Monday, July 03, 2006

Together, Drinking, and Afraid: Fear and Bleeding in the Twin Cities: GBV-in-Minneapolis-Gate Part Three

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover
That you'd just be
One more person crying.

"It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" - Bob Dylan

We now return to this GBV concert, already in progress. (Some drinking etc.)

Rock rock rock. Rock rock rock. Rock rock rock. Rock rock rock.

Rockrockrockrockrock! Rockrock rockrock rockrockrock!

I don't know if it was so much the rockrockrock that went to our heads, as the feeling of power that comes from being looked upon with sheer horror and revulsion by a bunch of Minnesotans. Hahaha! You dead-eyed fuckers! This is fucking GBV, not your gramma's birthday party!

All right, you miserable worms, you don't know how to rock? We'll take you to boot camp. We'll drill you good!

Dirty half-dozen, faaaalll iiinn!! Roll call: Kev? Yo! Feral Mom? Yo! STDPM? Yo! Local-Guy Adam? Yo! Des? Des? Des!!! Yo-yo!!! Kev's Girlfriend? Oh, OK, yo. Yo, already, you hopping cretins. Yo if you must.

Sorry, KG. You might be the draftee in this unit, but you're in the army now. The buddy's life you save may be your own.

Company! Drop down and ...

Oh wait. No, you probably shouldn't do that. There seems to be a lot of broken glass on the floor.

Oops. I wonder how that got there.

Well, all right, let's stay on our feet. Let's all link arms and flail around in a circle. Faster ... faster ... The centrifugal force should make it easier to stay upright ...

Or not.

So it's every man and/or woman for his and/or herself, then. Freestyle balance techniques are in order. Establish a beachhead and pogo. Pogo for your life. Only ... watch out, Des, I think that's enemy territory.

Wow, that's a lot of tattoos and piercings on that big guy coming over here. And he's certainly walking with a purpose.

They got Des! Holy fuck! They got Des! And where's Local-Guy Adam? LGA! LGA!!! Oh man, LGA's missing in action! LGA's MIA!

Yeah, we were in the shit.

You know what they say about the fog of war. It's foggy. I headed to the rear to see if I could locate our fallen comrades. For one thing, I would have felt bad going back to Chicago without Des. It would have been a sad scene with the parents. That knock on the door, that solemn-faced messenger. "I regret to inform you ..."

OK ... Des and LGA haven't been killed, just captured. They've been escorted out the door, politely shown the exit ... because even the bouncers are nice guys at this place. I don't think Des had any idea what was going on, so he wasn't even suffering a wound to his pride or dignity (assuming he has any to begin with) ... and LGA could babysit him for a while. Which is good, because I wanted to get back to the front for "Cut-out Witch."

They say that if a fighting force suffers a 25% rate of casualties it inflicts irreversible psychological damage on the survivors. OK, Spalding Gray said that, but I believe him. We had already exceeded that figure, but the show was wrapping up, the war was just about over. But it's another fact of war that the danger doesn't end when the primary hostilities cease.

After the last encore, the rest of us mustered on the sidewalk waiting for our passes to the separation center, where we'd be discharged back to civilian life. Actually, we were waiting for Des and LGA, who were nowhere to be seen. And it was getting quiet out there, which was making me get nervous again. Downtown Minneapolis is a pretty quiet place at night. I was beginning to get the idea that it was going to be a challenge to get back to the car, let alone back to Kev's hotbox of a house. My head was starting to hurt and I wanted a cigarette. I think I forgot to bring any to the show, and had been bumming some from LGA during the course of the evening, or else I had run out. Anyway, where the fuck was LGA? And Des? Des could be halfway to Hong Kong by now, shanghaied by indiscriminate merchant marines. I really didn't enjoy that wait.

But after what was probably only 10 minutes or so, the knuckleheads, both of them, came wobbling from around some corner, and we steeled ourselves for a forced march through the mostly deserted central business district.

It's kind of ironic, given the unfavorable rating I got after all of this was over, but I was feeling pretty much like a mother hen on this walk. Jeezis, don't go through there! That's a construction zone! You'll step on a nail! Etc. Plus, I had a vague but nagging fear of getting arrested. We were making a lot of noise and looking pretty conspicuous, and I kept having to stop Des from hailing cabs, because he clearly thought we were back in Chicago. His reptilian survival instincts were only going to get us into trouble here, I figured. Somehow I didn't think any Minneapolis cops would find it funny that a drunken fool was weaving into the street to catch a ride back to Schiller's place on the North Side of a whole nother city entirely.

But it started to look like everything was gonna be all right, so I started feeling groovy again. And then I saw something that made me very excited and made me make everyone stop for a minute. The Mary Tyler Moore statue. I like that kind of stupid stuff. Mary! Who can turn the world on with her smile!

I didn't know then, but I know now, the giant moose in Black River Falls was not, as FM suggested, the bad omen in this story. That goddamn TV Land Mary Tyler Moore statue, heaving its stupid bronze tam o'shanter into the air -- THAT was the bad omen.

Because about 15 seconds later, after everybody had dragged my silly ass away from the corny pop-culture monument ... oy. Or, in local parlance, uff da. I think the ghost of Ted Knight stuck his foot out or something, because Kev -- the athlete among us, the last guy you'd expect it from -- tripped and tumbled forward, hard. Hard. I didn't see it well, but from the sound of it, I could tell right away that it was not good. You know the sound effect on Gilligan's Island when a coconut would hit the Skipper on the noggin? Same noise. You know that feeling you get when something slapsticky happens, but you know it's not funny? Yeah. That feeling.

Wow. I have known for a long time that even small head wounds bleed a lot, but it never stops being surprising to see it in action. Every wrestler with any proficiency at blade jobs knows it. Head wounds pump gore. And this'n was a doozy. New Jack hardly caused worse punishment to Mass Transit in that infamous ECW show.


So there we were, dazed, intoxicated, shards of glass stuck in the soles of our sneakers. Des still thinking we were a short Checker ride from a couch to crash on in Lakeview. Kev sitting on the sidewalk next to a bike rack not oozing but gushing red and wondering why God hates him so, so much.

And I think we'll stop here for today. Resolution, denouement, and epilogue in the next, and last, part. To paraphrase Frank Zappa from "Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch," Do they make it? Boy, we sure hope so!

[Factuality note: I appear to have gotten the date wrong back in part one. According to the GBV database, it appears that the show was on June 27, 2002, not June 28, although asking me to remember is unreasonable. Unreasonable! In case of geeky interest in such things, the setlist is here:]


Feral Mom said...

Damn, STDPM, you are writing the hell out of this thing. I would only add that this was probably the best GBV show *I'd* ever seen--They even played The Official Ironmen Rally Song, a song that had gotten me through a least a couple months of the blackest depression yet, in that bad old year of the end of June the clouds appeared to be lifting. And then GBV played it live. While Des was being escorted out, I was weeping freely, something I try never to do, let alone in public, let alone at concerts. I blame the year, that song, and the giant glass beers. The pretty pretty beers. I think I had seven or eight, at least.

What ever happened to LGA? He seemed cool.

And then...we break Kev! AGGGGH! It was, indeed, one of the most horrific things I've ever seen. Best to pause here and meditate on our mortality, until the master is ready to continue.

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

Yeah, I got rather carried away ... although considering the extremely dull, dry, expository stuff I write for a living, I think I was a little pent up. I've been digging the writer's high lately for the first time in years ... although it messes up my sleep patterns pretty well. Hard to wind down. The brain needs more beer than the body can take.

As for my take on the show, I'm just about certain that it was the best GBV show I saw. They were hot -- not like some of the sloppy messes we've all witnessed. If we had just been a little bit more relaxed and moderate, it would have just been a pleasant sort of concert memory. Oh well.

As far as this series of posts, I'm pretty sure the major fireworks are finished, although I do want to touch at least cursorily (and most likely, much less tour de forcefully) on the next day, including the topic of KG's broken-down car -- which was also our fault -- and that Norwegian comedy of Norwegian comedies, Elling. But that's probably going to have to wait for tomorrow. I'm hung over today, because that's how much I love my country.

new jack off said...

So tasty, I skipped dinner!

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

Yeah? Well, wait till you get a load of all the keen new Des fake radio material I'll be posting soon. You won't eat for a week!

beefy la sleep said...

Sounds more like a hunger strike. But bring it on. I could stand to lose some weight.