Friday, August 21, 2009

The No-Gos

"So this story is a little long and spans some time before Black Eyes and No-Gos but it unites several themes of unknown, misunderstood, or later-revealed identity in the context of those bands. Ooooh...mystery...

So a long time before any of these bands came to be, I was a 15 year old punk rock kid with a floppy mohawk that could have been one of a number of colors at any given time. I also had a slightly goth-y thing going on so I was probably wearing black eyeliner and nail polish. This would have been summer of 1993, and the Fort Reno concert season was in full swing. I had gone to see god-knows-who at Fort Reno (Slant 6? Cupid Car Club? The Ignobles? I don't remember) and was walking home (my folks live about a mile from the park) when a car full of skinheads drove up, pulled up to the curb and yelled 'Hey, Faggot!' at me. Surprising myself, I just stood there and yelled 'Yeah, what?' Obviously the advent of Riot Grrrl and Queercore had done wonders for my self-confidence. The somewhat puzzled looking skinheads drove away. I ran like fuck the last blocks home as soon as they were out of sight and it took some time for me to calm down enough to sleep.

What does this have to do with No-Gos (or Black Eyes) you ask? Wait and see...

A couple years later I went to a show in Alexandria. It was in a church. It was a Positive Force-organized benefit for a battered women's shelter and I'm forgetting someone but the bands were Bubble Jug (oh god please someone reading this have a clean copy of their cassette and send it to me!), Plunger (Tom LoMacchio's old band), and Anasarca (Nick P. of Planaria records fame's old band). There were a handful of skinheads there, some of whom looked awfully familiar to me. My friend Saran and I walked in and immediately felt like maybe being a funny-dressing (I had by now taken to wearing a corduroy jacket with leather arm patches and a very long knit ski hat with stripes) punk homo and a slightly built black woman wasn't the best bet at this show. Long story short, the skinheads start a pit that ends up flinging some women into a wall and I was pissed off enough to sit on the floor in the middle of it. Prudence is not a quality I will display at any point during this story. Predictably some skinheads threw their friends on top of me. Also predictably they hawked a couple loogies on my back (I discovered this when I looked at my jacket the next day), and took my hat. Eventually, after some negotiation with their leader (him: 'are you going to move?' me: 'no.' him: 'do you want me to smack you?' me: 'no.') all but one of the skinheads were kicking by back and head. It could have been worse. Luckily the band (Plunger? Anasarca?) stopped playing and the crowd in front of me turned around. I was seeing little birdies and stars whirling around my head but I also saw a really rad woman who I recognized from some other shows walk over and confront the guys who were kicking me. She backed them off and when one of them punched her in the face she held her ground and suggested that they 'learn some respect for women.' I don't remember too much of what happened next except that some folks backed them out of the show and they punched a couple people on the way out. Then weirdly, one of my friends at school started dating one of them, named Bobby. To his credit, he's the one who didn't fuck with me at the show so I had no beef with him. Later in college a friend from Alexandria told me he was in jail for robbing a convenience store."

-- Hugh McElroy

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The No-Gos.

The No-Gos CS (Self)
1. Needle Drop
2. Radio
3. Death Of Heart
4. Stars, All The Planets

The No-Gos/Aerialist (Ruffian)
1. Misery=Glamor
2. Nu/Rok

Young Ironists (Ruffian)
1. Young Ironists
2. Young Ironists (Version)

1 comment:

rob said...

thanks alot for hunting these down. finally getting a chance to listen now... just as good as i remembered.