I wore one of Claude Van Damme’s jackets for years. A team jacket, a heavy thing, all lined and hip and cool and big shouldered. A friend swiped it from his dressing room. It was an extra, he never missed it (or so she told me.) That was my pre-blazer look. A Claude Van Damme jacket, Italian army boots and, at the time, strong as an ox. Stupid as an ox, too, but we’re talking looks here, not brains. Anyway, there’s a photo of me wading into a brawl, breaking it up. Probably about 1987. Some asshole punks had hauled the longhair soundman down to the floor by his ponytail and were kicking the shit out of him. It was ugly, vicious, cowardly. I started pulling them off of him. It was like tossing dolls across a room. One of them took a swing at me. I went to hit him, realized I could kill him just like that, so I bitch slapped him. Whack, whack. He crumpled, the room went silent, nobody moved. I went back to the bar, the band started up and it was like nothing had happened.
Violence is a weird thing, man, a weird thing.
I always wondered where that photo was taken. Great story.
Hey Bob…yeah, that was the Anti-Club. I used to record a lot of the shows there on a boom box. I probably have that moment on cassette somewhere. It wasn’t as Claw Hammer gig. Anyway, the experience came in handy later during my jazz critic career.