|Martin Roper of Anti-Pasti at Godzilla's. (Fer Youz photos)|
Three bands had already played. The alcohol had worn off. It was late and everybody was dead tired -- some punks were even taking naps on a raised carpeted area of the dingy Godzilla's club in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California on Jan. 1, 1982.
We were waiting. And waiting and waiting .... 11 o'clock... midnight...
But we would not be denied the chance to see England's Anti-Pasti on this Saturday evening-- which would eventually turn into the next morning. Me, my brother Ed and one or two others in our crew would have to deal with our parents' tired eyes and groans about missing curfew later, though. We'd most definitely be grounded for the following weekend or two, and there'd be additional chores to do, of course.
We'd heard Anti-Pasti's tune "No Government" on Rodney's show on KROQ the weekend before, and dammit, we wanted that song blasting into our ears in a live setting now--- now!!
Anti-Pasti was on the way, we were told; they were traveling from San Francisco, after having played there the night before. So we stuck it out, just staring at the empty stage with bloodshot eyes, a partial (once huge) wave of anticipation and bits of anger rumbling around inside of us.
|John Kezdy and Earl "Oil" Letiecq of the Effigies at Godzilla's. They were introduced as a "skinhead band from Chicago."|
Earlier in the evening, we were treated to the sounds of Chicago's Effigies-- a band we'd heard about in the zines and they quickly became one of my favorites. Earl "Oil" Letiecq's guitar sound was crisp and raging all at once and John Kezdy's intense vocal delivery pricked up our ears and had us nodding our heads and raising fists of approval in his direction. (Circle One and the Crewd played, as well, according to my handwritten list of shows from '81-'85.)
So the night wore on ... and then singer Martin Roper and the seemingly elusive Anti-Pasti finally took the stage at about 12:30 a.m. or so and tore through a stellar set. I remember there being a small crowd on hand, people raising their heads from their slumber, yawning and summoning enough energy from their spent bodies to fully appreciate the British quartet.
About half way through the set, the moment arrived ... that's right, "No Government." We looked at each other and smiled, knowing that we got what we wanted, but at the same time knew this would be the end of the night for us. We'd now have to make the lengthy, dreaded drive back home to Redondo Beach and face our parents. And those fucking chores the next day.
I'm sure that while I was vacuuming the house or cleaning the garage, I was humming that Anti-Pasti tune in my head the whole time. Chores be damned, but at least we've got some great music to accompany us, right?