Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Black Eyes

"Summer of 2002 Black Eyes had just come off our first 2 week tour with Early Humans (who had just played their last show ever). Early Humans was a band that formed from the remaining guys in Exaspirin after that band had split up and Mike had asked me to join No-Gos with Dan and Jacob. Through No-Gos and then Black Eyes I ended up hanging out with a lot of people who were around the punk scene in the mid 90s who I hadn't known particularly well. A lot of them were college buddies of Dan and Jacob. Some of them were at the show where I got beaten up. We were all hanging around the house where Dan lived during a summer thunderstorm. I think it was the 4th of July. Somehow the story of the show came up. Someone mentioned Amy (the woman who had saved my ass and who I'd never seen again). And I said that I'd always wondered what happened to her. 'YOU DON'T KNOW?!' was the incredulous response I got. 'No, what happened to her?' 'Do you watch WWF?' (this was before it became WWE, I think). 'Um, no.' 'She's Lita on WWF!'  I didn't for sure believe this (I had seen her wrestle on TV when No-Gos played Boston in 2000, though I didn't recognize her, obviously). However Black Eyes played Richmond some time not long after that and I saw a poster of her on the wall, and sure enough it was Amy.

Around the same time I had reconnected with a friend who had been seeing another friend of mine. We were talking on the phone and she told me that things had ended badly between them but she was seeing someone new. I asked who and she said it was no one I knew. When pressed she said 'He's kind of a thug...' I asked his name and she said 'Bobby.' 'Bobby [his last name]?' I asked. It turned out that the dude she was seeing was the same guy who had been with the skinheads who fucked me up in 1995.

Not too long after that, Black Eyes went up to NY to play a loft party. The poster for the show featured a naked warrior woman both astride and apparently fighting a giant penis/dragon creature. This was odd, but whatever. I had forgotten a lot of this but remembered it when BJ said he'd seen us play that show when he asked me for some stuff for this blog. This led me to reminiscing via gchat with BJ about the show and this brought about the last in this series of No-Gos and Black Eyes-connected revelations of identity. For the sake of accuracy I'll reprint it verbatim:

BJ: i'm glad people are stoked about it
6:08 PM i'd never even heard of the band
  until i got that email
  when he said black eyes people were in it
  i figured i might be able to track something down
  rachel was talking about how much she liked black eyes
  i only ever saw you play at happy birthday hideout
  or actually
6:09 PM there was once at north 6th too
 me: whoah. that happy birthday hideout show was weird.
  there was some band from texas there that had a baggie of coke with a straw stuck in it when i walked backstage looking for my hoodie
6:10 PM I can't remember who else, maybe one of the Measles Mumps Rubella guys had a similar experience and wryly remarked "i guess doing lines is for pussies"
 BJ: which band was it?
6:11 PM i can't remember
  although i do recall the attending the show
  and doing lines is for pussies
  which is why i've never done one
 me: oh god. I can't remember their name. But somewhere I must have the poster with the naked warrior woman astride the penis dragon with the sword. that would have the band name on it...
6:12 PM BJ: i bet it does
  and that would be a nice addition to the post
  because i will be able to talk about being at that show
  more personal
  i just got this too:
  "Tell Hugh 'Hi!' from me and Bernard and Ricki."
6:13 PM me: nice! say hi back for me
  alas i don't think I really have the poster
  there were shirts of that poster too
6:14 PM someone may have swiped it from my warehouse space while i was on tour if i had one or the other
  along with my pop group records...
  and my metamatics LP
 BJ: shit
  i have those records
  check this
 me: I've seen that
  i knew sound was in it
 BJ: jay reatard
6:15 PM was the one doing coke i bet
  and being an asshole
 me: oh he was in that?
 BJ: yup
  that was his band
  so it all makes sense now
 me: hahahahahaha!
 BJ: and is a much cooler story
 me: my boyfriend is gonna crack up
  when he hears that
 BJ: i'm cracking up about it now myself
 me: yep
 BJ: i like that you are still shit talking that dude
  7 years later
6:16 PM and you didn't even know he was a famous person
 me: yep
  i've been shit talking Jay Reatard without the added advantage of saying it's Jay Reatard I'm talking about
6:17 PM now I have to find everyone I ever told that story to and update it.
 BJ: yup
  that rules
  you can just tell that story for my blog now
  and link to it so everyone will know!

So that's how Pukekos unearthed all my memories about the secret identities of wrestlers and skinheads and Jay Reatard with a baggie of coke with a straw stuck in it.

On an unrelated note about Black Eyes: Jacob had a really big beard for a lot of the band's existence. People would yell things like 'Santa Claus!' and 'Osama Bin Laden!' at him on the street. In Miami someone asked if it was true that the singer from Lungfish was in our band. Also in Miami (and a couple of other places) people asked him 'Can I get a photo with your beard?' (not with Jacob, with his beard). People used to touch it all the time also. It was a very good beard. I think we threw it a birthday party when it was a year old.

Jacob and maybe his beard play in Mi Ami with Daniel.

Dan plays in Authorization here in DC.

Mike lives in Austin. I dunno what he's up to musically but he contributed the salt-flats photo here.

I'm in a new band called Cephalopods, currently with Wells (of Early Humans) on drums and Fiona (of Et At It, Horses, and some rad bands in the 90s including Meltdown) on guitar. We should be playing shows starting this fall.

I can be reached at Also we're putting some old and unreleased stuff on our site as free downloads.

Thanks BJ."

-- Hugh

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Black Eyes.

Some Boys b/w Shut Up I Never (Release The Bats)
1. Some Boys
2. Shut Up I Never

Black Eyes/Early Humans (Planaria)
1. Have Been Murdered Again

"I fucking love Black Eyes" - Rachel, Aged 24


rachykeys said...


junior said...

Someone was playing in Sentai for a while too, right?

Anonymous said...

Surprised Wells didn't mention this to you- maybe it was before his time, but Amy Dumas, aka "Lita" was an Atl punk / scenester before her move to DC. Used to be at the Somber Reptile for Car vs. Driver shows and such.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know you were in Black Eyes. Mike's girlfriend works with my wife. I think he plays in a band called Expensive Shit down here, haven't heard them.

Deformative said...

I moved from Belfast to Melbourne eighteen months ago. Before I went I sold all my records to my friends, including some to aforementioned Ricki and Bernard, but couldn't bring myself to part with the Some Boys 7", along with a few others. It's now sitting in my Mum's attic, guess I should have sold it.

Nice to be able to hear it again.


spe-lunk-er2000 said...

You don't have a copy of this 7" that was pressed on Release The Bats do you? I'd love to see a scan of it. One of my photos was used on the sleeve. I didn't even know of it's existence until it was out of print and the only photos of it I've ever seen were crappy ebay thumbnails. I have tons of photos I took of this band. I also have some live videos but no way to convert. I also have a copy Hugh burned me on CDR of one of their first performances on WMUC in College Park.

jacob said...


i have a copy of that 7" at home....i will take a photo of it....