My tale starts in the late nineties. It’s amazing how such a short period of my life looms so large in my minds eye, yet loom it does. My late teens and early twenties were a chaotic time during which I:
- Worked for Boston Market (94-97 fired twice, go me!)
- Worked Toys R Us night crew (Christmas season 96,97)
- Worked KB toys night crew (Christmas season 97,98,99)
- Met my future wife (at a Boston Market coworkers lame party where I wooed her by sacrificing gummy bears on the dart board)
- Delivered food for a small eatery (easy money)
- Got paid to wave a flashlight in a club parking lot (even easier money, and more of it, stuffed in an envelope marked ‘New Guy’)
- Moved to Florida met the devil got saved by an angel and moved back (an adventure unto itself)
- Almost became a drug dealer (had lots of acid pre-sold but came to my senses in time and lied to my would be clientele and told them my supplier got arrested)
- Lit numerous things on fire (those biodegradable leaf bags are asking to be set ablaze and rolled down hills, relax nobody ever got hurt)
- Became a vegan which lasted until Easter at the in-laws (mmmmmm ham)
- Did a brief stint as an Activist (oh riot gear and pepper spray how I miss you)
- Was a mall rat and diner rat (in a student documentary about Diner Rats)
- Smashed lots of stuff
- Hung out with an interesting mix of people who hence forth I shall refer to as the Crew.
- Experimented with drugs until God told me not to (a tale for another time)
- Went to a shitload of shows (more concerts in 97 than in all the years since)
- Faced death and lived (several times)
’96 is the year I became indoctrinated into the world of Gwar. A friend who I met at Toys R Us was a huge Gwar fan, so much so that he had Balsac the Jaws of Death inked into his arm flesh (if you ask me he got it too soon the newer costumes blow the old ones out of the water). He convinced a bunch of the Crew to go to see Gwar.
We went to see them at the famed Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. I have no recollection at all of whom the opening acts were, it doesn’t matter. I remember the press of the crowd as everyone was pushed first one direction then another as the throng jockeyed for position. There is always a long wait while Gwar sets up the shit that makes the magic happen and this show was no exception.
There I am toward the front of the pit anxiously awaiting what is to come, fighting just to remain upright and someone begins to shout ‘Gwar! Gwar! Gwar!’ I look around but they still haven’t taken the stage but the masses move more as the anticipation builds to a fevered pitch. Then it happens, Gwar begins to play and the crowd erupts into a flurry of banging heads, flailing arms and sweaty bodies.
I only knew the words to some of their songs at the time and sang along to the ones I did know. When Slymenstra did her fire act I got my hair singed (what better way to commemorate my first show?) At one point some asshole found their way on stage and Gwar stopped playing. A few members walked off stage leaving Oderus to tell bad jokes while things were sorted out. Eventually the show resumed.
During this show I fell in love with Gwar and realized I hate crowd surfers. For one thing, they block the flow of fluid coming from the stage (I want that to hit me, fuckers!), for another, they interrupt the euphoric trance I enter in a Gwar pit. Let me explain:
For me, being in a Gwar pit is a religious experience. When I prepare to enter the pit I take off my glasses and put them in my front pocket (learned the hard way that putting them in the back pocket results in broken glasses and a dodgy drive home). Then I work my way into the crowd. I used to get to the front before they took stage but came to view this as a waste of energy (who cares if you are upfront before there is something to see?). Now I work my way from the sides when Gwar starts playing.
At first I am tense but by the third or fourth song I enter an almost meditative state. The throbbing of the bass, the push and pull of the crowd, I lose all sense of self. I look around at others and see an unspoken understanding on almost every face. I am singing but not as myself singing but as one with the crowd singing. Moving with the ebb and flow of the tide of flesh, just another droplet in the ocean, its hot, its sweaty, its packed and I don’t give a damn. Forgotten is my job, my family, my responsibilities, I am in the moment. I love the cooling relief as a blast of liquid gushes at me full force and enjoy as it trickles down my sweat soaked body. This is what I live for. This is why I am here. Then some jerk has to break the spell by crowd surfing.
I try to stay up toward the front far enough from the circle pits so I can pay attention to what is happening on stage but when surfer is near you have to watch out for grabbing hands and flailing feet and support their weight as they use you to propel themselves along. When they get to the barrier the security yanks them out and sends them out of the pit (except at Tinks in Scranton PA those bouncers actually pushed one of the surfers back down on me as I was trying to help the fucker along over the barrier).
Since this first show I have seen Gwar dozens of times. Once I started spawning 11 years ago, they are the only band I still go to see. I am glad they still play small venues because I think a lot would be lost in an arena (though I do think they deserve to be paid like they were selling out a stadium).
I am really looking forward to seeing them again though it will be bittersweet as one of the people I used to go see shows with is no longer with us. RIP Jason
"Take this, all of you, and eat it, for this is my body."
He then proceeds to bless the wine and says,
"Take this, all of you, and drink it, for this is my blood."
Finally, he picks up the milk, but Peter looks at him and says,
"You can fuck off."
I'm doing pretty well on the last 2, but the 'providing' part has become harder and harder lately. I am often robbing Peter to pay Paul and it's beginning to snowball a little. It was getting better for a while but I think I burned out with the promoting and fund raising I was doing for other people these last few months ... so I'm back in the red again.
For the first time in 3 years I was late on my mortgage payment ... and now I'm behind in 'bills' and the next mortgage payment is days away.
So I'm here asking for some help from google+ ... to spread the word that I have art and prints and services to sell.
I'm not really seeking handouts but I also know there are those that just like to give, so I won't say no. (My paypal is firstname.lastname@example.org)
But what I really need is for people to spread the word. If you know someone that is in to the kind of artwork I do, or needs an artist, please let them know.
And if you've been thinking about getting a commission from me, please contact me.
Perhaps you want to join the project, or even buy some art from my shop http://zombies.storenvy.com/
Anything you can do to help or spread the word is really truly appreciated.
- 8,576,097 people in commonOwner, present
- Last night I lay in my bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought; Where the heck is my ceiling?!
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