CASH FOR CHAOS
by Mystery Guest Columnist of the Month

You hear the news once again… one of your favorite bands from yesteryear is back together and touring. They’re playing at _______________ for $20 a ticket. Yeah, you only paid $5 to see them in 1978/80/82/84/86 but you were only making $3.25 an hour then. Now you’re making $13.25 an hour so it all comes out in the wash, right? Now all you have to do is waiting.

The curse of the Punk Rock Reunion Band is in full swing, and let me be the first to tell ya that seeing 40+ year old guys acting like they’re pissed off teenagers is pretty pathetic. While I used to be the first one in line to see some living history I’ve come to realize that 99% of the reunion bands are only doing it for the cash.

Picture the scene for a moment: The Punk Rocker that you idolized as a 16 year old out to grab the world by the balls is now a fat, balding letch thinking that what they’re doing is still relevant because new 16 year old punk rockers who’ve grabbed the world by the balls with one hand and forked over weekend-daddy’s credit card to Hot Topic with the other are willing to swallow whatever has-been pap the Idol is spewing out. I’m sorry, but someone still “singing” songs about Reagan 20 years after its sell-by date is NOT worth the oppressive greenback you gotta part with.

Most of the time it would barely even be considered the same band. If there’s only one original member then is it really the same band? When the singer is backed up by people young enough to be their kid (and in one case that I know of it actually IS the guitar player’s kid [The Lewd]) how can it be a “reunion”?

OK, here are some specific examples I’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing in the last few years:

Misfits/Damned/Dickies/Agnostic Front/D.I.

D.I. is the typical example of the “Dad with his kids as the backing band”. Casey Royer looked about 50, all saggy-cheeked and thin hair. His band was all Hot Topic fashionistas decked out in just the right spikes and studs. Mr. Royer did his best to appeal to the kids by wearing plaid bondage pants, something he wasn’t really known for back in the day. One original member and it’s the same band as “Johnny’s Got A Problem”? Not in my book.

The Dickies were the same story; Len and Stan as the grumpy old men, and some of the neighbor kids as the rhythm section. Can this really be called The Dickies?

"The Punk Rocker that you idolized as a 16 year old out to grab the world by the balls is now a fat, balding letch thinking that what they’re doing is still relevant"

I never liked Agnostic Front so I didn’t pay any attention to them, aside from their encore cover of a Cock Sparrer song played just so the “skinheads” in the crowd would know that AF were the real deal. Something AF never would have done back in the day.

The Damned had the Capt. and Dave. They played all the old hits that have lost any kind of spark they might have had in the 70’s.

I didn’t see the Misfit (as Jerry’s the Only one left I refuse to refer to them in the plural form!) so I can’t comment on that aside from saying that when you’ve got someone who played a minor role in the Misfits, someone who played a minor role in Black Flag, and someone who played a minor role in the Ramones you know all three are desperate for attention and cash.