids were ducking and covering. We didn’t really believe Greg,(because…well…sometimes he does embellish) until we went downstairs a bit later (when the coast was clear) and saw the damage. I don’t remember any police coming. The punk kids told us that stuff like that happened all the time.  They told us that the club didn’t make any money, and that Scary was involved in some illegal activities which helped pay the club’s rent and feed all the kids. He was a punk rock Robin Hood apparently.

I was just wondering what happened to ol’ Scary so I googled him and found this on the web- an article from 2012. The year the article mentions is 1988, but we were there in 1987, so it’s possible that more than one thug drove into the front doors:

In 1986, after the closing of the all-ages punk venue the Hungry Brain in Delray, the Graystone soon filled the void as Detroit’s main destination for all-ages punk shows, this time under the management of Corey Rusk of Touch and Go records, then based in Dearborn. Rusk and company brought in such bands as the Descendents, the Meat Puppets and Big Black.

But after a local skinhead gang broke Rusk’s jaw, he handed the keys over to Cary “Scary” Safarian, a Bluto-like fireplug of a man who couldn’t be intimidated by local toughs.

But Safarian was also a pretty smart promoter, working out deals that brought in Die Kreuzen, MDC, DRI, the Crucifucks, Bad Brains, Corrosion of Conformity, Dr. No, the Cro-Mags and many more, for all-ages shows with low ticket prices. But even for Safarian, it was tough going. He had to guarantee vegan meals for fussy national punk acts while trying to keep the hall under control, protecting it from the cops, the neighbors, the patrons — and sometimes the bands. It was here that such “outside” punk acts as Boom & the Legion of Doom and Slaughterhouse played sets, the former throwing roadkill and animal parts out into the audience, once upsetting the straight-edge, vegetarian singer of Seven Seconds so much he allegedly burst into tears.

In the end, Safarian was on the way down, getting deeper into narcotics and illicit deals. By 1988, the club was falling apart and mismanaged. Not long after an angry drunk smashed the front doors of the hall in with his car, Safarian left the Graystone and it closed for good. In 1990, Safarian found himself facing 54 years in jail for robbing a pharmacy in rural Calhoun County. Safarian has been in jail since, for almost 22 years.

Though the memories live on, the hall itself is no more, the space having been taken over by a coin laundry several years ago — making it the best place to do laundry while soaking in punk rock history.

Poor Scary, if he’s still in jail -that’s 25 years for armed robbery. I don’t know the details of his case but most people get less time for killing someone.

Here’s a link to an interview of Scary. You can form your own opinion of the man:

 

 

 

Advertisements

I heard they suck live!

Ever get that “Did I really do anything with my life?” feeling?
Making lists can help.

I made a somewhat incomplete list of all the Short Dogs Grow live shows I did. Afterwards I felt a little …nutso…….so I shared it with Tom Pitts, who seemed to understand. And then I thought, what the hell, might as well put it on the internet for the mattt dillioninsominacs. So, take a look…. find your first gig, find your band, or find the show of the night you lost your virginity! And then tell me the story of the gig, cause I don’t sleep well either.

These are just the Short Dogs shows. I’ll get to all the other bands later.

1985

Aug 8th The Reign of Lee Kwan, and Erik Meade at the Sound of Musicmorally bankrupt

Aug 24th Adolph and the Gasser, the Reign of Lee Kwan at Hotel Utah

Aug 30th Black Flag, SWA at the Farm

Sept 3rd Morally Bankrupt, Tales of Terror and Drunk Injuns at the VIS Lounge

Sept 24th– The Afflicted, Our Lady of Pain and Test Subjects at the VIS Lounge

Oct 5th Adolph and the Gassers at Hotel Utah

Oct 12th Three Mouse Guitars and House of Wheels at the On Broadway

Oct 25th Social Unrest, Faith No More, Clown Alley and Frontline at New Method Warehouse

Nov 7th Rhythm Pigs, Afflicted and Soul Asylum at the VIS Lounge

Nov 8th Rhythm Pigs, Blood Sweat and Steeltoes, Soul Asylum at New Method Warehouse

Nov 12th Korphu, Rhythm Pigs at the Stone

Nov 15th Noize Boys  and Jackals at the Mabuhay

Nov 30th Crash and Burn, The Rhythm Pigs and Faith No More at the VIS Lounge

Dec 8th SNFU, Rhythm Pigs, Clown Alley at New Method Warehouse

Dec 31st Adolph and the Gassers, the Barking Spiders at the Hotel Utah

1986

Jan 10th New Method Warehouse With 7 Seconds, Youth of Today, Violent Coercion, Christ On Parade and Yochirst on paradeuth of Today

Jan 18th Hotcombs and Noise Boys at Hotel Utah

Jan 25th Helios Creed, Half Blind at Hotel Utah

Jan 31st Verbal Abuse at New Method

Feb 6th – Schrödinger’s Cat; 16th Note; 3160 16th St. San Francisco

Feb 8th Rhythm Pigs and Blood Sweat and Steeltoes at Hotel Utah

Feb 15th Rhythm Pigs, Spot 1019; Hotel Utah; 584 4th St. San Francisco

Feb 22nd Crockett gig with Bad Habit and Space Kats

Feb 26th Touch Me Hooker and Noise Boys at VIS Lounge

tuch me hooker

March 16th Tragic Mulatto, Noise Boys and Sluglords at the Farm

April 10th Mabuhay with ?

April 15th GASM, E-13, Schrodinger’s Cat at On Broadway

April 17th Tragic Mulatto at Mabuhay

April 20th Crash and Burn and RKL at Club Foot

April 27th Social Unrest, Doggy Style, RKL, Christ On Parade, Toxic Reasons, Desecendents at the Farm

May 11th  R.K.L., Test Subjects,  Giddy Up, MongrelvX10; The Farm; 1499 Potrero Ave.

May 23rd Mabuhay with Noize Boys

May 30th Owen’s Pizza with Miserable Sex, Rabid Lassie and Neurosis

June 6th ASF, Half Blind and Forethought at Club Foot

June 21st Santa Barbara, Dan Sites Show- Beyond Possession, Rat Pack, Vengeance of Snoopy, Fatal Vision

bakersfield

June 22nd, Bakersfield, Dan Sites Show with Scared Cattle, Rat Pack, RKL and Beyond Possession

June 28th  El Paso,  Sounds Seas with Wheaties

June 29th El Paso, Sound Seas with Hernia Briefs and Descendents

July 1st Austin,  The Beach with Airhead

July 2nd Austin,  The Beach with 2 new wave bands

July 3rd Houston,  Party Owls, Bark Hard and The Descendents at Café Mode

July 4th New Orleans,  The Descendents and Life Sentence at Café Brazil

fake ad

July 6th Gulf Port, MS, Elijah’ backyard with Vomit Spots

July 7th  Jackson Mississippi at WC Dons

July 9th Macon, Georgia, House Party with Bullwinkle

July 18th Romeo, Michigan at the Barn with The Offenders (not the Texas band)

July 19th Chicago with Fudge Tunnel, Ozzfish Experience, Dead Steelmill, The Gruesomes

July 22nd Madison Wi, Club DeWash

July 24th Greenbay Wi, Lefties with Jam Nation and Volume Unit

July 26th Des Moines, IA House Party at Beths with Sand in The Face (on acid)

July 27th Omaha,  the Ski Lodge with A Child’s Trust In God and Sand in The Face (no acid)

July 28th Lincoln, NE House party- Paul’s house

July 29th Denver Co, The Funhouse with the Leaving Trains and Psychodrama

Aug 3rd Club Foot with Forethought and Rhythm Pigs

Aug 22nd The Farm with Frightwig, Sister Double Happiness, Spot 1019 and Tunnel Creeps
frightwig farm

Aug 23rd The Farm with Descendents, Polkacide and Sea Hags

Oct 19th The Farm with Honeymooners, Unruly World, Sex Farm, Lot 13 and Dead Beats

Oct 25th Club Foot With Victim’s Family and the Mudwimmin

Oct 26th Reno,  with Verbal Assault and Seven Yobs

Nov 9th  Reno, at Daughter Judy’s with the Yobs and Agent Orange

Dec 26th SF Music Works with The Mentors and Brazos Balladeers

SDG the Mentors

(Missing some of 1986)

1987

Missing some of 1987

Jan 10th Feederz, Mr. T Experience and The Undesirables at Gilman St.

Feb 28th Witnesses and Victims Family and the Sound of Music

March 15th SNFU, Honor Role, Forethought, Jello Biafra at Gilman St.  (Jail Jello Benefit)

March 28th Skin Yard, Cancer Garden at the Sound of Music

April 3rd Rabid Lassie at Gilman St.

April 5th  Dagnasty, Sea Hags, Sister Double Happiness, The Proper Shoes at the Mabuhay

April 18th Witnesses, Forethought and NOFX at The Sound of Music (our 1st record release party)

April 22nd D.O.A. Verbal Abuse, MDC at the Mabuhay

April 26th Portland, The Satyricon with Oily Bloodmen, Badlands and the Fugs

April 29th Vancouver B.C., at  Love Club with The Scramblers

May 1st Vancouver B.C., The Arts Club

May 2nd Matinee show at ?

May 2nd Vancouver B.C., The Arts Club with Death Sentence

May 3rd Victoria B.C.

May 4th Vancouver B,C, The Savoy with DC3

vancouver

May 5th Vancouver B.C. The Savoy with the Boilermakers

May 9th The Sound of Music with No Means No

May 10th Rough Trade In Store

May 15th L.A. The Anti Club with The Leaving Trains, Divine Weeks and Lexington Devils

May 16th Las Vegas at ?

May 17th St George Utah with Fuck Shit Piss, System Rejex and The Deviants at the Cotton Mill

May 21st Tucson Club Nino’s with Ghost of Elvis

May 23rd El Paso Sound Seas with Suicidal Tendencies, Nightmare and Petty Tyrant

suicidal

(Joe quit so we cancelled Lubbock and went to New Orleans)

June 4th House party in New Orleans- 1st show with George

June 5th New Orleans at VFW Hall with Acid Bath

June 6th Pensacola at DMZ with Gruel

June 11th Gainesville FL with Psychic Violence

June 12th Miami, FL at Banal with The Roosters

June 13th Gainesville, Fl with Murphy’s Law, Cindy Brady’s Lisp and Mutley Chix

June 14th Daytona Beach at Penrod’s with Rollins Band, Descendents, Doughboys and MIA

rollins

June 16th Birmingham, AL

June 17th Atlanta, GA Metroplex w/ Electric Love Muffin

June 19th Raleigh, NC  The Fallout Shelter w/ DT and The Shakes

June 23rd Roanoke

June 25th New Jersey The Dirt Club

June 26th New Jersey JP Trolleys with Bedlam

June 27th Albany, NY with Soulside and Life Sentence

June 28th Washington D.C. The Hung Jury with Ignition

July 3rd Minneapolis 7th St. Entry with The Magnolias and Blind Lemon Pederson

July 4th Detroit

descendents chicago

July 5th, Chicago Medusa’s with Lost Cause, the Descendents and MIA

July 9th Des Moines

July 10th Lawrence KS The Outhouse

July 17th Chatterbox

July 18th Gilman St. with Half Life, Terminal Choice, FBI and Shattered Youth

July 29th Vancouver

July 30th The Luv Affair with Death Sentence and Gray Matter Bent

July 31st Vancouver

Aug 1 Vancouver

Aug 2 Victoria

Aug 4th Vancouver The Savoy with NG3

Sept 5th The Farm with Corrosion of Conformity, Capital Punishment, Frontline, Sacrilege

Oct 9th Gilman St. with Chrimpshrine, She Devils and Social Club

Oct 10th Gilman St with Capital Punishment, Sweet Baby Jesus, Sewer Trout and Poultry Magic

Nov 27th Mabuhay with The Brigade and Hell’s Kitchen

Dec 11th Chatterbox with Lazy Cowgirls and Crawlspace

Missing rest of 1987

1988

Jan 24th Music Works with Bad Religion and Tunnel Creeps

bad religion

Jan 30th Music Works with Witnessess and Watchmen

Feb 13th Kennel Club with Ophelias and Opal

March 4th Firehouse with Frightwig

April 6th  The Music Works with The Witnesses, MDC and Hellhound

April 28th Nightbreak with Osgood Slaughter and Pappa Wheelie

May 4th Berkeley Square with Mr. T Experience

May 16th IBeam with Soul Asylum

soul asylum

May 20th Covered Wagon with Scapegoat Lemonade and Noise Boys

May 28th L.A.,  Anti Club with Lazy Cowgirls

May 30th El Paso,  Mesa Inn

June 2nd New Orleans, Paradise Club

June 4th New York, CBGB’s with Tim Lee and Love Shack, Salem 66, Hetch Hetchy and Downey Mildew

June 5th Boston, The Ratt with Hetch Hetchy

June 7th Morgantown West Virginia, The Underground Railroad with MDC

June 8th Detroit, Blondies with MDC

June 9th Kent, Ohio, JB’s Lounge with MDC

June 10th Dayton, Ohio, The Wildside with MDC

June 11th Cincinnati, Ohio Bogarts with MDC

June 12th Chicago The Iron Rail with MDC

June 14th Madison WI The Co-op with MDC

June 15th Milwaukee the Odd Rock Café with MDC

flyer-flier-stlouis-1186911-o

June 16th St. Louis MO Bernard Pub with Ultraman and MDC

June 17th Lawrence Kansas The Outhouse with MDC

June 18th Denver with MDC

June 19th Salt Lake City with MDC

July 2nd The Chatterbox with Johnny’s Problem

July 7th Portland

July 9th Tacoma Washington, Community World Theater with Dayglo Abortions, Hester Pryne, The Subverts, Abolishment, The Conditions, Frontline

July 10th Vancouver Club Soda with the Groovaholics

July 12th Vancouver at the Waterfront Caberet

seattle

July 13th Seattle The Vogue with the F-Holes

July 15th Spokane at 123 Arts with the Happy Dead Juans

July 25th Chatterbox with the Phantom Creeps

July 27th Berkeley Square with the Leaving Trains

Aug 20th Chatterbox with Lazy Cowgirls

Aug 30th with Screaming Trees at ?

Sept 3rd Covered Wagon with Doughboys and Big Drill Car

Sept 13th Kennel Club with Screaming Trees

Sept 30th Nightbreak with Das Damen

(we toured Canada in Oct)

Oct Van

Oct 20th Calgary at The National Hotel

Oct Winnepeg

Oct Toronto

Dec 10th Chatterbox with Holly Rock

Dec 31st Chatterbox

1989

Jan 2nd IBeam with Catheads

Feb 4th Chatterbox

kennel club

Feb 7th Kennel Club with Sonic Brain Jam

Feb 18th  Hey Juan’s, Chico

Feb 24th Gilman St with Sweet Baby Jesus

Feb 25th Pleasanton, Veteran’s Hall with Field Trip

March 9th Covered Wagon with The Fluid, The Hidden and Necromancy

March 18th El Rio

March 24th Chatterbox with Jackson Saints

March 28th Santa Fe

March 30th Fort Worth

April 1st Des Moines

April 2nd Lawrence Kansas

April 3rd Kansas City, MO

April 5th Omaha

April 6th  Iowa City Gabe’s Oasis with Field Trip

April 7th  Columbus, MO

April 8th  Chicago

April 11th St Louis at Furst Rock with Field Trip

April 13th Minneapolis 7th St. Entry with Field Trip

minneapolis

April 21st Nightbreak

April 23rd Covered Wagon with Field Trip

June 9th Seattle Squid Row

June 10th Victoria

June 11th Vancouver Club Soda

June 13th Portland- Satricon

June 19th – Nightbreak with Electric Love Muffin

July 7th Chatterbox with Go Dog Go

Aug 7th IBeam with Celebrity Skin

1990

July 20th IBeam reunion show with Spot 1019 and Papa Wheelie

2008

Dec 19th, Chatterbox Video Release party, reunion gig at the Eagle, SF

2009

Oct 11th, Bottom of the Hill , Bike Messenger’s reunion gig with Mens Club, John Thaxton and the Street Lions

2012

June 17th Thee Parkside, Reunion gig for Mike and Carmela’s wedding , with Chain Breaker, Texas Thieves, Gang of 40, Meat Sluts and Spot 1019

 

reunion spot

postcard