Category Archives: Punk

New York Dolls, “Subway Train”

God-damn that is some good, fine rock and roll. From 1973, ladies and gentlemen, the greatest rock and roll band ever, the New York Dolls!

That’s me. I’m the New York Dolls. That’s me on the cover too. No wonder people used to think I was gay. I’m a straight androgyne. So sue me!

PS All the Dolls were straight, 100% completely straight, believe it or not. Nowadays they would have to all go bi or pan or trans or genderqueer or nonbinary or some bullshit, but back then, you can be a straight man and dress exactly like that. I think dressing up like chicks was just part of their gag, their shtick. But did they even dress up like chicks? Not really. No woman dresses like that! That get-up was just a huge transgressive fuck you to society, nothing more, nothing less.

Of course it helped that they were all ultra-masculine street tough gang types straight off the streets of New York. That combination of extreme masculinity and femininity is awesome! Reminds me of Jagger, Iggy Pop, the Stooges, Queen, Mott the Hoople, Lou Reed and some others. Glam rock FTW! Glam rock forever!

Here they are live in San Francisco! That’s even better. It’s like Rolling Stones transvestite punk rock. Love it!

Lyrics!

I can’t ever understand
Why my life’s been cursed, poisoned, condemned
When I been tryin’ every night
To hold ya near me
But I’m a-telling you
It ain’t easy

Ever since I been ridin’
Right on the subway train
You can hear the whistle blowin’
Ya might think I’m insane

And now your friends
They’re fillin’ up my car
But you’re so busy readin’ Suzy Says
Ya can’t look now
You didn’t see your lovers
They’re all dressed in rags
Ya know ya had us pushin’ up roses
Just tryin’ get your fare

‘Cause we was all ridin’
Right on the subway train
And you can hear the captain shoutin’
He thinks I’ve gone insane

‘Cause I keep on ridin’
Keep on ridin’
‘Cause I keep on
Ridin’, ridin’, ridin’
Keep on ridin’, yeah

You stop and you stare
As I’m leavin’ my favorite place
We have no regards
You can’t even find a trace
Ya gotta get on back to Daddy
That is all it’s gonna be
He got the poison black arts of the pimps
But don’t ya st- st-

I seen ’em travel
Right on the subway train
And you can hear the captain shou-ou-tin’
He thinks we’ve all gone insane

‘Cause we keep on ridin’, ridin’, ridin’
Keep on ridin’
‘Cause we keep on ridin’, ridin’, ridin’
Keep on ridin’

I see the train gettin’ on an open track
Well I’m a-hopin’ it’s gonna bring my baby back

‘Cause I guess I said
Dinah wontcha blow
Dinah wontcha blow your horn
Dinah wontcha blow
Dinah wontcha blow your horn
I said someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
I know whoa, whoa, whoa
I said someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
I just know
I keep on ridin’, ridin’, ridin’

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Filed under Glam, Heterosexuality, Music, Punk, Rock, Sex

Last Known Photograph of Johnny Thunders

Johnny-Thunders

Last known photograph of Johnny Thunders.

This is the last known photograph of the great rock guitarist and singer Johnny Thunders, famous for being in the New York Dolls and later in his own band, the Heartbreakers, a seminal early punk rock band. In fact, the Heartbreakers were playing what I would call punk rock or proto-punk rock in 1975, before the Sex Pistols even existed! Thunders was a long term heroin addict, a junkie, and also liked to shoot cocaine. Like most junkies, he died young at age 38.

In this photo, he looks like death warmed over. It was taken between April 9-15 in Thailand, where he went to buy some silk suits. He also shot up a lot of heroin while he was there.

There are videos of him playing his last recorded shows in Japan around January 3-6. He looks surprisingly good in that video, but towards the end of his life, he was using a lot of makeup to cover up the yellow spots he had all over his face. One day he would look fine and another day he would look like the walking dead. He went to the famous Henry Wong’s tattoo parlor in Bangkok where he got a tattoo. This is one of the most frightening and deathly photographs I have ever seen of any ambulatory human being.

From April 19-22, he was in Berlin recording songs. His manager relates that they walked around Berlin and Johnny was giving away wads of cash to every bum and street person he saw. Only three days later, he would be dead. It was as if he knew he would be dead soon.

On April 21, his manager saw him leave on a plane for New Orleans where he was going to record some music. His manager said he had a terrible feeling as he watched Johnny departing on the plane. It was as if the manager knew he would be dead soon. In fact, he would be dead two days after the manager saw him on leave on that plane.

He stayed in a hotel there next to Link Wray’s house exactly two days. He was found dead in his room two days after he checked in. He had leukemia and he also had methadone in his system. However the amount of methadone was not fatal and the leukemia had not progressed enough to kill him either. His death was called “death by misadventure.”

He stayed in his room two days after his death and when he found, his body was twisted into a pretzel shape by rigor mortis. Furthermore, his body was found under a closet. In addition, $10,000, all of a huge supply of methadone, his passport and many other personal items were gone. There had been a robbery at some point when he was staying there. A good theory is that he was robbed and then killed by the robbers, possibly by giving him a large shot of methadone. After he died, they shoved his body under a closet. A couple, a man and a woman, both junkies, are suspected in the crime.

However, New Orleans police never investigated the crime as a murder, instead calling it a drug overdose. Broke junkies come into New Orleans all the time and die there, often of overdoses. Johnny Thunders was just one more down and out junkie who came into New Orleans and overdosed on heroin in a cheap hotel. The NOLA police saw this sort of thing all the time and it was considered to be not a matter worth investigating.

These crimes may have been seen as what cops called NHO crimes, for No Humans Involved. The victim(s) and the killer(s) are such scumbags that the police don’t even care to investigate the crime much. Some crimes like this are also called by the police Public Service Killings, when some scumbag or criminal gets killed. No one cares that he is dead and it’s as if the murderer committed a public service by killing this scumbag.

Johnny’s terrible appearance is due to leukemia which only he knew that he had, long term heroin and cocaine abuse. We have recently heard that he also had Hepatitis C and there is a good rumor that he was also HIV-positive. So those two things added to the night of the living dead appearance in that photo.

This is one of the saddest damned photographs I think I have ever seen. It’s heartbreaking to even look at it.

This is a very rare photo. I am glad to have stumbled upon it, as horrible as it is.

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Filed under Celebrities, Crime, Law enforcement, Music, Public Service Killings, Punk, Rock

Talking Heads, “Heaven”

From 1979!

Great song! This is one of my all-time favorite bands. They were one of the first punk/new wave bands out, in their case out of the New York art school scene. All band members met in art school. David Byrne is a damned genius, and everyone else in the band was also very smart. I always loved Tina Weymouth, the chick on guitar. Their first album was actually called More Songs about Buildings and Food and was usually listed as a punk album alongside the Clash, the Pistols, etc. though they were always more weird and arty than punk.

Fear of Music, which this song is off, was the second album. It came out in 1979. It’s one of the best rock music albums ever made! This song is great, but really they are all great. The whole album is great from start to finish.

If you have never heard of this band, check them out. They’re glorious.

N.B. I saw the Talking Heads live at UCLA of all places in the summer of 1979 with some friends of mine. This was one of the first punk rock shows in LA. There were a lot of arty/nerdy college kid types there. UCLA is a very selective school, and you can’t get in unless you are wicked smart.

It was a great show! Oingo Boingo (if you have heard of them) were also there. That is another great old punk/new wave band from the old days.

Here are the lyrics. Even if you’re an atheist, it’s as great a song about Death and Heaven as has ever been written.

“Heaven – heaven is a place. A place where nothing – nothing ever happens.”

I’m not quite sure this is what the authors of the Bible had in mind, or, Hell, maybe they did. World-weariness is a thing as old as our race (and it’s always just a bit charming, especially in a handsome man of a certain age). It didn’t just sprout up in the age of Information Overload. No matter how much you love to run, you always reach a point where you just can’t go anymore, and you’ve just got to lie down, dammit. And I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel good.

I was talking to a friend once, about death. What else is there to talk about, after all? All roads lead to the same destination. Think about it.

I asked him if he was scared.

“I don’t know Bob. I’m tired, Bob.”

Sure. Well, yeah. No train runs forever. They all run out of steam at some point, and there’s always an end of every line.

Then again, maybe Heaven is like a Chili’s where they never quite run out of applewood bacon. Which, you’ve got to admit, would be pretty cool right there, n’est pas? Better than most of my life anyway.

Last call! Last call!

Last call for alcohol! Last call for alcohol!

Hurry up boys, it’s time! Hurry up boys, it’s time!

See ya all on the other side!

Everyone is trying
To get to the bar
The name of the bar
The bar is called Heaven

The band in Heaven
Plays my favorite song
They play it once again
They play it all night long

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

There is a party
Everyone is there
Everyone will leave
At exactly the same time

It’s hard to imagine
That nothing at all
Could be so exciting
Could be this much fun.

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

When this kiss is over
It will start again
It will not be any different
It will be exactly the same

It’s hard to imagine
That nothing at all
Could be so exciting
Could be this much fun.

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

Heaven
Heaven is a place
A place where nothing
Nothing ever happens

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Filed under California, Music, Punk, Regional, Rock, USA, West

Theme Song of My Life

Seems like a lousy song to have as a theme for your life, but I am quite happy with it and even proud of it. I am not sure if that makes sense to you.

John Cash! I just heard this one today and damn it is so good. 1989 (late Johnny Cash),

Motorhead! Not as good as the other three but still pretty cool especially if you like Lemmy.

Social Distortion! This one is so awesome! Punk rock! 1992 (late punk rock).

I was brought in this world 1962
I didn’t have much choice you see
But by the time I was eight
I could tell it was too late
I was already barking up the wrong tree

When I was in school
You thought I was a fool
In trouble, Breaking all the rules
I was absent from class
My Daddy spanked my bare ass
But I sure tried hard to be cool

[Chorus:]

Born to lose, was what they said
You know I was better off dead
Born to lose
You’re just bad news
You don’t get a second chance!

It was a hot summer night
In mid July
A hangover and a black eye
Your Momma said I was a loser
A dead end cruiser
And deep inside I know that she was right

[Chorus:]

Born to lose, was what they said
You know I was better off dead
Born to lose, you’re just bad news
You don’t get a second chance!

I tried to get myself a job
Because that’s the way that things are
Wanna have nice things and go far
Well I’m sorry honey
I ain’t got much money
But I can sure play this here old guitar

As the years went on, I made a few mistakes
It was a troublebound for this young man
The police knockin’ at my door
“Well he don’t live here no more
and he’s playin’ in a rock ‘n’ Roll band.”

[Chorus:]

Born to lose, was what they said
You know I was better off dead
Born to lose
You’re just bad news
You don’t get a second chance!

And my favorite of all far, Johnny Thunders! In other words, my alter ego. That’s photo of me in the video in back of the song. The original proto-punk rockers. Punkers before there was even punk rock. The whole punk rock movement grew directly out of bands like this. 1977 (early punk rock).

That’s the way you go
This city is so cold
And I’m, I’m so sold
That’s why I’m know

I said hit it
Born to lose, born to lose, born to lose
Oh baby I’m born too loose

Nothing to do
I’ve nothing to say
Only one thing that I want
It’s the only way

I said hit it
Born to lose
I said hit it
Born to lose
I said hit it
Born to lose
Oh baby I’m born too loose
Oh baby I’m born too loose

Living in a jungle
It ain’t so hard
Living in the city
It will eat out, eat out your heart

I said hit it
Born to lose
I said hit it
Born to lose
I said hit it
Born to lose

Baby I’m born too loose
Oh baby I’m born too loose
Oh baby I’m born too loose
Oh baby I’m born too …

 

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Filed under Music, Punk, Rock

Sonic Youth, “I Wanna Be Your Dog”

Iggy Pop and the Stooges cover with the singer doing an excellent Iggy Pop imitation. At first I thought the lead singer was a really hot, sexy skinny long-haired blond chick and…it’s a guy…no it’s a chick, no wait a guy…no, a chick…Ah the Hell with that! It’s a human goddamnit!

Trip to Wikipedia: Turns out this is a chick after all! Kim Gordon! So she’s an androgyne, so what? So am I. So’s Joan Jett. So’s Suzi Quatro. So’s Bowie. So’s Jagger. So’s Marc Bolan. So’s Lou Reed. So’re all the sexy people!

Wow! I never thought too much of this band, but boy do I love them now. This was what early LA punk rock was like in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s.

Check out those horns! James Brown!

What about that ominous sound? Mott the Hoople. Of course the Stooges. And before that, what else? The Velvet Underground!

I’m looking at that band in back of her and I’m thinking…the Ramones! I’m also thinking…New York City punk rock! Late 70’s-early 80’s. CBGB’s and all that. That band is so New York. Over to Wikipedia, yep I was right, early New York punk band. Formed in 1981. I’m a psychic! Isn’t that weird how you can just read the vibes of something and pin it down place and time almost perfectly? Must be intuition. Can’t possibly be logic. Woman thinking. The genius of the woman.

What else is this? What’s the general vibe, the Gestalt, the reading, the “smell?” It’s the goddamned end of civilization, that’s what it is! Oh no but it’s so much worse than that. This music is actually a perverse celebration of the end of civilization. And that’s so much better, you know? Rockin’ to the Apocalypse!

I am sitting here listening to this song…and everything’s getting darker…and my heart’s sinking into my stomach…and I’m thinking…”Jesus Christ, man. This is the last rock and roll band on Earth!” And you know what is so much worse than that even? “And tomorrow…after they play this song and stomp off the stage…the world is gonna end!” And you know what’s a whole universe way worse than even that? It’s that oh man isn’t that most gloriously beautiful part of it all! Let’s have a wake for mankind. Have another drink, on me. Drink up one last time as the Titanic goes down!

This is what rock and roll is all about!

Rockin’ til I drop!

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Suzi Quatro,”Suzi Quatro”

Suzi Quatro! From 1973! Oh Hell yeah!

Suzi Quatro was one of the first female lead singers and guitarists of a real rock and roll band. She was the queen of leather rock! She also plays a mean bass guitar. I can’t help thinking this is actually punk rock. But it’s only 1973. This is really pre-punk like the New York Dolls. It’s all coming from the same place. Let’s face it, glam was pre-punk, and Suzi Quatro is glam rock!

Similar acts from around the same time are Sweet and Slade. Sweet is downgraded nowadays but I really liked them back in the day. Slade is also very underrated. Sort of a glam AC/DC.

None of these songs mean much of anything. They’re just silly, dumb songs to rock and roll too. But rock and roll was never intellectual.

Real rock and roll (not prog, folk, country or metal) is sensual and experiential. It’s the music of the pure ID.

Music to fuck to. Fucking music.

There’s a reason for that beat. It’s the beat of sexual intercourse. BAM BAM BAM BAM. The early haters of rock and roll figured this out quickly,and that was one of the main reasons why rock was hated so much all the way back to Elvis Presley.

Back in the 1970’s all the mafia produced porn back then had hard rock soundtracks going on through all the fucking and sucking. There’s a reason for that.

It’s because it’s fucking music, music to fuck by.

Or in the case of punk rock, music for people who like to fuck and fight!

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Filed under Glam, Music, Punk, Rock

Johnny Thunders, “There’s a Little Bit of Whore in Every Girl”

Johnny Thunders! Johnny Thunders is God! I also like that he is a true pure androgyne. But then all the Dolls were pure androgynes. As were all the fellows mentioned below.

If you watch that video, can you see where the Dolls gets their shtick? The Dolls are the Rolling Stones! And of course if you look at the video carefully, you will notice that Johnny Thunders can only be Keith Richards, though I think there is a bit of Sex Pistols in him too. David Johansen can only be Keith Richards and of course that’s exactly who he is if you have been following him for long.

You will also notice one more thing if you look at this video closely. The Dolls were punk rock! And there were punk rock before there even was punk rock! Punk hadn’t even started yet and the Dolls were already punk. Born too soon! But then again? Were the Rolling Stones punk rock? One wonders. Aerosmith? Queen? Roxy Music? T. Rex? Mott the Hoople? I can see all of that leading right up into punk rock honestly.

But then a lot of these were glam bands and the Dolls if nothing else was the epitome of glam. And glam led right straight into punk rock.

If you want to know what I am like, I am this guy. I am also David Bowie. And Marc Bolan. I am David Bowie, Marc Bolan, the New York Dolls, Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger all wrapped into one.

Which is apparently where a lot of the sexual orientation confusion comes from I suppose. Not that I am not getting sick and tired of it because I am. But if I am just David Bowie then it all makes sense and I should not expect anything different.

I loved this guy when he was in the Dolls too. There are a number of photographs of him in this video. This is said to be a live in the studio version bujt that’s not the case. It’s actually from a song that was played live in a Swedish radio station!. Other than that, it’s never been heard before.

P.S. I more or less agree with the sentiment behind this song, but I don’t think it applies to all of them. And a few years after menopause, I suppose it doesn’t apply to any of them.

That’s an even better version, a lot more cleaned up. I have no idea what this version is off of.

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Filed under Gender Studies, Glam, Man World, Music, Punk, Rock

Even Better Than #whitelivesmatter

How bout some nihilism?

#nolivesmatter

I like it already!

I came out of the punk rock movement where most of us had the attitude of, “Decline of Western Civilization? Cool! What can I do to help?”, so I’ve had a soft spot in my black heart for nihilism since my salad days.

Modern SJW culture is getting pretty damned nihilistic if you actually sit down and think about it. Who knows, maybe in 20 years, narodniks will be in style again. After all they killed the Czar, and that’s impressive.

Maybe we are already there. Nietzsche is the quintessential modernist. Who else can speak to our age? He said we were already trapped in a nihilistic black hole, and that was a hundred years ago.

Why else is Buddhism, the original nihilistic religion, so popular with hipsters these days?

What else could you call postmodernism but nihilism enshrined in the academy and intellectual? Derrida is Nietzsche updated to a new century. From there we move on to Lyotard and especially Baudrillard, and then it’s a hop and skip to Badiou and especially Brassier, the echoing voice in the darkness of the black hole of our time.

The art world was never far behind, or maybe even out in front.

Sade was scribbling in his dungeon a century before Nietzsche rocked the world.

While narodniks were throwing bombs, Turgenev and Chekhov were following them in the literature of the time.

From there we went to Dada, which is nihilistic or it is nothing at all, or perhaps it is both or neither, which all mean the same thing if you think about it.

Ayn Rand hated nihilism, which is funny considering that Objectivism is about as nihilistic as you can get. I mean come on. Religion is dead, so it obviously follows that God is too. No religion, no God. That’s not too hard to understand. Without God, there is nothing, and that is our postmodern predicament du jour. Sartre would call it a “dilemma.” It certainly creates a lot of angst. Look at all the people on psych meds.

Hilariously, the Objectivists look out at the world with their cold sociopathic dead shark eyes and call their evil ways a temple. “God may be dead, but it matters not,” they cheer. “For we have money, and in money we have more meaning than a thousand Gods!” Yeah. Let’s all go pray at the bank. Maybe they’ll give me a loan.

It’s such pitiful thinking until you realize probably half the US population are Randists. Then it becomes frightening, yet another dangerous popular delusion.

And no, money is not a substitute for meaning. All the meaning in my wallet and a $1.79 will get you a Slurpee at a 7-11.

Money is God! Surely you jest. But our Randists do not, and that’s scary. Serial killer scary.

Music was a bit late to the game, but as mentioned above, nihilism was Punk Rock’s middle name. Probably the Velvets were the incubators, and then the Pistols blew it up for the world to see. Punk is nihilistic to this day, assuming it’s not commodified yet.

Industrial, Black metal, death metal, and doom metal took the ex nihilo baton from punk and ran with it. Black Sabbath were the Velvets of metal. Metallica, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Ministry, Motorhead, Nine Inch Nails, Pantera and especially Marilyn Manson blazed a trail of destructive nothingness that rages to this moment.

Film was even later to game, but the movies always catch up to culture eventually. It’s a law, written in stone on Hollywood Boulevard. The Big Lebowski was the first step, and what is Fight Club but nihilistic? The Matrix and its sequel probably wrote the ultimate cinematic treatise on our modern disease. What’s with that hollowed out book in Thomas A. Anderson’s hand? And what’s Agent Smith ranting about anyway, or is he really just ranting about nothing?

More recently, the Joker in himself  in Dark Knight Rises is none other than the Agent of Chaos. With no love of money, he wants nothing to do with filthy lucre. He only wants to make everything burn. In the ultimate anti-Objectivist statement, he even burns a gigantic pile of money.

Most people troll on the Net, but some hardcores troll in real life. That’s called Trolling IRL. At the moment, that is exacting what Mr. Trump is doing – trolling IRL. That silly billionaire is trolling the whole damn world.

Some folks who troll IRL are harmless like Andy Kaufman, probably the finest IRL troller that ever lived.

Others who troll IRL are downright evil. I can’t help thinking that Adolf Hitler was trolling the world with his crazy philosophy. Unfortunately, this mad trolling IRL episode left 50 million bodies in its wake.

James Holmes was another evil IRL troller, though he was a mere piker next to Der Fuhrer. Nevertheless, this exemplary philosopher/man of action understood The Dark Knight movie at its essence. Hence he dressed up as the Joker and crashed a movie theater in Colorado, spraying the packed crowd with machine gun fire, trying to make the world burn in his own petty and failed way.

And our trajectory of nothingness, with all its bumps and lurches along the way, leads us here, to our modern nightmare. In the ultimate act of nihilism, a man dressed up as the Joker, the Agent of Chaos himself and raided a movie theater with a machine gun in a failed attempt to set the world aflame, in a nightmarish act of horrific violence utterly devoid of all meaning.

And here I leave you, dear reader, staring off into space, looking at nothing at all.

Have a good trip, if you can bear it.

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Filed under American, Art, Cinema, Crime, Cultural Marxists, Culture, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Punk, Religion, Rock

TSOL “Peace through Power”

Also from the debut album, Dance with Death, 1981. That was the only one of their albums I listened to much. After Revenge, they turned into a metal band and a lot of people didn’t like them anymore.

The politics of this song sucks, but then this band always had crap politics. Their name was True Sons of Liberty, and they were founded in my hometown of Huntington Beach. They were Reaganites from the original Reagan Country, Orange County.That said, a lot of Orange County punks had crap politics.

But it’s still a good song anyway. Hard to believe this was 35 years ago. And punk is a commodity. I never thought I would see the day when punk was just another commodity. I assume we will have the Sex Pistols playing at the Republican Convention soon. Well, considering that the Pistols and the Republicans are both destructive nihilists, maybe it will all make sense after all.

You gotta hand it to the capitalists. They can commodify anything. I mean a capitalist could put “Revolution” on a t-shirt with Che’s picture on it, sell it at a major chain store and make $1 million. What an amazing system.

Marx praised capitalism to the skies. He just thought it was immoral and ultimately not sustainable. He never said it didn’t work.

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Filed under California, Capitalism, Economics, Music, Politics, Punk, Regional, Republicans, Rock, US Politics, USA, West

TSOL, “Code Blue”

I actually like this song. From 1981. I saw them live in concert in Fall 1981. The concert was at a football stadium in Santa Ana, California. They were playing on the field at the finish line. We sneaked into the concert by climbing a fence and going under some barriers. Then we ran on the field right next to where the band was playing. Some of the bouncers look at us like, “Dudes come on man,” and ran over to us but we ditched them and ran up into the stands. There were other guys doing it too. It was cool! A bunch of people sneaking into the concert! What a punk thing to do – sneak  into a punk rock concert without paying!

PS. They were good.

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Filed under Music, Punk, Rock