Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nashville Pussy/Gaunt/Polyplush Cats @ Friar Tuck's, Norfolk, VA (4/20/98)

Mr. Biggers and I made the terrible mistake of not entering this establishment (which plays good rock 'n' roll approx. 5-6 times on an annual basis, or by default when the jam-band-loving frat boys are out of town) before 8:00 p.m. The shows I had attended there in the past didn't start collecting money at the door until 9:00 p.m. This was unfortunate, because if there's one person that's a bigger cheapskate than I, it would be Mr. Totally Useless Crap himself -- the one and only Biggers. I had to take out a loan from the man. (Who did not relish his role as a banker one bit, and probably now hates my guts and wants to sever all ties to this piece of two-year-old babyshit zine)

We finally made it inside the club, and Biggers headed straight for the bar to order a Budweiser. I haven't figured out why he always gets Bud, because our past conversations about favorite beers did not include that beverage on his list. As for myself, I made haste to a nearby booth and started to read this new local zine called Fuck The World that was on the table next to the spit-filled ashtray. Two of our friends, whom we'd seen at almost every cool show in the past, came up to us. We started yapping about the good things in life such as old Atari 2600 video games, songs by Brownsville Station that were covered by Motley Crue, the letter "M", and the show "Good Times." Ten minutes later, we heard our first live music of the night. Nashville Pussy did a sound-check and went through a test run of two songs: the instant classic "Go Motherfucker Go" and what may or may not be a song from their album Let Them Eat Pussy. I ordered that damn thing eons ago, and it still hasn't shown up in my mailbox. The Pussies were in lapping order, so they exited stage right. The sounds of Billy Joel ("Big Shot") and the Atlanta Rhythm Section (didn't know the title of the song from this band who frequently plays the Peanut Festival in Suffolk -- it was the one that goes, "I am so into you...") took our already ringing ears hostage.

Not too long afterward, the Polyplush Cats from Washington D.C. began their set and impressed with some very fine glam-rock sounds. ('70s-style a la Sweet) Crazy guitar antics and a touch of punk were also thrown in the pot. This was a nice surprise, for the Cats hadn't been listed on the show fliers, and because I had missed their Route 44 stop from a couple months back.

UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! Biggers became the new Drunk Champion of Loose Screws, taking the belt away from me. He'd doused himself with so much beer in the space of two hours, the ingested liquids could've floated that elegant piece of junk sitting in the harbor known as "The Spirit Of Norfolk." After mistaking the booth for a comfy bed and making six wrong turns to use the bathroom, Biggers wanted to leave Tuck's. With me being the responsible (gasp!) designated driver, I carted him back to the Pleasure House Rd. wing of the Loose Screws mansion. I was going to write the whole evening off, as the station formerly known as "The Fox" played..."Big Shot" by Billy Joel. Thought to myself, "Man, you can never escape that guy." However, the next band they spun in the rotation caused me to exclaim, "Unfucking believable!" It was...ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION!!! Now, I'm not easily prone to superstition, but I interpreted that coincidental breaking away from an otherwise tepid play list as a sign to GET MY RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC ASS BACK TO FRIAR TUCK'S IN TIME TO CATCH NASHVILLE PUSSY!!!

I did make it back in time for NP but had completely missed Gaunt. Several people told me that they were nothing special (I've never heard their music), but I knew Gaunt had a new album out and were touring behind it. So, I couldn't make a call either way without hearing them.

Nashville Pussy eventually made it back to the stage they had occupied several hours before. They barnstormed through most of the songs from their already collectable 45s ("Snake Eyes," "Eat My Dust," "Johnny Hot Rod," and the aforementioned "Go Motherfucker Go" -- which contains the priceless lines: "Don't go to work, don't go to school, don't do a goddamn thing/Sit on my ass, holding that glass/Tell everyone I'm king..."), as well as a healthy batch of new album material. The highlight (for me) was when Blaine yelled, "Two-faced woman with your two-faced lies..." as the band tore into a jaw-dropping take on one of the all-time classics ("Kicked In The Teeth") from one of the all-time greats (AC/DC) off one of the all-time best albums. (Powerage) NP also did this wild, "Eruption"-style, extended instrumental replete with amazing guitar solos (Eddie who?); bang-your-head percussion; raunchy second guitar from Blaine; and the fire-breathin', whiskey-drinkin', lugie-spittin', bass-playin' fox named Corey. She went off-stage carrying a fiery stick into the crowd and blew a burst of flames at a willing gentleman's face. Suggestion: If you're cold-blooded, wear a coat next time. This was my fourth time seeing this "Motorhead with tits"-described band. Uh, I may subscribe to that notion musically, but the image of "Fast" Eddie Clarke (let alone Lemmy!) with a full set of knockers makes my insides queasy. Regardless, if you're someone who missed AC/DC, Motorhead, Ted Nugent, KISS and all the other great, guitar-god, party-hardy rock 'n' roll bands of the '70s/'80s, go see NP. That way, you can tell your kids fifteen years from now when they visit you in prison, "Shit, I saw Nashville Pussy when they were..."


  1. Great way to close that piece, Gunther! Ever think when you saw NP 12, 13 years ago that they'd still be around in 2010? Seeing that band live was a rite of passage for anyone who was into live rock n' roll in the late '90s. But I haven't listened to their music since, like 1998!

  2. No, I thought NP would be kaputz by this point. It's pretty mind-blowing that a band from Black Lung Records would later be nominated for a Grammy!

  3. In 1998, would you have put money on Cherokee Parks ending up less famous than his sister?

  4. Maybe. CP didn't have much of a profile. He didn't exactly spit fireballs on the court. Did you read the interview Nardwuar conducted with him in Flipside? Pretty cool.

  5. Seeing Gaunt and Nashville Pussy together would be a dream come true!