Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mutha F**king FRANTIX-Aurora, Colorado style. A chat with Davey

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Face Reality-this post contains an updated version of an older post plus and Interview with Frantix drummer Dave Stewart. Enjoy.

Since packing boxes and moving away from Denver permanently in the summer of 96, I’ve made it a point to return once a year. Like clockwork, I typically find myself taking a drive through old town Aurora for a heavy dose of nostalgia. It is a bittersweet remembrance of a time long since passed. The rearview mirror serves as a harsh reminder that my hair has indeed changed from dark brown to gray, indicative of the transformed landscape outside the window. The drive is a sea of cluttered post-war single-family houses. Colfax Avenue lined with its’ pimps, whores, gangbangers, pawn shops, hotels and a growing Mexican population cuts right down in the middle of it all. There has been an obvious shift in demographics from my youth; Aurora traded its’ suburban identity and embraced a more transient urban one. It was once a neatly packaged oasis for families seeking the American Dream, it was my parent’s hope and vision when we arrived in the mid-70’s. Like other countless communities that dot the perimeter of large cities in America, time has turned it into another wasteland of dashed hopes.

Frantix at the Packing House. Photograph by Nancy Kennedy. Oil on paper painting Bob Rob (Medina)
In the early 1980’s, one of the best things to emerge out the decaying old-Aurora landscape was the Frantix. Like most punk bands at the time, loud and fast rock-n-roll à la the Ramones appealed to bored and thrill-seeking teenagers craving an outlet for self-expression. It would be all too easy to sit in front of a record player and play-along to the likes of radio-friendly songs. Aspiring punk bands had a different approach, a more self-taught tactic often rejecting conventional methods like guitar lessons and music theory. It was a more tactile process to start from ground zero. It could be argued that the music was a pure expression fueled by raw energy. The experience of being in the same room with the Frantix was hardly a casual listening exercise; it was a blast in your face that quickly unwound every nerve in your body. The driving, fuzz sounding guitar with a dash of reverb, accompanied by punchy bass lines with cymbal heavy drumming behind spastic braking vocals demanded immediate attention. The four-piece hit the stage with a conviction most bands lack nowadays.

Unfortunately, I only witnessed the Frantix on a couple of occasions; their sound was unrelenting, menacing and dare I say gritty. A couple of writers have noted they were on the cusps of grunge long before Seattle co-opted the term. When they opened for Black Flag at the Rainbow Music Hall, their music was the perfect soundtrack inspiring punk rockers to take neatly placed rows of folding chairs and toss them in every direction. The audience was indeed seduced by the music and craved a need for movement and self-expression. The band never intentionally scripted such uninhibited reactions; it was inherently seeded in their sound.

As people, you couldn’t meet a more likable bunch. The Frantix and their later incarnations: Madhouse, Trontils, Fluid, 57 Lesbian, etc. have stayed true to their roots and acknowledged those who helped them along the way. They stayed connected at the ground level and distant from rock star attitudes, always approachable and went out of their way to say “hello.” They were older and somewhat of a generation ahead, but we were friends nonetheless. When bassist Matt and guitarist Ricky formed the Fluid, they were the first non-Seattle band to sign to the seminal Sub Pop label (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney). Even when the band was taking off, they were more than willing to submit an unreleased 4-track demo cut for one of my Colorado Krew compilations. I fondly remember Matt showing up with his tape deck and mixing the song on the spot at Paul’s Aardvark Studios. Their participation in my project spoke volumes of their modesty. 

Somehow I had envisioned sitting down with Matt getting to the meat and bones of the Frantix blah blah blah. Instead what I got was a whole lot more than tape deck could handle. He ranted like the intelligent madman he is. He started off our visit by asking me if I thought he was a sociopath. His armchair psychologist friend a day or two earlier diagnosed him as borderline. We had beers, shot his BB Gun, talked about why letting weeds grow in his yard was the most radical form of rebellion in his neighborhood. The afternoon ended with his old lady yelling at him to turn down the Rok Tots blaring on his stereo, the royalty check on his wall form Sub Pop for something like 38 cents, and the phone number to the Frantix drummer, Dave Stewart. He told me, “Davey would have stories to tell you, just tell him I sent you.” It was an afternoon well spent.  

If Matt was ever right about one thing, it was Davey’s storytelling. The interconnectivity of remembered moments maps the landscape of his brain. Talk about an intact and vast cerebral network tucked inside a cranium. He could probably tell you what color you shirt was the day he met you. After going through about 5 hours of tape, I’ve finally narrowed down his story. It’s a shame Davey and I weren’t close Aurora buds all along. Without any further fuss, ladies and gentlemen: Davey Stewart. 

One of the first fliers I picked up at Wax Trax was for a Frantix show and the bottom on it reads: No Klones allowed…assholes. Is it a Kamikaze Klones reference? Did you have something against the Klones?

Yes we did.

No Klones allowed...Assholes. Collection of the author.
When I talked with Matt he said it didn't mean anything. I thought, bullshit, that's way too obvious of a statement with the spelling of Klones.  

Let me tell you something. First, the Kamikaze Klones were a great new wave band. I was 18 years old and I got my girl and we’d go check some shows out. The bassist AJ was a cool dude. We saw the Klones a couple of times and their drummer…I go take a piss or whatever and I come back and have to peel him off my wife, the mother of my kids. Hey man, that ain't cool. I told him “I will beat you to... Man, just step away, that's all you have to do.” He wouldn't leave her alone; he had a magnet for my wife. It was over, I was 165 pounds, hair down to my back, and I’ve been in a million fights, played in punk band, ready for war like Iggy Pop back in the day. They were a new wave band and we were a punk band so we showed up to destroy the fucking universe and they showed-up to make a new wave dance scene. We never played a show together, but that was the scene back then.

Meeting Ricky?

The first day of baseball practice in 5th grade, 10 years old and I was wearing a Hooker Headers t-shirt because my parents had an auto parts store that sponsored about 15 drag racers. I was little, a 50 pound kid at baseball practice in a place I never been before that my parents sign me up for. Some little skinny freckled-face kid walks up to me after practice. I fucked-up practice so bad because I was out of my loop, I knew nobody, didn't know what to do. He goes, "that's a pretty cool Hooker Headers shirt, you into hotrods?" And the only reason why I had that shirt on was because it was the first one that came out of my dresser drawer that morning. I said, "yeah, I'm into hotrods" and he goes, "I'm into hotrods too, you into baseball too? I go, "Umm, my parents signed me up for this, I don't even know what I'm doing." He said, "My dad's the coach."

Aurora, Colorado pride. Why the Frantix? You, Ricky, Danny, and Paul decided to play punk rock. How did that come about?

Dude, we needed a name for the band and the Flintstones cartoon was on the TV. It was the episode when Fred dropped a bowling ball on his foot and jumped around and it turned into a dance craze, "The Flintstone Frantic" as I recall. Rick and I looked at each other and said, “Shazzam dude, that is it.” 

Danny never played live. Danny wrote half of the first songs with Rick. We played them in my bedroom of my mom’s basement with an amplifier and a drum set. When it came time to play shows Danny was just Danny and he goes, “I don't think I like the idea of just standing up and playing some shit." I met Danny and Ricky when I was 10 years old. Danny and Ricky were friends when they were 8 years old. They had a couple of years on me. We were all rock-n-roll, hard rock AM radio junkies. It didn't matter if it was Paul Revere and the Raiders or the Grass Roots or the Carpenters...anything with a hook on the AM radio. We threw down with KIMN 95. By 1975 Danny, Rick and I had been to about 15 Denver rock-n-roll shows.

You knew you wanted to be in a rock-n-roll band, did you think about playing punk or did your sound develop naturally?

It wasn't punk rock for years with us; it wasn't until the Ramones came out. Before that, it was Rick and I playing little league football and baseball and being so aggressive that...Rick's dad was our coach, Dick Kulwicki.  We were really into hot rods and rock-n-roll. We were in 8th grade going through the motions of practice and Dick would blow the whistle and say: "You guys are pussies, take your pads and helmets off!" Basically, mano a mano, run into each other every time he blew the whistle. It seemed natural. He said, “You guys want to play like old ladies, you don't need those pads.” We would do that and then of course we'd get back to school and everything and listen to rock-n-roll. I picked up the snare drum in elementary and played in some stupid grade school band. I knew I wanted to be a drummer. There were a couple of clarinets, a guy on trombone, and I’d hit maybe 5 notes on the snare drum. Well, then I figured out that at JC Penny I could buy a drum set for $39. I collected pop bottles and beer cans and turned them in and bought this shitty little drum set. I played that fucking thing until I beat it so fucking hard that there was no way to play it. But Rick, Danny and I kept talking about rock-n-roll and I didn't tell them that the drum set was beat to shit and not even playable. That was before the Ramones record came out. Back then it was Ted Nugent and Aerosmith and the skateboard and motocross thing. I was motocross and Danny and Rick were skateboarders. I'm trying to get to the pro class as fast as I can in motocross and that's my only fucking thing man. It still is, in fact I got a garage full of motocross bikes, had 11 surgeries...if I take off my shirts I look like a fucking roadmap. Thank God I still have both kidneys and a liver. (Laughter) But I've spent so much time in hospitals that it just becomes a blur. We were a bunch of kids that were into BMX, motocross and skateboarding, rock-n-roll, punk rock, arena rock, and everything else. It started and finished there. Between the three of us, the hard rock never stopped. We were teenagers and we had to destroy something, there were no options. We found instruments and the music to do it. We were still in tune with the old school shit, the rhythm, like the stuff on KEZW; the big band shit. Once we figured out we had a stupid suitcase amp, 2-piece drum set and found the Ramones and Iggy and the Stooges, we were off. We were so fucking off, we were off the map, and we’re off in my mom's laundry room. The big convergences of being a kid in the mid-70’s was perfect and guess what happened then, there was the Ramones and we though we were pretty down with that and then that first Black Flag EP came out. We listened to that and we knew we could be better in my mom's laundry room and that's where you got the Frantix. That's the whole story man. Other than that you got the Germs forming EP. Did you have that record?

Strangely I did. I found it in Rhode Island of all places during a road trip back in 87. We ran into the Descendents several times during that trip and I showed the record to Milo and he was pretty tripped out that I was driving around with it.

Then you got the Dangerhouse bands, the Avengers from San Francisco. Then L.A. bands like, X, Adolescents, Agent Orange and you got the VOM who ended up being the Angry Samoans. I had every one of those motherfuckers without the Internet. Me, Rick and Danny just kept on going down to Wax Trax and hanging out with Duane.

I picked this flier up at Wax Trax. This show happened a week after opening for Black Flag at the Rainbow Music Hall. What a line-up, some of Denver's finest playing contemporary Polka favorites. Collection of the Author.
When I think of those bands, I think of your band’s song, Dancin’ to Punk.

It was like a slap in the face. Rick and I wrote that song right about the time Fleetwood Mac were terrible. Even worse was the Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks record. They were basically so terrible they earned a million dollars. Dancin’ to Punk was something that came from Aurora, Colorado. It’s a great song, never throw that one under the bus or I'll to take a plane to Ethiopia...(Laughter) Rick came up with the vocals and it was his take on what he was hearing in rock-n- roll music. It was one of those things before hardcore, the Frantix got pushed into hardcore. Once the hardcore thing hit, we weren't going to be beat by anybody. The core of the Frantix was we were a rock-n-roll band.

In my research it seems the Rok Tots was the end of old Denver punk before the whole hardcore thing took off. The link between the new and old and maybe the Frantix was Denver’s first real hardcore band? Where am I at on that statement?

I see where you are coming from and you really do have a point. How do I say this...The Rok Tots are the baddest mother fucking band in the world, badder than Motorhead! Quote that, “The Rok Tots are the baddest fucking rock and roll band in the history of the world.” Jimmy was Aurora Central and we were Aurora Hinkley. But the Frantix were a whole different thing, The Frantix started doing our own shit; we were young and naive.

I'm not dissing the Tots at all. They had elements of the old school punk sound with some Who in there...Ramones sensibilities but harder and more driving. Sure, they were their own act, but I see them as the band that helped propel a change in sound. The Frantix seemed to be a logical outcome of that.

You got me on that one, I'm a little bit emotional. Here’s how this thing shifted, Rick and I saw the Rok Tots a couple of times when we were 17 years old with the original band: Jimmy, Jeff, Toby, and Ronnie...everything the Frantix became was inspired by them. It didn't matter anything the Buzzcocks or anyone else did.

Ricky and Matt at the Packinghouse. Photograph by Nancy Kennedy. Brush and ink drawing by Bob Rob (Medina).
You had the connection to them, you saw them play, and they totally lit you guys.

If you saw that band in any form-that was rock-n-roll at its root and most powerful wake. Then you got us, the Frantix, a bunch of goofballs from Aurora that have no musical training. I couldn't tell you any rhythm, any beat, any chord progression, anything. At the point of the Frantix, all we wanted was to have the same impact as the Rok Tots. We didn't have the same equipment or back drop. We would take sheets my mom had thrown in the trash and spray paint Frantix on them. We would do that to emulate the Rok Tots, but we didn't emulate them in any musical sense because we weren't even close. They did their thing and we did ours. The Rok Tots were the elders and weren't respected by anybody except for a small group of us. All we wanted to do was to destroy everything like they did.

Rick, Danny and I would see the Young Weasels, Gluons, Rok Tots and we eventually got Paul Dog on bass and started playing rock shows, it was that easy. It was so easy after being influenced by these amazing people. We never played a rock show in our life. At our first show when they turned on the PA, we went fucking crazy. For me being a drummer, I don't give a shit, I play on emotion and the only person that ever made sense to me was Keith Moon. Ricky played off that so...One night at the debut of the Kid Are Alright by the Who at the Aladdin Theater on Colfax, Rick and I went to go see it. We're having a nice time and after the movie we get into our little shit-box car and drove back to Aurora where everything makes sense. I look at Rick and I go, “The only Drummer that make sense to me is Keith Moon.” Rick goes, “You just figured that out? That's the only way you play drums.”

Did you sit on a milk crate to play drums?

That was my great grandmother Leah Ruth Lamb's (born 1898) first suitcase when she was a young lady. I still got it and played every fucking Frantix show on it.

Davey Frantix sitting on a suitcase. Brush and ink drawing Bob Rob (Medina)  
The Frantix in 2008?

We did a reunion show in 2008 at Wax Trax and Marc didn't show.

Was he supposed to?

I can't say anything about Marc. I can tell you right now Marc's good, but if he got back into punk rock he wouldn't be good. First off, Marc lived right across the street from me, I dated his sister in high school, and his brother was my best friend.

Why did he sometimes go by the name Ronnie Jr.?

Because his dad was Ronnie. (Laughter) By the way, no matter what you write in your book, Matt is the third greatest bass player in the world, in the history of rock and roll. I don’t give a shit what you write, but that has to be in there.

You didn't play outside Denver much, but you did a short west coast tour. I came across Frantix flier from San Diego.

We had some problems. We don't talk about that show. But we did play with Frightwig, Social D, and Los Olvidados at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco. We only played 4 or 5 shows on tour, there was going to be more, but it got to be less because a problem showed up. Timmy Yohannan of MRR, no matter what we did we could always crash, park, take showers, re-group, and use the phone at his place. Timmy and Jello Biafra did so much for the Frantix; we could never repay them. We drove out west in some 1972 van, we didn't have much, but if we had slice of bread, a slab of baloney, and a squeeze of mustard, we were good.

According to Davey, this show didn't happen. The band went to go play with J.F.A. in Phoenix.
Why did the band stop playing?

It was bad scene. That's all I'm going to say. 

Bum Kon Beer and Frantix Brewski?

Bum Kon beer was beer. You know what man, it fucking sucks ass we lost Larry. Bum Kon was fucking great. How about some good news, how about Mark's drumming. That dickhead would come over and say to me I saw you play this, this and this and show me this. I had no idea how to respond, I just played a set, stupid Aurora shit. Mark was a great drummer; he plays a million notes in perfect time.

Bum Kon-Drunken Sex Sucks EP insert. Paying tribute to Frantix. Image courtesy of  
I often thought about what the landscape of the Denver scene would have looked like had the Frantix recorded an album and toured a bunch. Perhaps even Bum Kon taking their show out on the road. You mentioned the Rok Tots going under the radar, but yet inspired your band. You got a little more posthumous exposure than they did with the Australian release in 2008 and the most recent Alternative Tentacles release of the singles with extra goodies. I have to say, the recordings are great, but it nowhere captures the intensity of your live shows. The band played honest from the gut rock-n-roll. Like the Tots, so many people should have seen it, but never had that opportunity. You should have been in the league with some of the best bands of that time period. I guess that was one of the reasons why I'm compelled to do this project. Historically Denver has always been a footnote, overlooked in the scope of American punk rock. There were so many great bands that came from here that never got their due.

It means a lot to hear you put it into those words. We knew we were that when we got it fired up. We didn't know anything about the industry. We took it on the road a little and Duane Davis is the Bhagavad Gita of the whole fucking thing that got us set up, released our records, and played us on KFML AM radio. We were young kids that thought we could destroy the universe, but the universe didn't find us. In so many ways we were grounded. I was teaching my kid to ride his bike without training wheels; Rick was doing his thing at art school. We just didn't break out.

It was Ricky and I, and Danny, then Paul Dog on bass at first then Matt replaced him and Marc came along. The greatest thing about Marc was that he wasn't a singer, but he's on all these records. Marc lived across from me in a cul-de-sac when Aurora was literally a cowtown. When girls got home from after school they would ride their horses around the neighborhood in their halter-tops in the 70's without bras on. (Laughter) It was greatest time in the world. Then we got Marc only because Rick was tired of singing and Marc was hanging out on the beanbag chair. Rick said, "Look dude, you lazy ass fuck, I sick of singing. If you're going to sit there and smoke our dope and watch us, you could at least come up to the mic and try to sing a song. That fucking guy went crazy. That's how we got Marc; he was 4 years younger than his sister, my girlfriend at the time and his bother, my best friend. 

We're jamming out in my mom's laundry room and Rick steps away for the mic and Marc grabs that thing and kicks a huge fucking dent in my mom's dryer door and screamed like a fucking maniac. After that we squared up and everything. I thought, that guy's fucked-up and Rick just looked at me and said, “That guy's the fuckin’ singer of the band!” I said, "Good enough for me."

Early Frantix flier from 1981. Flier courtesy of
From what you said before, it sounds like Rick's dad was a pretty solid guy, very involved, supportive and all that. I guess that begs the questions, what was your families reaction to the songs: My Dad's a Fuckin' Alcoholic and My Dad's Dead. I know in past interviews the band stated, "Who's dad wasn't (an alcoholic)?" Tongue and cheek, punk rock right?

My Dad's Dead is a Dogmeat cover. You will never track down anything that band recorded. They were out of old Littleton and blew-up the whole place up for a year and then went away. Tommy and Billy went somewhere and Mikey went to Seattle. Every time The Fluid went to Seattle, they would run into Mikey Dogmeat and tried to find any shitty cassette of Dogmeat songs. He was like, "Nope, we didn't record anything." Jimmy from the Tots was stoked enough and saw those guys once probably at some dive bar with like 8 people watching them or whatever and started to book them. There were three shows were Dogmeat was the opening band. At one point they opened for the Rok Tots and those boneheads had commissioned or stolen a potable construction chain-link fences like 6-feet tall and put it around the stage. We go down to this Rok Tots show and Dogmeat opens up. The drummer Billy is wrapped up head to toe like a mummy playing his crap on a shitty drum set. Rick and Danny get so wound up they fall into me, I punched Danny in the face, Rick grabs Danny and throws him head first into the chain-link dog fence and the whole fence collapses right when Tommy Dogmeat is in a middle of a chorus-verse and breaks both of his front teeth. So now, you got the dog fence broken down, the singer/guitar player has both of his front teeth broken with blood all over his mouth and we pull the dog fence off and they finish the set. It gets better. When the Frantix was on tour and we're in L.A., Tommy Dogmeat got his new caps on and we stay two days at his place in Hollywood and he had a band so we practiced on his band's shit. Tommy plugged in and looks at Rick and asked him if he was game, so we played a bunch of Who shit.

Detail of an amusing interview with the Frantix. Source: Lick It Up fanzine Issue #1
Back to your parents. What did they think about My Dad's A Fuckin' Alcoholic?

Umm...They didn't ask and we didn't ask.

Did they know about it? I mean, you come home with your new record; obviously you're stoked to have another record out. You probably showed it to them, they're looking it over and probably thinking to themselves, "What the heck...My Dad's Dead, My Dad's a Fucking Alcoholic..." and no reaction?

There might have been a disconnection.

(Laughter). Maybe!

They were down with what we were doing.

On your drum set when you played the reunion at Wax Trax, you have a photo taped to the front of your kick drum?

That's Danny. He's in the center of the Australian CD and the Alternative Tentacles one.

It's like he's still in the band.

Danny's always in the band, and Rick is too. Until the day we die when Matt and I are in the band together or apart Rick and Danny are still there. That picture with Danny wearing his sunglasses is badass and he was a big sweet-ass motherfucker that had wavy hair. He was the ultimate surfer looking dude, but never knew it. He decided not to cut his hair like a lot of us did. Sometimes we'd cut our hair and he never did except the time he got “hair control” at a Frantix practice.

Danny had curly hair, like Marc. They both had those brofros. Rick and I would sit around drinking beer at practice and we'd look at each other and say, "Hair control!" This was Rick's idea, Danny and Mark had flowing locks and he goes, “I don't know man, we gotta do some haircuts here." What are we going to call it? Hair Control. Mark and Danny were out in my mom's living room smoking so much pot that we convinced them they were perfect candidates for Hair Control. Ricky and I got a pair of scissors, like grade school scissors. We didn't know what we were doing; we chopped something like two feet off their heads. (Laughter) They thought they were punks for the next month or two. Marc live right across the street, he went home and of course his dad, Ronnie Sr. gets up when Marc comes out of the basement. I think we gave him holes in about three different places. They just kept smoking pot and we just kept cutting. We tired to get more recipients after that night, but there were none.
The Who/Frantix/Bum Kon (wishful thinking) Artist unknown. 
Opening for Black Flag at the Rainbow?

The Rainbow had these mobile storage units, like the ones at elementary schools when they run out of space. Rick and I got there; loaded in our shit and sitting on the curb doing nothing. Here's a visual for you, this shitty van pulls up, it is the crustiest ever and these stinky fucks pile out of it like rats. Everyone drove the extended Dodge van back in the day. And then another one pulls up and starts dragging in the gear and shit. Henry sits down next to Rick and I. We were like, that's fucking cool. He didn't say a fucking thing except Henry is covered with scabs and bites and bruises.

I remember seeing him stage all cut up, it looked freaky.

So Henry sits down next to us, a couple of Aurora boys watching little birdies fly by, hip-to-hip. We're like, "Hey Henry how's it going?" He doesn't say a fucking thing. He’s picking scabs and that goes on for about 5 minutes. Remember Berry Fey's guys at the Rainbow with those yellow shirts that said SECURITY? One of those guys was being a dick and walked up to Henry and goes, "Hey bud." Henry looks up then goes back to picking scabs sitting ass-to-ass with Kulwicki and I. The guy finally kicks Henry's shoe and says, "Hey bud, you need a pass." Henry shoots up a like a tiger and gets in the guys face and goes, "Dude, I'm the fucking singer of Black Flag and I've just drove 18 hours from Minneapolis to play this fucking shit hole so you can get the FUCK out of my FUCKING shit." He's like nose to nose with this security dude who has at least a 100 pounds on him. The guard is, "Whoa, whoa, hey bud, you just gotta get a pass." He walked away. Henry sits back down. Rick and I were, "Nice, job dude." Henry doesn't even look at us and continues picking.

The bands get their shit loaded in and everything. Nig Heist and the Minutemen were with them that day.

Don't forget the Blitz Girls.

Oh, the spit show. I've never seen any band get spit on so much.

We were all throwing our cups and whatever we could find at them.

Dude, The Minutemen, Black Flag, Nig Heist and The Frantix were all on each side of the stage watching that band. They were so stupid and by the end of their set they were still playing new wave stuff. We're just watching waves of fucking piss, water, and spit, anything that can be thrown on them. That's when Henry livened up.

Before the show, we're back stage and Danny pulls out a bottle of whiskey he brought and Black Flag's roadie, Mugger who is also in Nig Heist both start drinking. When Danny gets whiskey in him he's like an Irishman and Mugger is badass. They get going and the whiskey gets passed around and some of the other Black Flag guys are so fatigued from the night before are just trying to rally and think about the show and we have a fucking wild party going. D. Boon from the Minutemen comes out naked. We're in a mobile unit and Mugger and Danny are drunk and D. Boon is naked dancing around like fucking Scotsman. Mike Watt is, “Ahhh, fuck, not again.” Somebody finds a towel and soaks it down. D. Boon is knocking shit over getting slapped in the ass by a wet towel. It was the craziest thing I ever saw. Well, I guess this is punk rock. Now you got the back-story of your first Black Flag show.  

You guys were great and of course so were Flag, the Minutemen, and Nig Heist. The cool thing about the ticket stub from that show was that it was a tarot card, XIII, the skeleton death card. After the show I was waiting for my dad to pick me up. My friend and I are hanging out at McDonalds across the street from the Rainbow and Marc walks up to the counter to order a burger. I pulled out my ticket and borrowed a pen from the girl at the register and asked him to sign it. I looked at his signature and I was like, "Ronnie Jr.?" I thought it was some smart-ass take on Ronald Reagan. (Laughter)

Let me tell you about Marc. He's a nasty, nasty bad motherfucker. He had very cool parents, but he just went wild. He was nobody you'd want to fuck with. He didn't fuck with any of us in the band; I'd beat his ass. It'd be a death match. We were playing at Kennedy's one night and the Denver Skins started fucking with us, like really fucking with us. They started fucking with the crowd first then came up front. You remember Kennedy's was always in a state of disrepair. You can picture a cinderblock and Marc challenged the whole Denver Skins in between songs to a fight, the whole group against one. I'm like, “Ahh fuck, here we go.” Marc amped it up a little bit, finds a cinderblock on the side of the stage and puts his arms between the two holes starts swinging that thing around his head and stage dives and tried to smash it into the skull of every person in front of the stage. We're playing one of the fast songs, verse-chorus-verse-chorus and watched Marc chase everyone out the front door.

I don’t know if you remember the men's bathroom at Kennedy's, a big double-ended dildo with a swastika on the each end of it and a big hole punched through the wall with a view right into the women's rest room? We loaded in, we waited around and someone left that marker there...So we drew a big dildo because there was this anti-man group, A.S.F. They had their thing going. So we did that for them. We had too much time on our hands. 

Davey wanted to make sure the Trontils were mentioned. They were great when they opened for the Descendents. According to Davey, they played a different set of songs then they normally played. Flier courtesy of 
Any unreleased Frantix stuff?

I have a shoebox full of tapes in my garage with Rick singing on it that nobody has ever heard. On the Alternative Tentacles release we have four different songs. There are at least 15 songs, maybe 20 on reels and cassettes that are sitting around my house that need to be mixed. The Frantix know about this, but haven't been motivated to do anything about it. We totally got rid of the Fluid shit. On the Face Reality EP it is a lot of the Fluid shit. I played with the Fluid at the end for about 6 months after not playing drums for 5 years.

The Packinghouse?

The only thing with the Packinghouse, Danny took over the door because we learned early on after a couple of shows. They had their own program and we had ours. There was the purse, meaning the bands would get this amount and the place would get this amount. With the Frantix set-up, Danny was straight up and every band that played with us we would all get paid and they were damn, we want to play with you guys again. We took all the money at the door and whatever the club, bar, hall needed, we'd pay them. The Frantix never ripped anyone off. We would pay their shit and it would be time to take care of our shit- Aurora, Colorado style.

Merry Christmas c. late 1982. Image courtesy of Ricky's sister Diane P.

In loving memory of Ricky Kulwicki. 1961-2011

Frantix are: vocals: Marc Deaton, guitarist: Rick Kulwicki, bassist: Matt Bischoff,  drummer: Dave Stewart, Original vocals, bouncer, doorman, and mascot: Danny Einertson, and original bassist: Paul Dog (Katopodes)   


Face Reality EP 1982 Local Anesthetic Records
My Dad's A Fuckin' Alcoholic EP 1983 Local Anesthetic Records

My Dad's A Fuckin' Alcoholic CD 2003 Afterburn Records

My Dad's A Fuckin' Alcoholic PP 2014 Local Anesthetic Records

                 Recorded by Wax Trax co-owner Duane Davis on April 10, 1983. See and feel the power.