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VA 1996

October - December 1997 Live Reviews




BLEED - 10/03/97

OCTOBER 3rd, 1997


21 & [email protected] Safari Nite Club


Red Max from Lincoln came out first and got our motors running with their feverish Hot Rod Rock-a-Billie. They put me in the mind of the Rev. before they got signed to Sub Pop and lost the character. Hard hitting, we don't pull any punches rock-n-roll.


Bleed is a different case in point. They are a three piece from Beer City Milwaukee, WI. Roy Orbson meets George Throgood. Gritty dark soulful. Quiet, ugly and mournful danger of the kid that never fit in. Like the Fonz from Happy Days on a three day binge with Lux from the Cramps. It doesn't make complete sense but it's original and dangerous. In other words it's Rock-n-Roll baby, so grab that pint of Whiskey, the switchblade, the hand gun and have a really good bad time. Oh and did I mention that Bart plays a three piece drum set and plays standing up.


Quincy Punx / Blank 77 - 10/09/97

OCTOBER 9th, 1997




ALL [email protected] Safari Nite Club



21 & OVER


Ok this was the last Have Nots show. We all had just had enough and you get to a point were you have to say, "Are we having fun or should we be a business". Well, I always said that when I stopped having a good time it was over and the good time was over. Plus with Gerg and Paul in SlipKnot there was always a problem with finding time to practice. We hit the stage and stumbled through our set and ended with Paul breaking his guitar (and a piece cutting open my leg) and Greg pulling me into his drum set. Ugly and over.


The Blanks hit the stage next. This is a band that really doesn't do a hell of a lot for me live. Their records are a great deal better. this may be due in a large part playing really drunk. To add to the mess it was their guitarist birthday. She ended up passed out on the dressing room stairs. As if there wasn't a big enough mess the Q Punx throw confetti all over the stage. It was nice to see Sue Blank again, she's so cute and nice.


The Quincy Punx were fighting the whole day. Something about someone hitting someones tattoo but the tension of the tour was really getting to them. They announced this would be their last show and to not blink cause you'd miss it. They played about 3 songs and I went to the bathroom and when I came back all their equipment was in piles all over the stage.


The late show was a bit of a fuzz. I remember doing shots with the Quincy Punx and Bob trying to kiss me on the mouth. It was ugly. I can't for the life of me remember anything about UFOFU or the Tomorrow people but I do remember watching some of Bobgoblins set. I had seen them before and they are a power pop band with a hip stage set up. They all wear coveralls (sound familiar? SlipKnot?) and have all these TVs. I remember watching them and thinking that it looked like they were playing on the beach cause the confetti looked like sand.


Teenage Frames / Chicken Hawks - 10/11/97

OCTOBER 11th, 1997



21 & OVER @ Safari Nite Club


The Chicken Hawks after cancelling time and time again made it for once. They're from Souix City and it's hard to not make the Cramps reference. Peter laying those simple riffs and blazing guitar solos in that mid-60s Keith Richards kinda way with beautiful fetish calendar girl Bessy telling us all about sex, Minneapolis and life in Siouxicide City. All the while the back beat just keeps on coming. It's enough to drive any teenage boy to a life of crime.


What can I say about the true greatness of the Teenage Frames other then their the best thing Chicago has given to me for a long time. After seeing them close to about ten times now, they still got me answering the question, "Who's got the action?" "then teenage Frames". adding a great deal to the night was the Sioux City crew that came down and gave the locals a taste of that whole Sioux City thing.


At The Drive-In 10/20/97

OCTOBER 20th, 1997



All Ages @ Safari Nite Club


Rocket Fuel is the Key, I got that song of theirs stuck in my head for three weeks. It's really too bad these guys are not around anymore. I miss them and that crazy cat kinda thing they do.


I had a dream about ATDI a couple of weeks ago in which they were super heroes and were being hunted down by the CIA (I was reading the Watchman). Any way no one will ever be able to make a power house like this again. They are the band without a flaw. If I could be in a band it would be this one.


Humpers / Neckbones - 10/24/97 






21 & Over @ Safari Nite Club


I always tried to promote shows that would be events and this one was just that an event. By far one of the best show I've ever done.


First up was the r-n-r powerhouse of the Forgotten Boys proving that too often the best bands in Iowa come from Sioux City. Though I could have done without the Guns-n-Roses cover. What's with the Glam thing in SC anyway.


The Short Fuses are from Minneapolis and prove that not all bands from there suck just 98% of them. Punk-N-Roll with a female front. They lost me at times with their almost Muffs style stuff but by far the best band I've seen the Twin Cities produce in years (maybe they're from St Paul like the Quincy Punx).


Next up was Fat Possums Neckbones. They're a hardcore redneck blues punk band almost in the vain of the Crypt bands. Just how they got on Epitaph's blues label is a mystery. An even bigger mystery is why Epitaph bought a blues label. I had missed them the last time they played the club and let me tell ya I wish I could have made it to see them the other time too.


Little did I or anyone else at the club that night know that this would be the last time the Humpers would play Des Moines. I remember the way the news hit me that they were breaking up. It was like telling a kid that Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and the tooth Fairy were all dead. One less reason to get up in the morning and one less thing to look forward to. Viva La Humpers. They were burning like a wooden flame that night. This was the fourth time I had enjoyed the full weight of the mighty Humpers and the best show I have seen. In years to come their shows well become legends, like seeing the Heartbreakers in 78 or the Weirdos in 79. If you missed them when they were around I pity you. They pulled no punches with upper cuts of Wake up and Lose, 13 Forever, Fast Fucked and Furious, Sarcasmatron, Plastique Valentine, For Lovers Only and Make-up.




THE B-MOVIE RATS - 11/11/97

NOVEMBER 11th, 1997


ALL [email protected] Safari Nite Club


This was the last all ages show under Shawn and the turnout sucked ass. Pochinko is a noise band from Madison and they have a heavy trans like sound. They were good but a little to overweight for my taste.


Now the B-Movie Rats were something I was looking forward to like a kid wanting for Christmas. Their a straight from the hip rapid fire Punk-N-Roll band from Los Angeles. The Devil Dogs comes to mind when I think of these guys. They killed ya with a tight grip around your throat that will shake you into next Thursday. If you ever get the privilege of seeing these guys and decide to stay home and rent video's instead., don't delay, Kill Yourself, cause it's obvious you don't want to live.


The last Night of Shawnish 11/15/97








21 & [email protected] Safari Nite Club


Don't ever complain about what you got cause some day it may disappear. Live that brothers and sisters. Even though Jake took over the club and has done an ok job of it, without Shawn things will never be the same again. I remember when Shawn came into the shop and told me that he was buying the club from Tony. There was fire in his eyes. The same fire I saw time and time again. That fire burns under that mask he puts on before SlipKnot hits the stage and the same fire that burns through their set everything. It's a "Fuck it, fuck shit up" fire.


Des Moines was a ghost town since the Foundry closed their doors in 1995 and the candle of Hairy Mary's went out forever. For a while we all sat around twiddling our thumbs and ran from dump to dump looking for a home for live music.


I'm not sure just when the scene started to take over Safari but I do remember the first time Radio Caroline plyed there back in the spring of 96. Safari was to the most part a Reggae club and had a bit of a rough drug-trading rep. The owner at the time Tony Trenell(sp?) saw that it was time for a change and started to hire employees outside the Reggae scene. I believe the first one from the scene to start working there was Barry as bar manager. He bagan to hire others from the scene including Joey Hollywood, Lanny and Paul.


The other change was having Bull book the club and who brought in a more rock-n-roll acts. Like with any format change it brought a lot of backlash from the regulars. It was at this time that SlipKnot, Going to Grandmas, Squid Boy, Radio Caroline, The Have Nots and many other local bands played their first shows there. Bull who has a great love for power pop and power punk brought in groups like Fast Ball, House Of Large Sizes and Tribe 8. Also others began to book like Doug and Michelle from Spank bring Blount, Glue Gun and The Fixtures and proved that All Ages can work and the last Total Passover show.


I think it was around August or so when Bull moved to Minneapolis and booking went back to Tony. The difference was that bands began to take it upon themselves to set up their own shows and pick openers. I began booking (again) regional all age shows in October mainly because our band wanted to play all age shows. The first show I did at Safari was Victim's Anonymous, Going to Grandmas, The Have Nots, Dr Castro and The Skull Caps. Well over 150 kids showed up and the Axiom was in the promoting business bringing bands like Isaac Green and the Skalars, Hot Stove Jimmy, Fi Fi and Welt.


Shawn bought the bar and took over on February 1st, 1997 with the Murphy's Law show. The first thing he did was to give the club a new paint job and expand the stage. The Have Nots got to be the first band to spill beer and play on the newly carpeted stage.


This was the beginning of the renovations including a new floor in the back of the club, moving and building a new stage and building a new shell for the stage side of the club. Turning the ramshackle mess into a club that looked like a rock-n-roll club. Also he added a new sound and lighting system.


The other thing that Shawn did was he didn't listen to the crowd of people telling him that he couldn't do that. By bringing (along with me) national act and name acts into the club that have never played Des Moines let alone Iowa. It moved Safari from being a regional club to a national club in a short 8 months.


So that brings us to the night in question November 15th, 1997. Shawn told me a few weeks earlier that he was closing and selling because of the club taking up too much of his time that he should be spending on his band SlipKnot. SlipKnot was in fact just starting to take off and it came down to a juggling act between the club and the band. So I called and cancelled the calendar of everything set up after the 15th and settled in for the funeral.


I got there late as usual and I believe it was Movtov Cocktail had already played. The club was packed (why is it that every time a club closes everyone comes out. Is it just me or is there a crowd of people that only come out when a club closes).


As far as bands go I don't really remember much other then the Rejects set. It was the first time I saw Paul filling in on bass. I guess I haven't reviewed the Rejects yet. Well it's Joey's (Have Nots/SlipKnot) band that has been off and on for god like 4 years now. They do a kinda Glamy punk with joke songs about drugs, sex and etc.. They"re always fun but too often the jokes wear thin to say the least. Anyway the highlight was Shawn's sing along to their song Fuck Her Up the Ass.


Shawn had vowed to leave the club open until all the booze was gone. So the place was packed well into the night. I'm still trying to piece together just what all happened due to the fact that I was very loaded. I do remember Shawn getting up on the bar and doing a toast with everyone of Old Crow (Shawn has this thing for Crows). It involved having everyone hold up there drinks while Shawn (quite drunk) tried to give a toast. Josh from SlipKnot had a Bachelor party that night and Shawn and Paul were both really gone to say the least. Paul at some point passed out on the stage and Shawn woke him up. Then the bottle throwing and fighting part of the evening began. I remember there being well over 50 people there and then when Shawn and Paul began to break things the bar cleared faster then a church on Super Bowl Sunday. The Paul/Shawn thing went on and on.


Mick (Slipknot) at some point said something to me that pushed me over the edge. I remember taking off my glasses and then turning around and hitting him a number of times. Then falling into some broken glass and cutting the fuck out of my back (I still have the scar. Funny how every time some thing ends lately I get a scar or at least bleed). The whole thing was stupid and I never really had anything against Mick but it was just the fact a of him and me being in the wrong place at the wrong time. To be truthful we get along better now then before.


At some point the let's break up the fight between Paul and Shawn thing ended and they let them go at it. It was short and ended with them kissing and making up. Maybe this should be called the night of the living male bonding or bonding rites.


Eventually everyone left and it was down to Pette, Kevin and me. Kevin passed out in the women's restroom. Since Kevin was the only one with a key and the door was locked we ended up waiting around till I called Shawn and gave up and left some where around 6am.




U.S. BOMBS / DROPKICK MURPHY'S - 12/9/97 - Sioux City, Ia


Well this show was first set up to be at the Safari, but when Shawn called it quits(on November 15th) I contacted Dave and Peter to have it moved to Sioux City. The thing that sucks is this is one of the shows that people were looking forward to. The other show I was sad to see go was Nashiville Pussy but easy come easy go I guess.


Anyway I hit the road with Frank (who drove) and my girl Jessica. The weather was shitty but about 20 or 30 miles later we stopped at a truck stop to get beer and ran right into the Bombs. It was cool that they remembered me and we caught up a bit and then hit the road. I downed a few beers as I watched the snow start coming down.


Got to the hall and no one was there, so we hit this Mexican place up the street and got more beer. When we got back to the hall the bands were setting up and we decided to hit the Red Room. The Red Room is this red neck bar up the street that is a cross between a Twin Peaks set and a bar out of Bar Flys. We hit the Scotch and Sodas and talked about life and the Bombs and etc... After a buzz was caught by all we headed back to the hall.


I grabbed the Spank tape recorder and tracked down Kerry and did an interview which is in Spank #24. I thought it went well but when your drunk everything seems to go well doesn't it. We finished just in time to see the Drop Kick Murphy's. The buzz I had heard was they were like an American Stiff Little Fingers mixed with Irish. Being a fan of SLF it goes without saying that I dug them. They busted out an Oi sound with a few traditional Irish songs for taste. After buying the CD I have to say that they are a band that conveys the songs better live. I guess that they broke up and I haven't heard the Hell Cat release yet but if you have had a chance to see these guys and stayed home, you're a loser.


Now for the U.S. Bombs, they are by far the last great OC punk band. Screw all that old school east coast Oi! shit. I have always thought that the main difference between east coast and west coast was the west coast had better songwriters and this band proves it. They did it all from stuff off the first LP and EP to the new stuff. Duane was and is true state of being falling all over. Darby Crashing it with the mic ain't working thing to forgetting lyrics. Anyone else and it would have destroyed the show but with him it's a strong part of the show. They closed with my favorite "So Long Good Bye" and left.


The ride home was hell, Frank was too drunk to drive, so I took over. We stopped at the same truck stop and this time ran into Dropkick Muirphys. It was strange. Got home and went to bed after a well spent day.

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