Christmas 1990 part 2

Christmas 1990

PART TWO

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“The nineteenth song will become very important to many people, but unfortunately, those who should hear it probably never will. It’s another Pope Lick song and it’s called ‘Bardstown Road’. As the true story goes… for years, a private church parking lot at 1700 Bardstown Road became a meeting place for you alternate ones like ourselves. There was no violence, no vandalism, no ignorance; just a huge group of friends who would meet and hang out and talk. Depending on the night, it could be twenty people discussing life after death, forty people playing kick ball, or fifteen people having a Taco Bell picnic. In any event, it always seemed so real. No barriers or demands.

“For some reason, one night a Louisville Police Officer by the name of Reed drove into this private lot. Which in itself was not unusual. Louisville Police often visited us; sometimes to tell us to keep it down, sometimes to just see if everything was OK, other times just to assume and accuse without knowing how innocent innocence can be (even when innocence dresses funny). The side of the car always says, ‘Louisville Police Care’ and on occasion they really showed it. Genuinely. But not this time.

“Tonight this Officer Reed proceeded to tell us that we were not to be there, and that we were to leave and never return. When asked any question, like ‘why?’, he avoided them all at every opportunity. Furthermore, he told us that he didn’t need a reason to tell us to leave, because he was a police officer. It didn’t matter that he was crossing onto private property or that we weren’t breaking any laws; because, as he said, ‘I can go anywhere I want and tell you to leave… this is my parking lot.’ All the while, beyond his knowledge, he was being videotaped.

“Several months before, he had strip searched one of us (without any cause) behind K’s Food Mart at Speed Avenue. We have tried a slight few times to return to the Parking Lot since summer with no luck. The minister had offered us soft drinks and invited us to come inside the church before; but now the police tell us that it’s the church’s decision that we are to leave and never come back.

“And while this song, ‘Bardstown Road’, will bring back hundreds of great memories and meanings, it’s a shame that all it really amounts to is a victory for that one police officer and whatever the obstacle in his mind is which he overcomes by forcing people to act on his commands.

[In late July 1989, about a year prior to this incident, Danielle Dostal and I visited City Hall during Mayor’s Night In. On this monthly designated night, any Louisville resident with a concern could stop by and sign in to talk with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. Mayor Abramson would stay until he had spoken, individually in his office, with everyone who came. We came to him with the problem that there was no place to hold all ages punk shows. As ludicrous as this may seem as a potential concern of the Mayor, it was a valid problem because it offered young people the opportunity to create useful things other than trouble.

[At the end of the summer, Danielle went away to college. Mayor Abramson put me in touch with Catherine Ashabraner and Lynn Rippy who worked with Operation Brightside as well as people in City government who worked in Economic Development, and Housing & Urban Development, to put together a think tank. They were all to pool their resources to see if a Highlands area City-owned abandoned building could be converted (with City money and punk rock manpower) into a facility at which all ages shows and other such events could be held on a regular basis. The thinking was that if the City had a stake in it, the Police would cooperate with it rather than aggravate it, parents would feel safe letting their kids go there, and it would be a big win-win situation for everybody. It would certainly make the Mayor look good, too.

[Louisville Police, and the City in general, had suffered a big PR blow July 14, 1989, at the Cafe Dog. The small, one room cafe, 713 South First Street at Broadway, had bands play on weekends. As the packed room could only hold about 30 people, this Friday when Crain, King Kong and Slint were scheduled to play, about 150 people showed up, and the overflow stood on the sidewalk. This was truly an all ages crowd as there were many adults in the mix. Suddenly police were coming in from every direction, acting as if there was a riot going on. First Street was blocked off and thirteen squad cars squealed in to disperse the crowd. A Courier-Journal headline read, ‘3 teens arrested at cafe officials closed; some say police used undue force.’

Quoting now from the same 7/16/89 article: “The cafe, which does not serve alcohol, caters primarily to teenagers and features entertainment by groups that play punk, rap and other contemporary music styles. But police said people in the crowd were drinking beer and were disorderly. … ‘It wasn’t disorderly until the police came. They themselves were acting in a disorderly manner,’ said co-owner Michaelle Warner. … Several witnesses said police singled out black patrons in the mostly white crowd when they first arrived, provoking the confrontation. After police line up a group of people in the alley, another person – a youth who was due to go into the cafe to perform – began to question the officers, according to P.J. Medley, a patron. The performer was dragged away, thrown to the ground and struck in the hip with a night stick before being arrested, Medley said. ‘The officer’s manner was out of line,’ said Guy Furnish, who was at the cafe with his wife and three children ages 12 to 18. ‘The situation very quickly became ugly. Frankly, I think most of the ugliness was on the part of the police,’ Furnish said.” Guy Furnish is Tim, Kristen, and Simon’s father.

[A subsequent public hearing at Jefferson Community College brought members of the crowd, many of whom were respected adults of the community, together with the Police Chief Dotson. This escalated the story to more newspaper coverage and every television news broadcast in town. With this wealth of bad press, the City was anxious to bury it with the opposite.

[Lynn Rippy and I set up a series of meetings with which we hoped to devise a plan to begin attaining the goal of a permanent, City-sponsored all ages facility. Joey Mudd, Sean Garrison, Danny Maron, and his mother, were among those that attended the preliminary brainstorming sessions at Operation Brightside’s downtown offices. The project was called Positive Youth For Louisville (closely named after the organization Joey’s previous band Spot sang of, ‘Positive Youth For Unity’). And while nothing in the Highlands ever materialized, during the process of the meetings, the doors opened at the Zodiac Club on Main Street. The meetings, while still going on the following summer at the time of the Parking Lot incident, ultimately proved fruitless in achieving the final goal.

[I worked with the City in the summer of 1990 in establishing the Mayor’s Youth Outreach Line. The YO-Line was a toll free number that kids could call to find out what type of events were going on in a specified week. A television commercial was shot for the YO-Line. I wrote and programmed the music for 10- and 30-second rap songs, as the City wanted it to have an urban feel. It was an upbeat tune assembled on an Emulator drum machine that included subtle Minor Threat and Public Enemy samples. Community activist Tony Lindauer’s assistance was enlisted for the script and lyrics. The entire project was fun, and virtually a parody of itself. Members of the rap group KAOS (who had played a City-sponsored June 1990 show at the Louisville Zoo with Crain) did the vocal track. Have you got a question, or got a problem? Well I’ve got a number for you. Call 625-4321, 625-4321, 625-4321, the number’s 625-4321. Yo! The audio was recorded at Todd Smith’s parents’ house on 8-track, as Juniper Hill had already closed. And the video for the spot was shot by the folks at Videobred. The images were of active youths throwing frisbees in Cherokee Park, hanging out on the streets, skateboarding, and all that. One split second shot was a cameo of me wearing a Slamdek shirt, sitting with a bunch of little kids on a bench at the corner of Douglass Boulevard and Bardstown Road, as another kid skateboarded across the screen. The commercial ran all summer on local TV, and had a separate radio version for which
SSDigital duplicated the copies. The YO-Line itself often included info about Kinghorse and other all ages shows.]

“Next is the twentieth song which, by titles, makes this the fattest Slamdek tape ever (until Sideburnin’ comes out, that is). This is the Doodangers who have blended ’50’s roots rock’n’roll with ’90’s militant veganism in this Vegan Reich cover, ‘I, The Jury’. This is a practice cassette from August 27, 1990, and is the Doodangers’ only available song. With Tishy Quesenberry on drums and Scott Ritcher playing piano and singing, there are no plans for studio, record, or show engagements. Tishy was in Your Face and played on the Magenta Bent single. Of course, neither of them is a militant vegan, the words just seemed to fit with the song.

[Another entry for Louisville’s evolving genre of hardcore parody? Sure! Tishy and I couldn’t get things to gel for our early 1990 version of Sunspring, but we still wanted to collaborate and play together. Our music was simply piano, drums and vocals, and aspired to be a slower, tame Jerry Lee Lewis. Several practices of the Doodangers produced a lot of fun and this one unlikely cover song. “I’m through with tolerance, no more acceptance of your crimes. I don’t care about your freedom because your action restricts mine. The rights of those you step on everyday as drag down all in your way, to slowly self decay. And what of those who are killed or maimed when you drink and drive as if it’s a game? Or the third world peasants forced to make your cocaine, enslaved and impoverished by the choices you’ve made to feed your weakness, another vice. To satisfy your hunger you’ll never thing twice of the pain it causes others. You just talk about your rights as you eat the flesh of another that you denied life.”]

“Then there’s Crawdad who clocks in with two songs. Both of them were recorded on cassette through the mixing board at the Zodiac, December 3, 1990, the Earthquake Party. Crawdad hadn’t performed together fro 366 days before this show. The first song is called ‘Limbs’ and this is the first real recording of it with words. The second is called ‘Wally’ and was as spontaneous as it may sound. It’s a Louisville punk rock standard (for anyone unaware) as it is the last song on the Spot Proud cassette. This moment of Breck and Joey being reunited on stage after a year could only be so triumphant (if you like that sorta thing). Crawdad’s Loaded cassette is a limited edition of only 80 copies and a very few still remain. It came in five different colors (16 of each): white, maroon, army green, light blue, and red. Copies #41 through #80 are numbered. How’s all that for collector shit! Crawdad was: Kevin Coultas on drums, Joey Mudd singing, Breck Pipes on guitar, and Dave Ernst bassing.

[“I am a singular, an ordinary one. Unnecessary appendages for the said and done. Unnecessary. You can have them, you can take them. Take my limbs, take them, use them the best you can. Good news to the man with only two, or four. Mine are used in vein. I’ll give them to you, and more. I do not build with them. I only break with them. I do not mold with them. I only scold with them. I know you’re not an ordinary person. You take things to the extremes. I am an ordinary one, a singular one. Unnecessary appendages for the said and done.”

[The version of ‘Wally’ was very lengthy and began with Joey’s dedication, ‘This is for Jon Cook, he’s in school right now.’ The words to the song are simply the name ‘Wally’ repeated over and over. Joey improvised these additions, Well he’s a groovy dude. He goes to school in Antioch. He is so cool. He’s my friend with the beard, he’s my friend with the beard, he’s my friend with the beard. He plays bass in Crain. Wally! Before it was all over, it included a chorus from Deep Purple’s ‘My Woman From Tokyo,’ a verse from Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ several wahwah parts, funky bass, a brief James Brown tribute, a ‘Bring it down, boys,’ a guitar solo in which Breck drops his pick, an audience participation segment, and more improvised lyrics.]

“Finally, the twenty-third song is ‘Angels Crawl’ from Daisybrain. It was written in late 1989 in a stairwell and recorded on 4-track in October 1990. This is their only tune in circulation so far, and the Shelby County trio plans to move towards getting more music into your ears soon. Daisybrain is: Brad Bowman on guitar and vocals, Scott Sedlaczek on guitar and harmonica, and Jeff Hinton on bass and backing vocals. The original words started out with the line, ‘lick my ass…’ before it developed into what you’re hearing now.

[As Jeff and I were headed in different directions, this became the last contribution he would make to Slamdek. Scott Sedlaczek wrote to Slamdek in 1993, inquiring about contributing to another Christmas tape, but one wasn’t being created that year. This track has a mellow, early U2 feel to it, with a lot of acoustic guitar and harmonica. “Work so hard for nothing. Work so far and go nowhere. This country’s so clean, I can’t see far in front of me. Other words, different story, bridges burn, and there’s empty air. I’m falling for you. I’m falling to you.”]

TRACK LISTING:

Side one:
SISTER SHANNON Goreman
DOWNPOUR Defense*
CRAIN Drain
SLAMBANG VANILLA Ricky!
BUSH LEAGUE Bain
SPOT Paving Your Way (1987 Version)
POPE LICK Is That The Easter Bunny?*
HOPSCOTCH ARMY Sundown
LETTUCE PREY Undermine (live)
THE RAIN CHORUS Michael (live)
ENDPOINT Endpoint Outro

Side two:
7 MORE SECONDS In Your Face
PRE-CEREBELLUM Grimace
LUNGE ENGAGE Ode To A Chick
KING G & THE J KREW Did I Do Something Wrong? (live)
KILL THE MAN WITH THE BALL Christmas Straightedge
THE INSIDE OF A SHOE The Inside Of A Shoe
DEATHWATCH Invent A Law
POPE LICK Bardstown Road*
THE DOODANGERS – I, The Jury
CRAWDAD Limbs (live)
CRAWDAD Wally (live)
DAISYBRAIN Angels Crawl

All material previously unreleased (except *). Special thanks to John Kampschaefer, John Timmons, Simon Furnish, Ken Burton, Susanne Butler, Howie Gano, Julie Purcell, Dave Ellenberger, Dennis Remsing, EJ, Kim Coletta, Russ Honican, Christi Canfield, Kendall Costich, and everyone else who has helped design, create, photograph, inspire, coordinate, and assemble records and shows this year. Merry Christmas!