A couple weeks ago I confessed on a thread that I had no idea what football player beat up who. And I really did have no idea, I’d missed the whole appalling thing. Which meant I had no idea what these people on this particular thread were all raving about. And they were raving, words gushed out in the hundreds, the thousands, torrents of angry words. Flabbergasted at my ignorance, they turned on me, fairly outraged that I could so be out of touch. I apologized and sputtered something about not being an NFL fan. Neither, it turned out, were any of them…though, apparently, that was quite beside the point. It’s all over the news, they said. So I apologized and said I don’t really watch the TV news. Neither did they, they said…except this time. Well, I’ve been busy. It was a feeble excuse, and I could almost see them rolling their eyes and sighing. They threw themselves back into heated discussion. So and so should be jailed. So and so should be fired. So and so should sue them for everything they’ve got. I quietly slipped away. The Red Queen was coming, a blind and aimless fury.
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.
The sleeve to the Brother Brick Says single by my brother Jon’s band, Claw Hammer. The long haired cat on the left is the prick who started it…he lit out quick and avoided the pounding he deserved. Used to see him slinking around, followed by a bunch of kids who for some reason idolized the guy. He gave off that weird Manson vibe…if you hang around the underground scene long enough you run into types like him. I figure he’s either in prison or a lawyer by now. Maybe a preacher. Maybe dead.