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Len Colby

GG Allin tour answers for Cliff

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WARNING OFFENSIVE CONTENT BELOW!!!

Cliff: 1990 -2

Len: I'm curious where you booked tours.

Did you book all his shows in that time period?

Curious to know if we have mutual acquaintances in the biz -- Dave Kaplan (NY), Wes Robinson (SF), and Gary Tovar (LA) are three guys you may have worked with.

Cliff I was never in the tour booking business. I was the video/merchandise guy on the 1st tour which had been booked by GG’s brother Merle. But he did so in an illogical manner, we drove up and down the California coast 2 – 3 times and didn’t always get guarantees against the door. I told him I could do better and booked the next 2 tours. It wasn’t always easy to convinced bookers/club owners to let GG play their venues. I told them the club should be as free of projectiles as possible and to remove, tables, chairs, stools, pool cues & balls, posters, ashtrays etc and to only serve drinks in cans or plastic cups.

The shows were in California (LA, SF, SD etc.) Texas (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio), New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, West Virginia (Huntington and Charleston), Philly, DC and Chicago plus a few other cities that escape me. Since GG was arrested before the tours finished there were shows that had to be cancelled I remember, Lawrence, KS, Minneapolis, Seattle and Denver but there were others.

Your friends’ names don’t sound familiar but it’s been a long time which clubs did they work at?

The funny thing is that GG was not the most phuqed up guy in the van, that distinction went to Dino ‘Sex’ the drummer. I sat next to him on the 1st day of the 1st tour. It didn’t take him long to enter into some sort of trance, whip his ‘willie’ out and start ferociously ‘jacking’ on it mumbling “the Lunachicks* are my wife, Squid** has the world’s biggest tits”. He’d pleasure himself for hours on end and normally had a bench to himself for the rest of the tours. He also violated himself with Blag Dahlia's phone stool

* an all-girl Punk band - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunachicks

** the band’s bassist

And just to be fair to Dawn and Terry, being utterly repelled by GG Allin is no sign of prudishness, of course.

True but they, or Terry at least, are prudes anyway.

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WARNING OFFENSIVE CONTENT BELOW!!!

Cliff: 1990 -2

Len: I'm curious where you booked tours.

Did you book all his shows in that time period?

Curious to know if we have mutual acquaintances in the biz -- Dave Kaplan (NY), Wes Robinson (SF), and Gary Tovar (LA) are three guys you may have worked with.

Cliff I was never in the tour booking business. I was the video/merchandise guy on the 1st tour which had been booked by GG’s brother Merle.

Running the merch booth is always fun, but hard work. Videotaping shows is a real hoot. Back in '96 I went to Europe with the Joykiller and shot a bunch of their shows. '03 -'05 I worked with an Orange Co artist named Bad Otis Link shooting TSOL, Weirdos, Skulls, Adolescents, Afflicted. Good stuff.

But he did so in an illogical manner, we drove up and down the California coast 2 – 3 times and didn’t always get guarantees against the door. I told him I could do better and booked the next 2 tours. It wasn’t always easy to convinced bookers/club owners to let GG play their venues. I told them the club should be as free of projectiles as possible and to remove, tables, chairs, stools, pool cues & balls, posters, ashtrays etc and to only serve drinks in cans or plastic cups.

I learned that about GG the hard way.

The shows were in California (LA, SF, SD etc.) Texas (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio), New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, West Virginia (Huntington and Charleston), Philly, DC and Chicago plus a few other cities that escape me. Since GG was arrested before the tours finished there were shows that had to be cancelled I remember, Lawrence, KS, Minneapolis, Seattle and Denver but there were others.

Your friends’ names don’t sound familiar but it’s been a long time which clubs did they work at?

Gary Tovar founded Goldenvoice in LA. Kaplan is a free-lance booker in New York. Wes Robinson (RIP) was a long-time Bay Area promoter who got Ruthie's going back in '83 and played a major role in the rise of the hardcore metal scene booking Metallica and Exodus as well as punk rock.

The funny thing is that GG was not the most phuqed up guy in the van, that distinction went to Dino ‘Sex’ the drummer. I sat next to him on the 1st day of the 1st tour. It didn’t take him long to enter into some sort of trance, whip his ‘willie’ out and start ferociously ‘jacking’ on it mumbling “the Lunachicks* are my wife, Squid** has the world’s biggest tits”.

At least he had good taste! I love the Lunachicks. One of the best live bands ever in my book. Squid is one of the best bass players in the biz. I'd put her up there with that guy from Soundgarden.

He’d pleasure himself for hours on end and normally had a bench to himself for the rest of the tours. He also violated himself with Blag Dahlia's phone stool

At a Dwarves/GG Allin show? That would have been a helluava bill. An old friend of mine Mike Fox played guitar in the Dwarves for a while. Blag is a major artist (in his own mind). Fun band, tho.

* an all-girl Punk band - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunachicks

** the band’s bassist

I've got a couple of more questions for you, Len, getting down to brass tacks:

Which version of TSOL do you prefer -- Jack Grisham or Joe Wood?

According to your reading of the JFK case -- where do you place JFK's back wound? B)

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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My latest

=================================================================

WARNING OFFENSIVE CONTENT BELOW!!!

WARNING OFFENSIVE CONTENT BELOW!!!

Cliff: 1990 -2

Len: I'm curious where you booked tours.

Did you book all his shows in that time period?

Curious to know if we have mutual acquaintances in the biz -- Dave Kaplan (NY), Wes Robinson (SF), and Gary Tovar (LA) are three guys you may have worked with.

Cliff I was never in the tour booking business. I was the video/merchandise guy on the 1st tour which had been booked by GG’s brother Merle.

Running the merch booth is always fun, but hard work. Videotaping shows is a real hoot. Back in '96 I went to Europe with the Joykiller and shot a bunch of their shows. '03 -'05 I worked with an Orange Co artist named Bad Otis Link shooting TSOL, Weirdos, Skulls, Adolescents, Afflicted. Good stuff.

I agree I was particularly fond of the Weirdos and Adolescents. Rikk Agnew came to the San Diego show I was shocked by how big he’d become. Another old school SoCal Punk is obese now too, it might be Steve Soto.

Based on the previous tours I had an idea of what % of the Ts should be M, L & XL except the 1st show of the 3rd tour was in West Virginia (a double bill with Hasil Adkins) and I sold out of XLs that night! I had these humongous hillbillies asking for double and triple XLs.

VTing GG was a special challenge lots of chaos and all sorts of objects and substances flying back and forth. After he took a dump at an SF show the smell of his crap was particularly foul so I moved from the left side of the stage to the right and then to the back of the club to no avail, I almost puked. Then as I was putting by camera in the bag I noticed a little glob about an inch from where my nose had been.

In response to a previous question Merle booked the NYC shows and with 1 or 2 exceptions I booked the rest during that period.

================================================================

But he did so in an illogical manner, we drove up and down the California coast 2 – 3 times and didn’t always get guarantees against the door. I told him I could do better and booked the next 2 tours. It wasn’t always easy to convinced bookers/club owners to let GG play their venues. I told them the club should be as free of projectiles as possible and to remove, tables, chairs, stools, pool cues & balls, posters, ashtrays etc and to only serve drinks in cans or plastic cups.

I learned that about GG the hard way.

So did some club owners! In Santa Barbara (or some other town north of LA) they moved GG from the main room to a small upstairs space which looked like an aerobics room with wall to wall carpet and floor to ceiling mirrors but no PA. I knew that wouldn’t end well! They finally wrangled up a tiny and tinny vocal amp/mike setup about an hour after the show supposed to start. The place was filled to way over capacity and dozens or hundreds of people got stuck outside. Since there was no stage people were pushing and shoving to get a good view. After about 3 songs the crappy amp blew out. Total chaos then ensued, as if they needed any encouragement GG told his fans to trash the place, the cops showed up with teargas, dogs, nightsticks and riot helmets. Luckily all we all go out unscathed, except GG of course but his wounds were self-inflicted.

================================================================

The shows were in California (LA, SF, SD etc.) Texas (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio), New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, West Virginia (Huntington and Charleston), Philly, DC and Chicago plus a few other cities that escape me. Since GG was arrested before the tours finished there were shows that had to be cancelled I remember, Lawrence, KS, Minneapolis, Seattle and Denver but there were others.

Your friends’ names don’t sound familiar but it’s been a long time which clubs did they work at?

Gary Tovar founded Goldenvoice in LA. Kaplan is a free-lance booker in New York. Wes Robinson (RIP) was a long-time Bay Area promoter who got Ruthie's going back in '83 and played a major role in the rise of the hardcore metal scene booking Metallica and Exodus as well as punk rock.

I don't think I ever met or spoke to them

================================================================

The funny thing is that GG was not the most phuqed up guy in the van, that distinction went to Dino ‘Sex’ the drummer. I sat next to him on the 1st day of the 1st tour. It didn’t take him long to enter into some sort of trance, whip his ‘willie’ out and start ferociously ‘jacking’ on it mumbling “the Lunachicks* are my wife, Squid** has the world’s biggest tits”.

At least he had good taste! I love the Lunachicks. One of the best live bands ever in my book. Squid is one of the best bass players in the biz. I'd put her up there with that guy from Soundgarden.

Yeah they were great! Since I lived in NY I saw them a lot, a friend of mine was friends with Cindy so I hung with them a couple of times. Dino unfortunately did his masturbation routine right in front of the stage every time his “wife” (“wives?”) played and was inevitably quickly booted. They opened for Rollins at a big theater where Squid’s boyfriend was a bouncer, that night didn’t end well for Dino!

He kept telling us he communicated with them, even when there were in different parts of the country, via “telekinesis” when we told him he meant ‘telepathy’ he insisted it was ‘telekinesis’. He also claimed to be immortal and ‘legally free”, i.e. he some sort or immunity.

================================================================

He’d pleasure himself for hours on end and normally had a bench to himself for the rest of the tours. He also violated himself with Blag Dahlia's phone stool

At a Dwarves/GG Allin show? That would have been a helluava bill. An old friend of mine Mike Fox played guitar in the Dwarves for a while. Blag is a major artist (in his own mind). Fun band, tho.

Yeah, great band but Blag (the singer)struck me as a completely stuck up a-hole. He invited us to stay at his communal apartment but soon started acting weird saying we couldn’t use his phone not even to make local or collect calls and objected when people called us. He was obviously jealous that GG was getting all the attention. Then Dino pulled his pants down and started whacking off which everyone (except Blag) found rather amusing. He then grabbed the singer’s phone stool flipped it over, squirted generic KY on one the legs and aaaah, how do I put it? Started to sodomize himself! That got us booted. I’m sure Blag only had the balls to do that because GG had left in the meantime.

The Dwarves were supposed to open but Blag, convinced GG would beat the crap out of him, chickened out. The rest of the band was very cool though, I particularly liked HeWhoCannotBeNamed. Ask your friend if his impressions of Blag and HWCBN are the same.

================================================================

* an all-girl Punk band - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunachicks

** the band’s bassist

I've got a couple of more questions for you, Len, getting down to brass tacks:

Which version of TSOL do you prefer -- Jack Grisham or Joe Wood?

According to your reading of the JFK case -- where do you place JFK's back wound? B)

I was never a big TSOL fan but definitely liked them better before they went Metal, I was(am) more into Blag Flag, Redd Cross, the Dickies, Agent Orange, Social Distortion, the Germs etc etc and X . I saw John Doe when I was stateside recently but thought he was a bit lame but Amy Lavere, the opening act, was awesome.

I think JFK’s back would was in his back not his neck.

Edited by Len Colby

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Len,

I'm still working on my response to your last post re Kennedy/Diem while juggling my home improvement project. Our only-somewhat-adversarial tone is perfect for a productive back'n'forth. A real pleasure, actually.

Until then, let's talk some punk rock!

All the usual warnings in effect...

I agree I was particularly fond of the Weirdos and Adolescents. Rikk Agnew came to the San Diego show I was shocked by how big he’d become. Another old school SoCal Punk is obese now too, it might be Steve Soto.

Yeah, Steve got real big. I hope he's okay, haven't seen the Adolescents in 6+ years. Great band! Their blue album is as good as it gets in my book. Rikk wasn't in the band when I was shooting them -- it was Frank's son playing second git.

Based on the previous tours I had an idea of what % of the Ts should be M, L & XL except the 1st show of the 3rd tour was in West Virginia (a double bill with Hasil Adkins) and I sold out of XLs that night! I had these humongous hillbillies asking for double and triple XLs.

VTing GG was a special challenge lots of chaos and all sorts of objects and substances flying back and forth. After he took a dump at an SF show the smell of his crap was particularly foul so I moved from the left side of the stage to the right and then to the back of the club to no avail, I almost puked. Then as I was putting by camera in the bag I noticed a little glob about an inch from where my nose had been.

In response to a previous question Merle booked the NYC shows and with 1 or 2 exceptions I booked the rest during that period.

GG didn't crap on stage when I saw him in Berkeley. Maybe Wes was too cheap with the rider and there wasn't much grub back-stage that night. :blink:

Do you remember the venue in San Fran? I'd bet that it was a Wes Robinson show...was the promoter a tall black guy in his 50's? When it came to booking bands like the Mentors or GG in the Bay Area it was almost always a Wes show.

But he did so in an illogical manner, we drove up and down the California coast 2 – 3 times and didn’t always get guarantees against the door. I told him I could do better and booked the next 2 tours. It wasn’t always easy to convinced bookers/club owners to let GG play their venues. I told them the club should be as free of projectiles as possible and to remove, tables, chairs, stools, pool cues & balls, posters, ashtrays etc and to only serve drinks in cans or plastic cups.

I learned that about GG the hard way.

So did some club owners! In Santa Barbara (or some other town north of LA) they moved GG from the main room to a small upstairs space which looked like an aerobics room with wall to wall carpet and floor to ceiling mirrors but no PA. I knew that wouldn’t end well! They finally wrangled up a tiny and tinny vocal amp/mike setup about an hour after the show supposed to start. The place was filled to way over capacity and dozens or hundreds of people got stuck outside. Since there was no stage people were pushing and shoving to get a good view. After about 3 songs the crappy amp blew out. Total chaos then ensued, as if they needed any encouragement GG told his fans to trash the place, the cops showed up with teargas, dogs, nightsticks and riot helmets. Luckily all we all go out unscathed, except GG of course but his wounds were self-inflicted.

I guess it wouldn't be a good GG show unless there was tear gas wafting in the air. I'd rather deal with that than flyin' poo!

I promoted hardcore in Reno '80-'82 and we had our share of wild shows in tight spaces. I brought Black Flag up a couple of times -- house parties, good vibes prevailed even tho the money got screwed up at the second one, which pretty much convinced me I was in the wrong business. I brought up the Lewd on New Year's Eve '80 -- another house party -- and it got a little violent. My security guy got his ass kicked. I ended up throwing the wrong guy out.

In March of '81 I put Dead Kennedys and DOA in the local VFW hall. It was an all-ages show but there was a full bar in a side room. At the time the Mabuhay in SF allowed 18 and over and the minors had X's marked on their hands -- which is what I did. The next day one of the teen girls, a scene regular, decided to end it all and went to the top of the MGM Grand and jumped off with a Dead Kennedys/DOA flyer in her pocket and X's on her hands. Big scandal. I didn't know the girl particularly, she was always real quiet. The local TV news stations played it up -- they couldn't wait for the toxicology report. But all the kids in the Reno scene at the time were straight-edge, so the publicity quickly died down.

Unfortunately, the young lady was the daughter of a notorious Reno gangster, and some of her relatives allegedly showed up at my house (which was also our house party venue) for a chat a couple of days later. I wasn't there. When I got home the place had been torn up, stereo trashed, aquarium blasted, my record collection tossed all over. Lucky for me I shared a good mutual friend with the gangster so I got to stay in town in one piece. My friend convinced him I had nothing to do with his daughter's suicide -- and that was that.

After the second Black Flag show, May of '81, I only did four more shows over the next 16 months. The business side of the music business wasn't my cup of tea, although I did help start DMR Productions in Berkley in '83, but that was only for a few shows. When one tries to do music business and stay everyone's friend at the same time one can end up losing all of one's money and all of one's friends! I made that mistake in Reno, but I didn't in Berkeley -- I stayed tight with the DMR girls.

I co-founded and managed 7 Seconds for a year -- and that was even tougher than promoting shows. It didn't help that I got a big head and thought I was a bigger star than the band!

Some background on the original 7 Seconds.

http://originalsevenseconds.com/

Kevin is no slouch in the big head department, either. In our exchange on Wiki a couple of years ago he started out denying I did much more than drive them around -- but he finally ended up admitting that I influenced his song writing during that period. It was nice to see him own up to it! That he can't bring himself to admit that Tom and I pro-actively put the band together is his cross to bear.

The funny thing is that GG was not the most phuqed up guy in the van, that distinction went to Dino ‘Sex’ the drummer. I sat next to him on the 1st day of the 1st tour. It didn’t take him long to enter into some sort of trance, whip his ‘willie’ out and start ferociously ‘jacking’ on it mumbling “the Lunachicks* are my wife, Squid** has the world’s biggest tits”.

At least he had good taste! I love the Lunachicks. One of the best live bands ever in my book. Squid is one of the best bass players in the biz. I'd put her up there with that guy from Soundgarden.

Yeah they were great! Since I lived in NY I saw them a lot, a friend of mine was friends with Cindy so I hung with them a couple of times. Dino unfortunately did his masturbation routine right in front of the stage every time his “wife” (“wives?”) played and was inevitably quickly booted. They opened for Rollins at a big theater where Squid’s boyfriend was a bouncer, that night didn’t end well for Dino!

He kept telling us he communicated with them, even when there were in different parts of the country, via “telekinesis” when we told him he meant ‘telepathy’ he insisted it was ‘telekinesis’. He also claimed to be immortal and ‘legally free”, i.e. he some sort or immunity.

He’d pleasure himself for hours on end and normally had a bench to himself for the rest of the tours. He also violated himself with Blag Dahlia's phone stool

At a Dwarves/GG Allin show? That would have been a helluava bill. An old friend of mine Mike Fox played guitar in the Dwarves for a while. Blag is a major artist (in his own mind). Fun band, tho.

Yeah, great band but Blag (the singer)struck me as a completely stuck up a-hole. He invited us to stay at his communal apartment but soon started acting weird saying we couldn’t use his phone not even to make local or collect calls and objected when people called us. He was obviously jealous that GG was getting all the attention. Then Dino pulled his pants down and started whacking off which everyone (except Blag) found rather amusing. He then grabbed the singer’s phone stool flipped it over, squirted generic KY on one the legs and aaaah, how do I put it? Started to sodomize himself! That got us booted. I’m sure Blag only had the balls to do that because GG had left in the meantime.

The Dwarves were supposed to open but Blag, convinced GG would beat the crap out of him, chickened out. The rest of the band was very cool though, I particularly liked HeWhoCannotBeNamed. Ask your friend if his impressions of Blag and HWCBN are the same.

Mike likes all those guys. He just wants to play, Mike Fox. He never gave a xxxx about any kind of music career -- he just loves to play, especially live. Best straight-ahead rocknroll git in the biz in my book. Los Olvidados, Drunk Injuns, Spider Baby, Hemi -- bands Mike played in before the Dwarves, great great bands all.

I know what you mean about Blag -- he just happends to be one of those guys who manages to get away with being a dick. Back in the early 90's he had a side band with Vadge, the Dwarves drummer -- the band was called "Blag Dahlia," a course. They were playing a show at the Bottom of the Hill, SF. I walked in right before they went on. I saw a friend of mine, Joe C, standing right up in front of the stage. It was a week-night, not many people showed up. I went over and shot the xxxx with Joe for a minute, he was his usual acerbic funny self. I noticed Joe's girlfriend Lillian at the bar. We exchanged waves. Then Blag Dahlia came on. After two songs Blag goes -- "There's not enough people here, I'm not gonna waste my time!" He jumps off the stage and bolted for the dressing room upstairs out the back. Joe mutters, "He hit on Lillian!" -- and runs after him. I went over and chatted with Lillian, a big-eyed exotic beauty of Greek descent. She was cool, like nothing happened. Five minutes later Joe joins us at the bar, cool, as if nothing happened. I got the impression that Blag thought Joe was going to kick his ass and so he cut the set short. But whatever confrontation ensued Blag got away with it, neither Joe or Lillian said another word about it. Blag hits on any pretty girl in sight, so I guess he's good at chilling out enraged boyfriends.

Anyhoo...the post-original 7 Seconds doing an original 7 Seconds song:

"Kill kill Ronald Reagan" -- how they got away with that I'll never know...

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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In the interest of accuracy...

Len wrote:

The Dwarves were supposed to open but Blag, convinced GG would beat the crap out of him, chickened out. The rest of the band was very cool though, I particularly liked HeWhoCannotBeNamed. Ask your friend if his impressions of Blag and HWCBN are the same.

I wrote:

Mike likes all those guys. He just wants to play, Mike Fox. He never gave a xxxx about any kind of music career -- he just loves to play, especially live. Best straight-ahead rocknroll git in the biz in my book. Los Olvidados, Drunk Injuns, Spider Baby, Hemi -- bands Mike played in before the Dwarves, great great bands all.

I know what you mean about Blag -- he just happens to be one of those guys who manages to get away with being a dick. Back in the early 90's he had a side band with Vadge, the Dwarves drummer -- the band was called "Blag Dahlia," a course. They were playing a show at the Bottom of the Hill, SF. I walked in right before they went on. I saw a friend of mine, Joe C, standing right up in front of the stage. It was a week-night, not many people showed up. I went over and shot the xxxx with Joe for a minute, he was his usual acerbic funny self. I noticed Joe's girlfriend Lillian at the bar. We exchanged waves. Then Blag Dahlia came on. After two songs Blag goes -- "There's not enough people here, I'm not gonna waste my time!" He jumps off the stage and bolted for the dressing room upstairs out the back. Joe mutters, "He hit on Lillian!" -- and runs after him. I went over and chatted with Lillian, a big-eyed exotic beauty of Greek descent. She was cool, like nothing happened. Five minutes later Joe joins us at the bar, cool, as if nothing happened. I got the impression that Blag thought Joe was going to kick his ass and so he cut the set short. But whatever confrontation ensued Blag got away with it, neither Joe or Lillian said another word about it. Blag hits on any pretty girl in sight, so I guess he's good at chilling out enraged boyfriends.

I hadn't seen Joe C in quite a while ran into him recently and he set the record straight -- what really happened makes a better story.

Blag didn't "hit on" Lillian -- Blag hit Lillian, physically.

Joe said Blag made all proper apologies back stage so Joe deemed to climb out of his face.

Lillian and Joe were so cool about it afterward I never would have guessed...

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