Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Drawings of old Denver Punk Bands

Losing a story.

I almost cried last week. At our home in Ethiopia we use something just a little better than dial-up for internet, it’s called a dongle. You insert it into your USB port and on a good day you have a slow connection. Recently, inserting and pulling out the dongle (no sexual puns intended) has caused my computer to shut down.

Last week’s Frantix post was premature, it was intended for another time. The original segment was intended to wrap-up Idiot’s Revenge and transition into the split and growth of the Denver scene during the mid-80's. I was really happy with the way it was shaping-up, it was a coherent argument. I put several long hours into the story and was ready to let it rest before moving on to the revision. That same afternoon I started working on the Frantix story. At the end of a day I usually try, if the internet gods allow me to do so, check e-mail before going to bed. It was a bust. I pulled out the dongle and the computer restarted. A hassle, but seldom fatal.

I woke up the following morning to glance at the stories and both were gone, as in reverted to the earliest saved versions. I screamed. My wife came running into the living room thinking I found out someone had died overnight. Nope, just a couple of stories. I did recover a decent rough version of the Frantix post and the one intended for posting last week was about a paragraph worth of words. Fuck.

The task of rewriting the story has been haunting me all week. Honestly, I couldn’t face up to it. I had perfectly captured what I wanted to say, and now it’s gone. To someone who writes, it does feel like a death. Perhaps this weekend I can muster up the energy to give it another shot. For me, the process of writing is like making a piece of art; it’s done in the moment. 

This week it was all about escaping into the world of ink and brushes. The drawings of the bands on this post were from around the time right before I started going to shows. I never saw Shamed Hatred. I might have caught Child Abuse once. Frantix, a couple of times. Rok Tots, more than the Frantix.

A personal goal of mine is to make drawings of every punk/HC/thrash band that existed in Denver form 82-86ish. I have several in the works at the moment. If you have photos of bands from that time period and would like to see it become a drawing or a painting, contact me and we can work something out. If I have turned your photo into a drawing, contact me so I can give you credit and get you a print. 

Davey of the Frantix. I honestly thought that drummers only used crates or some sort of box object to sit on when playing. My band’s drummer sat on a soda pop crate for a long time. The Necros, TSOL, or whatever band pulled thought Denver and had stickers would always be a score. Drummers and guitarists would often decorate their instruments with them. Photo: unknown. Medium: pen and ink on paper. Approx. size 10” x 10”

Jimmy West of the Rok Tots. When I first stated going to shows, Jimmy was the guy usually running the soundboard. He was one intimidated dude and looked like he could go off at any moment. I did see him yell at people a couple of times and that was enough for me to keep my distance. As a band, the Rok Tots were tough and embodied a timeless punk spirit, Jimmy rocked hard and his band should have gained more attention than they did. While the band’s first single Suicide Weekend b/w Situation Kid was a decent release, their posthumous CD Thirty Ill Moons is a solid heavy rocker. Photo: unknown. Medium: pen and ink on paper. Approx. size 9” x 12” 

When the Fraxtix-My Dad’s A Fuckin' Alcoholic reissue came our several years ago, I was surprised to hear a live version of Tomorrow on it. I always associated it as a Fluid song from the Tin Top Toy single. What I like about this image is the energy between Matt and Ricky doing back-ups, it could easily be a Fluid picture. Photo: unknown. Medium: pen and ink on paper. Approx. size 9” x 12”

The Dustbowl was not the ideal place if you suffered from asthma, had a lung infection, or over six feet tall. The space was located in the basement of what became the Art Department on Santa Fe Drive. The floor was dirt and got pretty dusty when people danced. Photo: unknown. Medium: pen and ink on paper. Approx. size 9” x 12”

Duane Davis from Wax Trax snapped this image. I have a fondness for bands that get in the attack position when they hit the stage. The band opened for the Misfits at the Mercury Cafe, note their massive amount of equipment behind the band. On a side note, the Misfits returned back to Denver in January of 1983 and played the Aztlan Theatre, a much larger venue than the Mercury and punished everyone’s ears. Medium: pen and ink on paper. Approx. size 9” x 12”

No comments:

Post a Comment