09 April 2015

LARVAE


I like stories, and tour stories are especially appealing. I like hearing them, and I love telling them. Understandably, stories evolve over time...as our memories become more memories of the story and less memories of the actual incidents, embellishments and distortions are inevitable. But that's a part of it, and a part of what makes a good story. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a story and thought "I don't want to know if that's true or not, because it's a great story." We aren't news reporters and we aren't writing critical historical accounts, we are passing legends within our own small society, and that's what history is. I'm not supporting factual inaccuracies, but we need to acknowledge that an acceptable amount of distortion, revision and adaptation is to be expected in the interest of a good story. Enter: Shitbong. This is the way I remember a certain show on the FUCKFACE/HICKEY tour in 1996....
We rolled up to a house in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A young gentleman named Jizz greeted us at the door and showed us around the we would be playing and staying...it was cold as shit, and the oldest person in the house seemed to be 15 years old at best. These kids were young, like "where are their parents" young, and had us all wondering if there were would be "adults" present. Not that I'm opposed to a 15 year old getting wild and partying (quite the opposite), but my grown up California ass in a house full of plastered runaways is a tough thing to explain to the cops that are inevitably going to come bust the show...these are things you think about in a free society, I suppose. Jizz introduced us to the kids, showed us to the basement that was barely big enough for our gear and only left space on the stairs for anyone to watch the band (should they even decide to pry themselves away from the party long enough to try....which seemed unlikely). After the basement, we saw a lethargic young man sitting on the couch, hovering over a giant pile of weed on the coffee table. Jizz introduced the guy as Shitbong. "Don't call me Shitbong man, that's not my name. My name's Mike," was Shitbong's reply. Jizz laughed, "Whatever, Shitbong." The show was fun, it never got warmer, kids did indeed crowd the stairs while our bands played, and I have no idea if we slept there or not. I'm sure Shitbong's given name has changed countless times as I've recounted the story over the years, but "Don't call me Shitbong, that's not my name" has been enough of a constant that it's crossed over into "don't care if it's true or not" territory.


I ran into Jizz a few times in Milwaukee, years after our initial meeting he was working in a tire shop and was always filthy with adult work scum instead of youthful party scum. He left town shortly after I arrived...and I eventually met (and worked with) a woman who knew Jizz in Grand Rapids and confirmed my memories of the punk house as a repository for wayward youth. Then I got this LARVAE demo from my pal Daniel a few months ago. Grand Rapids catchy hardcore circa 1995, anti-government, hell bent on partying, and unhinged as fukk. But more importantly: Shitbong was real!!  If only I remembered meeting Spitter or Penis Dan - and I'm sure they were there - the story could be so much better. 




4 comments:

deadfish said...

This is a great story!

deadfish said...

This is a great story

zhollows said...

Here's my possibly connected story (and I have no idea if they are the same person, but maybe they are?): I was driving through Kenosha to visit my parents maybe in 1996 or 97? I noticed while driving down Sheridan Road a punk walking aimlessly down the street. He had a huge Conflict backpatch on his vest. Now, growing up in Kenosha, in the 80s and 90s, you knew every punk in town. We were a small group of people. And I knew for sure that I didn't know anyone remotely into Conflict other than me and maybe two other people. So, I pulled over (because in the 90s when you saw a punk, you pulled over to see who they were!) and sure enough, I had no idea who he was. I asked him if he needed a ride and he said yes. His name was Jizz and he was passing through town and needed to buy food with food stamps but didn't know where to go. So I took him around Kenosha and gave him a tape of my band. Bought some food and he went on his way. I wonder if that was the same Jizz? I don't recall if he had told me where he was from.

The Boo said...

Another great memory from that show: "water" would leak from the basement ceiling right onto Aesop's head and drum set every time someone flushed the toilet.