TV PARTY TONITE!
Slacker Reviews Henry Rollins' Tribute to Black Flag
I did it. I finally did it. Another chapter
in my life is complete, the book one step closer to being finished. I finally
saw Black Flag. Okay, so I didn't see THE Black Flag, but I did see Henry
Rollins, with his band, playing nothing but Black Flag songs. And that is as
close as this roach will ever get to seeing the real Black Flag (I was barely
old enough to drink anything when they came to power, and broke-up long before I
was able to get into a club). It still seems quite unreal. So, I'd like to take
this time to dump this pile of unreality upon you. Assuming you're still here
(As a side note, there are rumors that the actual Black Flag is getting back
together in the fall, but I don't reckon they'll float to Texas). Onward!
At $25 dollars a ticket, I was skeptical. I'll barely pay two bucks to buy
myself a biscuit, let alone a whole bunch of two dollar bills (and a one) for a
show. But, it was for a good cause, as all proceeds went to support the West
Memphis Three. So, I paid. I brought my camera in, ready to take pictures of all
the excitement and exuberant punk-ness, but, midway during the evening, a
security guard tackled me, punched me, sodomized me, and then, only then, did he
take my camera. Something about a contract with the Rollins band and only
"contracted press". I thought it was an ego thing, but now I think it was more
along of the lines of Ol Henry not wanting to have anybody make a profit off of
pictures of the tour (as it was a benefit show). Kudos Henry...even though I was
"technically" press (I told the security guard that I was writing an article for
retroCrush.com. He laughed, said something about Robert never having ever seen
an actual vagina. I had no clue what me meant, so I acquiesced). All I got was a
shot of the marquee (and that was at the risk of severe pain to my person) so
readers, you'll have to use your imagination.
The opening bands were all playing for free, the jolly souls. I came in on the
tail end of Zug's set. They played a sweet cover of that song from that movie
"The Lost Boys". You know the one. The next band was the Killcreeps from Dallas.
The lead singer looked like Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls, save that he wasn't
English. Their last song was the most memorable. It's title, "Sheeps and
Midgets". After them, the Hellions went on, playing their songs at a pace that
makes a hummingbird feel inadequate. Their singer reminded me of a skinny Yaniv
Sharon. After the bands had adequately warmed the peeps up....it was on.
When the band first went on, they had the
original singer Keith Morris with the Rollins band. I thought that maybe, it had
been a promotional scam with The Rollins Band playing, and Keith singing. I
didn't feel too gypped, as it was still the only chance I'd ever get this close
to seeing Black Flag. The music began, the crowd began to thrash about, and I
got my bodice knocked about. I was getting pumped, the old punk in me coming to
the surface of my jarred brain. Then, Ol Henry comes about 5 songs later for
"Rise Above" (the title of the benefit for the West Memphis Three). and the
crowd flips out. I know I did. There were at least 17 casualties by my hand at
that moment. Simultaneously. Not kidding. They blasted through song after song
of classic punk rock brutality. Henry would do his famous squat-thrust screaming
point thing, while spouting out some of the finest lyrics ever written. The band
even had all the sweet chaos of the guitars solos, copying the sound that Greg
Ginn so violently crafted, and playing with unheard of speeds. But these twernt
Van Halen solo's. This was punk rock baby.
The crowd itself was a saucy blend of punkers and hardcore folks, with the old
skoolers evenly dispersed throughout. I did see some Emo-kids earlier in the
evening, but I have a feeling they were trampled later on. They played songs for
everyone. The hardcore punkers got songs like "Black Coffee", and "Gimme Gimme
Gimme", while the emo kids got "Damaged", and the ladies got the greatest love
song ever written (as proclaimed by Henry), "Slip it in". The only song they
didn't play that I wanted to hear was "White Minority", but, that's the way the
punk rock crumbles. But, they did play TV party, and in the first verse, Henry
changed the words to reflect today's shows, namely, "American Idol" and "Oprah".
Considering he's been shredding his throat for 23 some odd years, Henry's voice
was well attuned and golden. The only speaking he did was to thank us (the
crowd) for supporting the cause of the West Memphis Three and that we were
helping out people who deserved help. He also gave props to all the songs that
Chuck wrote back in the day, taking very little credit. Very humble of ya Henry!
All in all though, the show was a raucous good time, with slamming, jumping and
a wayback trip to hardcore punk-land. And even though there are probably some
purists out there who would say, "I was there in '82, I touched Henry's long
hair!!", and that this is a "sham", I simply nod, and give you props for having
been born under the proper cosmic alignment. Me, I take what I can get, and even
though I was older than most of the demographic, the show made me feel young.
Again. For the first time. Thanks Henry, for giving me one more reason to die
happy. And to all the emo kids, I'm sorry you had to die, but I can guarantee it
wasn't my fault. Honest.