Our Creative Team!

Sheree (Scaree) Allen and Ellen (EllieBatt) Thompson are two amazingly creative and charismatic Ladies who want to show you the local color, share great art and music, create through their collective psychosis... and direct you toward all the things your Mother warned you about - especially Rock 'n' Roll!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The 30th Anniversary of THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION - as performed by the Eat My Fuks

A Loving Tribute!
July 30th – The Pond - Franklin, Tennessee

In the dark days of 1981, an unknown independent filmmaker by the name of Penelope Spheeris shook up our cozy, sanitized little existence with the release of her documentary about the underground local punk rock scene in the southern California streets and suburbs. Featuring concert footage of legendary Los Angeles punk bands of the day (X, Circle Jerks, Fear, The Germs, The Alice Bag Band, Catholic Discipline, Black Flag) and interspersed with interviews of band members, the publishers of Slash Fanzine, and the young punks who made up the majority of the audience, the film was a social statement, offering a look into a growing subculture that was sick of having been force-fed the bloated carcasses of commercial rock, and was, for the most part, largely ignored by both the corporate music industry and media of the time - and was actually considered a dangerous threat by the authorities.

This movie caused such uproar at the time that the city’s infamous police chief, Daryl Gates, wrote letters to the local theaters, demanding the film not be shown anywhere in southern California, for fear of riots and outright anarchy in the streets.

Three decades later, Chief Gates is long-gone and forgotten… and Spheeris’s epic film has grown to cult status the world over. 

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of Spheeris’s seminal punk rock movie, local Nashville musicians, the EAT MY FUKS – an impressive who’s who of old school punk luminaries from present and past Nashville bands (including Children Shouldn’t Die, The Exotic Ones, Rednecks in Pain, The Creeping Cruds, Fun Girls from Mount Pilot, Committee for Public Safety, I am Sabot, Cretin Grims, 9 Parts Devil, and Scrotum Dog) mashed together to create what us oldsters affectionately refer to as an "AARPunk-approved hardcore band." But that little bit of gray on their heads didn’t signal any slacking decreptitude whatsoever – the EAT MY FUKS proved that PUNK ROCK IS NOT DEAD!

For those of us old geezers who were there the first time this went around, it was a gas to reignite the booze-driven fires of youth that have not (as yet!) flickered out.
Oi! We're desperate (for more PBR)!
The gig was full of heart, piss and vinegar (and copious amounts of Pabst Blue Ribbon) made magic with a running video of the movie projected on a large screen behind the stage as live music melded perfectly to a veritable punk rock cornucopia of songs. 
Please be advised you will be filmed. Blah blah blah.
Here, the old guard showed the new kids what real talent and devotion meant in honor of this landmark film. Back in the day, when MTV was in its infancy (and you could actually see punk rock videos played on the channel!), it was all about teen angst and rebellion in Bible-thumpin,' Regan-era America … but today, for those of us nearing that 50-something age mark, it was all we could do not to break our half-century old hips as we slammed gently to the frenetic energy given off in abundance, and gave beer-soaked bellows of glee each time the iconic Eugene appeared onscreen, which added a humorous element to this incredible show.

And what a show it was - definitely the best punk show we’ve seen in a very, very long while! We felt like we were back home in Los Angeles and even developed a case of the nostalgic chill bumps up and down our spines. 

Highlights included a fantastic homage to The Germs’s lead shrieker Darby Crash by Children Shouldn’t Die’s Mike Sims, who reveled in his perhaps too-convincing performance of 'Manimal' by faux-drunkenly slurring the lyrics, and falling bodily across tables, into patron’s laps and then onto the stage floor. 
Mike Sims and Troy Guinn
Mike teeters ...

Mike, Crash-ed out!

Audience members wondered aloud if he was really that drunk – it was fucking hilarious to see their bemused nervousness of Sims’s Crash-inspired antics!

Children Shouldn’t Die’s Melysa Baucom and The Exotic Ones’ Troy Guinn delivered solid chunks of creamy X goodness, executing their best Exene/John Doe chops of several songs, including 'Johnny Hit and Run Pauline' and 'We’re Desperate' to perfection as the Creeping Cruds resident guitar god, Jeano Roid Coffinberry, chopped chords like the Devil himself.
Melysa and Troy hit and run it
The kick-ass Baucom later returned to stir up some wholesome punk rock shit with Fear’s 'I Don't Care About You.'
Melysa recruits while Charles affirms
 Wolfie Von Crud (lead howler from The Creeping Cruds) did Lee Ving proud by successfully ripping to bloody shreds a cavalcade of Fear songs, including 'Beef Baloney' and everyone’s heartwarming punk favorite, the anthemic 'I Love Livin' in the City.'
Wolfie howls for Beef Baloney while Jeano shreds!
 Let’s not neglect to mention the stellar performance by Rednecks in Pain’s Charles Tidball and his array of Circle Jerks songs. Tidball had the audience and the entire slam pit up front of the stage in a writhing whirl with his powerful Keith Morris-inflected vocals.
Charles doesn't care about you. No, actually, he does!
 "Just like how nursing homes make the residents do the 'YMCA' and 'Get Physical' in the name of exercise, in 30 years from now, they’ll be doing a circle skank to 'Blitzkrieg Bop,'" Tidball quipped. 

9 Parts Devil’s lead crooner Dave Willie delivered a one-two punch, first with his surprising rendition of a finger snappin,’ agro-lounge version of the old Misfits gem, 'Skulls' (joined in with a very harmonic Mike Sims) and then later slamming with the best of them to a litany of Black Flag songs with a ladies’ nylon stocking pulled over his head for startling effect.
Dave wants your skull... he needs your skull!
And the hardest working drummer in the biz award goes to Mark Medley, who threw down the beat for everyone with nary a break in between!
Mark Medley, man of steel (and sticks)!
 Warm punk rock fuzzies were had all around! Music City’s best of the best hinted that another performance of the DECLINE tribute was already in the works… we sure as fuck hope so! Our solitary complaint about this steaming-hot, summer night’s show was that it ended far too soon for our liking. We want to know if this will indeed pan out, because you can count on us being there, raising our fists as high as our ancient, arthritic joints will allow as we continue to mosh, clinging to our walkers, shouting out our amended version of the old punk rock credo:

Live Fast! Die… eventually.

And one last thing we all wanted to know that went unanswered was: what the FUK ever happened to Eugene???
- Sheree Allen and Ellie Gee
Photos by Ellie Gee and Carl Lambert
Photo of original boxcover of THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION 
property of Penelope Spheeris

***NOTE: There has in fact been another DECLINE tribute scheduled on October 1st at Foobar in East Nashville! Don't be a poser, be there!

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