Wednesday, June 15, 2016

6/15/96

What a shitty day this was! The Cocodrie, once located in San Francisco across from the famed Lusty Lady strip club, was far from being the best place to deal with in terms of getting shows set up. But unlike Gilman Street, they were at least open to it. The Misanthropists set up the show and if I’m honest, there were too many bands on the bill. Not included on this flyer were Fields of Shit and a band from San Diego called Pinche Swatos. This show was doomed from the start. Bands kept dropping off the bill. The Cocodrie’s matinee shows were notorious for drawing next to no crowd, and the fact that there was a kegger taking place in Berkeley at the same time did nothing to help. I woke up that morning with a huge, bloody blister on my heel that made walking a near-impossible task. After draining a ton of blood and pus and wrapping the heel, I grabbed a cane and hobbled over to Fruitvale BART to meet the rest of the band members. None of us were in a particularly good mood heading over to this show. My limited mobility made the walk from Powell Street BART all the more irritating. What more could possibly happen today?

Enter Jake Filth.

All-ages shows at places like the Cocodrie included a policy mandating that underage patrons had to pay an extra two dollars for a drink ticket. This has never made any sense to me or most anyone else I’ve ever discussed the matter with. But that’s how it was and most kids dealt with it if they wanted to go to shows at places like that. Jake, who was in Fields of Shit, took exception to this policy by grabbing the microphone from the Misanthropists and launched into a diatribe that was something along the lines of “blah blah blah, drink tickets suck, blah blah blah, the fuckin’ punks, blah blah blah, we’re not playing.” That would have been fine, but for some reason Jake took it upon himself to continue the argument with the Cocodrie’s staff. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out well. The Cocodrie’s owner (who I remember as bearing more than a slight resemblance to Ozzy Osbourne) got pissed off and pulled the plug two songs into the Masked Men’s set.

Somehow, this turned into a fight. Or a mini-riot, depending on who you talk to. Sean, the 300-pound Masked Men drummer, stomped a hole into the stage with his boots. The potted plants around the club were smashed up. This tagger kid named Luke who came with us grabbed a shot glass and yelled “THIS PLACE SUCKS MY DICK!” before slamming the glass into the mirror behind the bar. I think some of their bouncers got smacked around too. The cops were called, but everyone was able to get out of there without getting arrested. There was talk of moving the show across the bay to the Cloyne Court Hotel, a notorious UC Berkeley co-op that members of Subincision lived at. Since they weren’t exactly hurting for shows at the time, they didn’t entertain the notion for very long and opted to get drunk instead.

An apology or remorse on the part of Jake Filth was not forthcoming. I suppose I can understand why. After all, any band he is in could get shows whenever they wanted, simply because they’re “Jake Filth’s new band.” He didn’t have to do anything to promote the show, nor did he fork over any deposit money like the Misanthropists did. Instead, he enjoyed free beer and made a decision that cost young kids who respected him and his bands a chance to play a much-needed show. Pick your spots.

FLYER/BOOKER: The Misanthropists.

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