I interviewed Tom and Greg at my house on June 10th, 2018. I’ve noticed over the years that we remember things differently and remember different parts of events. I asked the guys to participate in an experiment – I gave them two specific times to conjure up in their memory. The first was a show we played in Pensacola, FL, and the second was a gig we played about a week later in Daytona Beach, FL (which had a stage behind a chicken wire fence.) This all happened about 30 years ago. I wanted us to take turns recalling, without the interruption of each other’s memories. After a little clarification of what show happened in what town, we were ready. Mike was present to film the session. Let’s see how we did……..
Tom started with Daytona Beach.
T: My memories are little tiny snapshots. There’s being in the parking lot besides the Henry Rollins’ guys, and realizing that they were like really together, and making us feel very disorganized. I don’t really remember playing behind the chicken wire, but I remember after getting off and going out and seeing Henry Rollins play, I thought “why didn’t we think to do this”? He was crawling up on the chicken wire front, tearing it off and putting his face through it. We were like “AAAAAHHH….That guy is so intense! ROOOAAARRR!!!!!.
I don’t remember the Doughboys that well, but I know we were friendly with them. And then after the gig I remember the three big things were 1) drinking with the Rollins band, trying to get them to drink. They were scared about it because they thought they were going to get in trouble. We were like “C’mon we’re all grownups, let’s party!” So we coerced them to drink, and then they wound up getting in trouble by Henry. 2) The Rollins band not wanting the pizza cause it had meat on it, and we were like “We’ll take it!” Well, you wouldn’t (to Greg who was vegan at the time.) And they threw it away, which pissed me off to no end. And (3) Henry coming in after his set, by which time I was pretty hammered. Henry coming in, and changing completely while me and Carmela were standing there, And he’s completely naked, and then getting dressed and walking away. I said, “Did you just notice Henry Rollins getting completely naked”? And Carmela says “What?” It was like two feet from you, the man’s stripping down! And then continuing to drink, and Henry’s coming in and out and getting annoyed with his band for having fun with us! We were having fun.
And then at the end of the night Greg getting up and saying to Henry’s band “You’re the mother-fucking hot animal machine, not him! You’re the mother-fucking hot animal machine!” You grabbed your guitar cases, took one step and the cases crossed and BAM , you flat on your face. And I was like “That’s rock and roll!”
G: Yeah that was awesome.
T: That’s how you party motherfucker!
G: And everyone laughing.
T: Everyone laughing with you.
G: Yeah that’s a good memory of mine.
C to G: You wanna tackle Pensacola?
G:I only have one memory of Pensacola. I don’t remember the show. All I remember is a memory of the beach and how the sand was sugar. The width of the beach was extremely small and the sand dunes were extremely small. And I only have the memory of me looking left. Not right. That’s the only memory I have of Pensacola.
T: Left side of the beach
G: As I was telling Mel, I just see scattered pictures. Also, I was thinking with my memories, is I get these pictures, then I fill in the blanks, and so I remember when we were in Missouri, and what’s the college town there that we played?
T: Kansas City?
G: I have a written account of that. Then Tom Galbrith (the drummer for Field Trip) wrote something and it was really different from my account. I believe his account. I omitted stuff that I would have loved to put in my account, you know because I didn’t remember it- like what’s-his-name from the Gun Club.
(You can read Tom’s story here: http://www.spinesis.com/tom-galbraith-we-thought-he-was-going-to-kick-this-guys-ass-2/ )
T: Oh God, Jefferey Lee Pierce
G: Yeah , all that.
T: How about us ordering 20 pizzas to the radio station? (everyone laughs at this)
G: You know what also is weird is what I remember from that radio station- I remember kinda being assholes.
G: And feeling, you know when you are on tour, confident, even when you are playing to nobody, you’re a gang, you’re moving forward. And I remember saying “fag” on the radio.
G: Calling Janes Addiction “Fags”
T: Which was a playful sort of thing, ah….
G: Yeah, but I do remember that and when I think back, that becomes a bad memory. It’s almost like my memory of Daytona. We’re swimming in the ocean, after the gig, and it’s low tide. But when I think back I have this visceral feeling like “someone could have died.” You know, because we were drunk. And if it was high tide one of use would have died. You look back as an adult and you put upon these fears.
T: Oh my god, I look back at being a motorcycle messenger and shudder. I actually get like “Oh my god!” It gives me chills to think of the ridiculous physical risk I put to myself through on a minute to minute basis.
G: I remember the Doughboys, we were friendly with them, they were real nice.
T: They had dreadlocks.
G: Yeah they were from Philadelphia, or they were Canadian.
(Here is a pic of the Doughboys I found online. If you look closely, the Doughboy on the left is holding a Short Dogs Grow t-shirt.)
G; I was thinking about the Electric Love Muffin.
G: They were like Life Sentence, those damn shirts everywhere. They were good promoters. But I think they opened that show. I felt competitive. Not something I would ever say to you guys when we were there, but I felt competitive like Doughboys were on our level, you know what I mean.
C and T: yes
G: We hadn’t jumped to Rollins’ level, so it was like ok, we’re opening or they’re opening. I wanna be second. I don’t remember the playing a lot, I remember the afterwards. And that’s a weird thing.
T: I was thinking that same thing. I remember very few actual onstage moments, couple in Vancouver, that one party in Spokane where we played for an hour and a half.
G: “Everybody Rock and Roll the Place!”
C: I think that maybe because we played so much, it’s hard to isolate the actual shows, not that we played the same set each night. These two gigs, I don’t remember being on stage at all. I remember a couple of shows where maybe somebody stage-dove and smacked into me or something like that. But not the actual playing.
G: But with Rollins, I remember you (to Tom) and I being very confident going through the crowd drunk, and I remember seeing these three guys. They were like this (Greg folds his arms across his chest), and they had jeans, black t-shirt, sort of tribal tattoos, sort of a brush cut, like punk. And I remember seeing them and thinking “they’re here to see Rollins” (everyone laughs). Engineer boots, not punk really, but maybe post punk. It was almost like, “we’re becoming irrelevant”. Like, times are changing. On Instagram, I’ll find somebody who documents scenes. And you can see how fast 1982 to 1987, short hair to long hair- it went really fast. And if you were playing hardcore in 87, you could be left behind. We weren’t hardcore, but that was still sort of the only thing going. We were post punk.
T: If you were playing hardcore, you were going to have to wait another ten years for it to come back!
C: Well, the Pensacola gig, I have no recollection of playing at all. I found the name of the club-it was called DMZ. So neither of you guys remember anything of that night. I only remember the parking lot. We went out to the parking lot and the van wouldn’t start, and so we were stuck. So then we made George find us a place to stay. It was one of the first few gigs we played with George. And he did; he found two girls. They lived in Mobile, AL. They didn’t live in Pensacola, and we went and stayed with them.
G: Yeah, and I hooked up with that girl.
C; Yeah, I wasn’t sure, there was something about a pair of coveralls, whether they were yours or hers, I don’t know. One of you gave the other a pair of coveralls.
(in the photo below, Greg is wearing the coveralls, and I believe a tube top around his neck. This photo was taken in Gainesville around the time of these shows.)
G: Yeah I wrote that down too.
C: Yeah and I remember they had a ferret. And for me, a troubling memory- like when you were mentioning saying “Fag” on the radio.
C: I was with the girl, not the one you liked, but the other girl, the one with the Mohawk I guess
C: I don’t remember a Mohawk, but I remember she had dark hair. She took me to the mall to buy hair dye. And when we were in the mall, you guys weren’t there, it was just me and her. It was raining, it was a really bad storm, and there was a huge clap of thunder. This guy was walking outside, near the car and he jumped-he was just scared. And she said “Look at that N-word jump”. I just remember being shocked. I’d never heard anyone use that word before. Ever.
And she was a punk rocker with a Mohawk! And I can’t remember now, and this really bothers me, I can’t remember if I said anything. I remember wanting to say something.
T: You were like “Holy shit we’re in the south!”
C: Yeah, but I think I was so shocked, that I just was mute. And I don’t know if I ever told you guys that.
G: Nope, I don’t remember.
C: I thought, partially because she was so hardcore, how could that come out of somebody?
T: The presumption of someone with a Mohawk.
C: I remember thinking at the time about how Janis told me that she heard someone use the N word, and she went ballistic on them. I remember thinking “if Janis were here, Janis would kick her ass.” But I’m staying at this woman’s house and I gotta be nice.
G: She had air conditioning!
C: That was my biggest memory of that, but we were with them for a few days. And I did write down that we went to see movies.
G: We based out of their house
T; Yeah we were there for a few days. And that ferret kept stealing our money.
C: Yeah, the ferret stole our money.
T: Who did we play with at this club DMZ?
C: Well I have written down that we played with a band called Gruel
C: But the next night we went back because the van, this is my memory and I don’t think this is right, but the van was in the parking lot, and you fixed it.
T: That sounds right (sarcastically).
C: No, it was really funny.
G: Joe Pethoud wasn’t there?
C: Joe wasn’t there because he had quit the band a week before.
G: Yeah and he fixed our starter before he left.
T: I love him.
C: You (to Tom) took a wrench. You came running out yelling “I fixed the van I fixed the van!” You were so excited about it. And I was so excited.
G: I was extremely excited you fixed the van.
C: And I said “how did you do it” and you said you took a wrench and pulled on something in the engine and freed it.
G: The engine was between the seats.
T: Something was shorting it out I think.
C: You had a wrench and were yelling” I fixed the van”, and we were like “Yay Tom!!”
T: I probably hit the battery once with the wrench.
C: The Accused were playing. I remember meeting them, and they had roadies and money, and they were going to camp because they were really excited about this particular campsite nearby.
G: Are you thinking about Murphy’s Law?
C: No, it was the Accused from Washington.
T: Weren’t Adrenaline Overdrive from down there too?
C: We played with Adrenaline OD in Texas or something . The Daytona Beach was the show we played with Rollins Band.
G: That was a big show.
C: Yeah it was a big show. The promoter Tommy, I think his name was, confirmed that show long before. He was a professional and had it all set up, but he didn’t say anything on the phone about the chicken wire. When we got there, I remember he made all the bands get together and everyone had to say “We will not touch the chicken wire”.
T: That’s right.
C: He had a huge deposit on the chicken wire, or rather on the show. There was no place to play there anymore so he had to put this huge deposit, and we all agreed. I remember seeing Rollins in the parking lot with the barbell, sitting there for hours working out and the mom coming over with her kid. And the kid introducing Rollins to the parent. I can’t remember if he was mean or nice.
G: I remember that.
C: Doughboys played first, then we played. Then MIA played and I hated them, just because I didn’t like that they were playing after us. Cause they were touring with Descendents. I think Descendents might have been touring with Rollins too. Then Descendents played and then Rollins played. I found a couple of pictures. Rollins tore down the chicken wire.
T: Which is way more punk and fuckin ballsy, and I remember now that you say that thing about the deposit. Which is of course why we didn’t touch it.
C: We needed the money . We had $100 guarantee, which was A LOT of money then.
T: And we were super polite and nice and didn’t want to piss those people off
C: That too, and also we didn’t want to ruin their scene, cause we didn’t live there. And afterwards he came up to us, might have been you (Tom ) and I, or maybe all of us, and one of the Doughboys, and he said “I’m paying you guys. I’m not paying Rollins, Decendents or MIA.
C: So we got paid
C: He said I’m paying you guys because you’re both from out of town and not part of the package.
T: And I’m looking at your van .
C: And how skinny you guys are! No, he paid us and the Doughboys.
T: That may be why Henry was such an asshole at the end of the night. I’m a little more forgiving then just “Stop making my band drunk”.
C: He knew, he agreed, everybody agreed. Even the Descendents didn’t touch the chicken wire
T: Well it was worth it because he rocked
C: It was great. I remember as soon as he came on the stage; I remember him putting his fist through it. I think I was with you Tom, and you yelled “Holy shit he’s doing it!”
At this point I pulled out some pics I found on the internet of Henry onstage at the Daytona beach gig. This is the pic of Rollins onstage and there is still some chicken wire .
In this one you can see the chicken wire is gone.
T: Oh my god. Now how does that phase your memory? When you actually see it right?
G: Wow. That really changes everything.
C: Maybe Rollins went before Descendents because this is Milo without the chicken wire onstage.
You can see in this pic, no chickenwire.
T: I seem to recall Rollins going before Descendents.
C: I thought Rollins played last, but look- there’s no chicken wire.
G: Yeah Descendents played last.
T: Yeah cause they were the bigger band. Rollins had just, that was his first or second tour.
G: That was Search and Destroy or whatever it was.
T: That was Hot Animal Machine.
C: This was the flyer that I had from that show. (I show them the original flyer from my flyer collection- shown below.)
T: YOU’RE THE HOT ANIMAL MACHINE!!!
C: I remember going backstage, and I remember you telling all the guys in the Rollins band to drink a beer.
T: There was a big garbage can full of those elephant beers. I definitely remember you were on the left, and Henry was on the right and he was soaking wet with his soaking wet shorts. And I took a little peek over, and OOOOOHH Naked Henry. I didn’t sign up for this!
C: I didn’t see anything.
T: I saw pubes, the whole thing.
So Tom may be the only one of us who really knows who’s got the 10 ½. We’ll leave you contemplating that imagery. Stay tuned for more stories of broken vans and tube tops…
We sure do miss our buddy George. We love you George.