Saturday, December 28, 2013

Lucky 13 from 2013: Photo Year in Review


Here we go... Cat Rose photos galore from some of our 2013 gig outings. Enjoy --- and Happy New Year!

We're looking forward to some new gig action in 2014!


Orange Goblin

Die Kreuzen

Holy Grove



Black Flag



Exene and Eddie Vedder

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Quotes of Note, 2013

DOA's Joey "Shithead" Keithley. (Cat Rose photo)

We surely covered the bases this year here at There's Something Hard in There central.

Here's some key quotes from our interviews:

* DOA's Joey "Shithead" Keithley on what's kept the band going for 35 years:
DOA is really held together all these years by many rolls of gaffe tape (laughter).

It's really a political philosophy, I guess. One of the big things about DOA, there always had to be a sense of camaraderie, being friends with the other people in the band. My philosophy really is just to get up there and try and enact change. One that I really take as my example is one of my heroes would be Pete Seeger. That guy has been going at for a good 70 years doing great things for people from being an activist, to being a great songwriter, to teaching people music, reviving folk music at various times. Just doing a lot of really, really cool stuff with his voice and his banjo and his ability. So if I can end up doing a quarter of what he did, I think I'd be doing really, really well.

* Jerry A., Poison Idea: 
I just recently in the last 10 years or so, got into having little dogs. I fucking love dogs, man, they're so loyal, they're cute little things. I might write a song about fucking loyalty, you know? It's just shit that pops up. I'm not gonna write something like, 'Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,' (laughter) but I might write something with the theme.

* Carol van Dijk, Bettie Serveert: 
Playing live shows is a very emotional thing for us, because the songs are emotional. We interact and feed on each others' playing, as well.
People have asked me why I often close my eyes while singing… well, it’s because a lot of the time I can see the "story" behind the lyrics like a movie playing in my mind. As if it was projected on the inside of my eyelids.

Bettie Serveert's Carol van Dijk. (Courtesy of Sjors-Schuitemaker)

* Martyn Millard, Orange Goblin:
I saw Pink Floyd twice, both of them blew my mind. I saw Floyd when I was 12 at Wembley Stadium, in 1987 at the 'Momentary Lapse of Reason' tour. My dad took me. I knew who they were, and my dad was into Sabbath and Floyd and Yes and all this prog stuff, Atomic Rooster and stuff like that, so he said, 'You're going and I'm taking you.' And he kind of marched me in almost. Wembley Stadium, there's a soccer pitch, and they had a dog track to race dogs, and then a wall where the seating were. He took me in and stood me on the wall, I was only 12, and said, 'I'll see you afterwards.' And it blew my mind, it really was just incredible.

Orange Goblin's Martyn Millard. (Cat Rose photo)

* Kraut's Doug Holland on opening for the Clash in 1981:
Donny (Cowan)...was banging the chick in charge, no, no...He had a fine relation and she was a great asset. Not only did she get us in every night, she gave Mick Jones our demo...which Mick loved! He asked, 'Are they Nazi?'...NO!!!...'Sure! put them on the bill.' The show was the first time ever anyone of us played in front of people. It was all a dream...One that will stay in my heart forever.

* Paul Mahern, Zero Boys:
I was really obsessed with recording equipment. As early as probably 13 years old, I would go to the news stand and sit (and read) the recording magazines and fantasize about big boards and tape machines and equipment. And that was always more important to me than learning how to really play an instrument or become a virtuoso musician.

* Big Country's Jamie Watson on Stuart Adamson:
To be honest, Stuart used to play guitar and I would always watch him and say, "Oh, man, he's a great guitar player," but when they were recording at Rockfield, Stuart would sit and play the Playstation and computer games with you. He preferred to do things like that than going out and socializing as much. He liked to sit and have fun with the children. When we took days off, he took us out to the theme park with my mom and dad and his kids, and we all went out to this place called Alton Towers and we went round and spent the whole day there and hired a car. Just pretty much having a laugh-- him and Callum (Stuart's son) were great at cracking jokes together. So, we all miss him.

* Jason Farrell, Red Hare:
My style of guitar and the songs I would write in each of these bands has had a lot to do with the equipment I was playing at the time. It's brutal trying to play fast metal riffs on super thick stings.... I thought maybe I just couldn't do it anymore. But one day on a lark, I strung up my old SG with some 9's in regular E tuning and there it was again; the perfect weight and tension... the bounce-back and butter for fast "chubb-chubbs."

Red Hare's Jason Farrell. (Andy photo)

* Diesel Boy's Dave Lake on filming the "Freaks and Geeks" episode:
We had a blast that day. Compared to our usual unglamorous life on the road, being on a TV set was awesome. There was food (all you could eat), someone did our hair, people wiped the sweat off our brows in between takes and everybody watching us went totally apeshit while we played. I remember sitting at lunch with Jake (Kasdan) and eating with him while the rest of the crew looked on totally perplexed, trying to sort out just exactly why the punk band was sitting with the director.

* Brandon Cruz (ex-Dr. Know, Dead Kennedys singer) on seeing old friends and places:
You can go there again, there's no rules with punk rock. It's probably why so many of us were into it and are still into it and are still affected by it, because it gave us this freedom to just kind of start something new and try something different.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Top gig: Circle Jerks and TSOL, 1981

Courtesy of

By Andy

Why not dive in head first, right?

You've only got one first punk gig, so you might as well go with the Circle Jerks and TSOL at the legendary Starwood on Santa Monica Boulevard in West  Hollywood.

At age 14, just a freshman in high school, I was primed for some live action from two of my new favorite bands. My brother Ed, two years older than me, had already dipped his combat boots into the sea of punk gigs and he brought me and one of his friends along on this Tuesday night adventure on April 21, 1981.

I've got to admit, I was a bit scared to walk upon this punk terrain, which I'd heard was pretty rough-and-tumble. Would I be welcomed? Would I make it out unscathed?... ha ha

I'd already envisioned the brilliant chaos in my mind while listening to the Circle Jerks' "Group Sex" LP and TSOL's first EP. I was going through with it.

Since it was a school night, we had to convince our parents to let us out of the house. Do you say you're going to a rowdy punk gig in Hollywood? Hell no. You do inform them that you'll be attending a Major League Baseball game pitting the California Angels against the Seattle Mariners at the "Big A" in Anaheim. The M's beat the Angels, 3-0, on that night, and we made sure to catch the score on the radio on the way home in case we were grilled about our evening.

So, we get to the gig, and while we waited for the line to form, some drunk or strung-out guy wearing pink satin pajamas danced out front and was chased around by a handful of punks. If my memory serves me correctly, he was also on the receiving end of a few punches, but nothing too damaging, and he ran away up the alley.

While in line, I noticed one girl with part of her head shaved and bits of hair perfectly forming the Black Flag bars. I pointed it out to Ed, who said to not speak of it because of the Circle Jerks/Black Flag rivalry that was in the air after Keith Morris formed the CJs after leaving Black Flag.

As I took each step toward the front of the line, I was excited and nervous all at once about what would soon happen inside the club.

When we made our way into the tightly packed concert room, I left Ed and his pal on the dance floor (which would soon see plenty of crazy action), and strolled off by myself and stood behind the railing that split the floor in half. Safety, I thought, but not too far away from the bands. I had to ease in to this new world.

TSOL came on and killed it, playing the tunes I dug like "Superficial Love," "World War III" and more. Singer Jack Grisham sported white makeup on his face and was quite the showman: equal parts rage and sarcasm. He taunted the crowd with finger pointing and screams, but later flowed around the stage, offering a silly dance and smile. The anger quickly returned, though, as the band played at a frenzied pace and the crowd bashed along to the beat.

Before the Circle Jerks began, one woman standing next to me asked if I was OK, and I said I was fine. Maybe I looked nervous, who knows?

When Morris and the CJs hit the stage, I was definitely energized. I mouthed the lyrics to myself and patted my hand against my leg, but remained behind the railing. I was amazed at how the band raged while playing so tight. Guitarist Greg Hetson and bassist Roger Rogerson jumped up and down and drummer Lucky Lehrer shredded away with a wild look on his face. Morris had his usual beer in hand and was as manic as I thought he would be on stage -- turns out my grade-school buddy Tony Ford (who often collected the donations at church sporting engineer boots and a leather jacket) was right.

To top off the CJs' set, Ed hopped up on stage, ran across it and dove into the crowd during "Paid Vacation." That was the best part of the gig, for sure -- it was more gnarly than anything Angels' first baseman Rod Carew could achieve that night.

Courtesy photos

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Top gig: Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, MDC, Zero Boys, The Detonators -- 1982 at Alpine Village, Torrance, CA

From the TSHIT collection.

The Barn at Alpine Village in 2015. (Ed Nystrom photo)

By Andy

You couldn't have scripted a more stellar Saturday -- or any day for that matter.

Like most summer days of my youth, July 3, 1982 featured a bodysurfing session at the beach, this time in South Redondo with a few pals.

As the waves rolled in over the several-hour session that afternoon, I took my share of nice rides and my body took a pounding copious times, which meant that I was getting the full experience of tangling with the ocean.

Hanging out at the beach was a crucial part of our youth and we never wanted those long days under the sun to end. However, sometimes those days were time-killers as we were filled with anxiety -- nearly jumping out of our skin -- thinking about what the night would bring.

And, oh what a night (thanks Four Seasons) we had in store.

We were finally -- finally! -- going to see Minor Threat, our favorite hardcore punk unit from Washington, DC. They had canceled a previous tour and broken up, but they were back in full force to give the Los Angeles area a dose of ferocious, in-your-face tunes from the Nation's Capitol. We were primed, to say the least.

And, oh yeah, the Dead Kennedys, MDC, Zero Boys and The Detonators were also on the bill. Talk about a blockbuster!

My brother Ed, myself and a few others piled into our yellow Gremlin for the quick ride from our North Redondo home to Torrance, home of the sprawling German shopping bourg Alpine Village, which featured The Barn, our gig spot for the evening.

We knew this place for its baseball batting cages (I once broke an aluminum bat while connecting on a 90 mph pitch there in my senior year of high school) and its cheesy commercials that ran at halftime of the "Soccer Made in Germany" broadcasts on UHF TV. Welshman Toby Charles announced those games, and we always loved the way he pronounced teams like Borussia Monchengladbach and his sayings, like, "He takes another bite of the cherry!" when the player scored a rebound goal. (Cat and I ventured to Germany last April to witness a Monchengladbach match in person -- a dream come true, but I digress...)

Our punk orators on this night would be Jello Biafra, Ian MacKaye, Dave Dictor (MDC), Paul "Z" Mahern (Zero Boys) and Mike Mooney (The Detonators).

Key comments before the bands began had to be, "How the fuck did they get this gig here?" .... and "Who the fuck cares." Right?

So, we had Redondo Beachers The Detonators opening and they tore through songs off their walloping, Stiff Little Fingers-like "Emergency Broadcast Systems" LP. Bassist Bruce Hartnell would take over vocals a year or two later and would act as a mentor of sorts to me during my band Sorex's run.

Next up were the Zero Boys from Indianapolis, Ind., a fantastic, raging punk-pop band that we heard on Maximum RocknRoll's radio show. "New Generation" was the tune we knew and we pushed our way up front to sing along with Paul Z, who I remember sporting black-and-white checkered slip-on Vans -- fuckin' Spicoli-style, man.

Zero Boys setlist from the TSHIT collection.

MDC were new to us, but it didn't take long for baldheaded Dictor and crew to get the crowd moving with tunes like "John Wayne Was a Nazi," "Corporate Deathburger," "Dick for Brains" and many others from that crucial first LP. I remember some pretty violent slamdancing going on during that set, but our friend Mark managed to sludge his way up front to take some pics. (I don't have access to them now, but I recall them looking cool.)

Minor Threat tore it up, of course. However, this was a rare occurrence when I couldn't weasel my way up front because there were so many people there and no openings for me to make it to the promised land. I watched from the middle of the crowd and dug it, but was also a bit pissed that I couldn't get the full effect of their tunes from the front. Oh, well, but that wasn't the end of the Minor Threat road for me as I saw them three more times on that tour in San Diego, the Valley and San Pedro. Those intimate gigs are highlights of my punk-rock life, for sure.

I've never been a huge DKs fan aside from the first LP, but Jello and his boys always satisfy live. Killer musicianship on stage and pure chaos in the crowd is what you get, and how can you not be stoked on that? I distinctly remember Jello diving into the crowd during one song, and as he was being carried by the sweaty throng, he never missed a word as he passionately sang into the microphone. A job well done.

A few years later, my friend Winston and I hit up The Barn to watch an early morning World Cup soccer match with the local German men. It was an interesting scene as we sat in a small room tucked away upstairs, eyeing the TV and drinking bottled beers.

After the match, I walked around the place and stood near the front of the stage and recalled that evening when Minor Threat came to town.

Alpine Village in 2015. (All Ed Nystrom photos)