#34 Portland Oregon: Hairspray Meets Satyricon. The Musical.

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19 No More Bullshit

I’ve been saving this one for Today since we Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven are playing tomorrow at Aladdin Theatre in Portland

In april of 1986 Camper Van Beethoven had just returned from their first proper national tour. We started in the Southwest and made a loop around the country, through texas, straight up to minneapolis, across the northern midwest to the northeast, down through the south and back to Santa Cruz. Conspicuously absent were any shows in the Northwest.

We were very fortunate to have been picked up by Venture Bookings in New York as our agency. Their roster in the mid 80′s reads as a who’s who of influential artists of the the late 80′s and 90′s. We were curious as to why we didn’t go up to Portland and Seattle. I remember our agent saying something to the effect that it’s just so far and the clubs are kind of shitty. Which in their defense was true at time. The only bands that regularly ventured up that way were hardcore punk bands or the old guard metal bands. BTW this goes a long way to explaining the development of Grunge.

The bathroom at the Satyricon was an exact replica of the bathroom at CBGBs.

Still we were so close to the Northwest we wanted to go up there. There was this kind of funny big blond dude who had been hanging around us. We knew he was from Oregon. His name was Jackson Lee Haring which is a funny name for a Croatian. The only clue that he wasn’t southern gentry was his big blond ‘fro. He looked like he was from some lost tribe of Arab surfers.

I remember asking Jackson if he knew of any venues in Portland or Eugene Oregon we could play. Jackson replied:

“As a matter of fact I have a company that books tours in the Northwest.”

About 6 weeks later we were playing a show in Corvallis Or. Our first Northwest tour. Jackson had come along on the trip. We were standing by our old 1978 Dodge Tradesman homemade conversion van. It was one of those rainy grey spring days in the willamette valley. He had on a big pilled green sweater. He was smoking a big fatty and some of the ash was burning in the pills of his sweater. He seemed oblivious to the fact it was raining. He was also oblivious to the fact that his sweater was on fire. I brushed the ash from his sweater.

“You’ve never done this before”

he looked at me blankly.

“You’ve never booked a tour before”


He then begins to laugh.

“You should be our manager”.

The Satyricon In Portland Oregon. Pandemonium ensued when no one brought any cigarettes to the Restarts gig. 300 Cigarette bummers and Zero cigarette bummees.

Why does this post start with a picture of a can of Aquanet?

Well Aquanet is very useful if you want to set the following things briefly on fire while on stage: The drummers Cymbals, Victor Krummenacher’s boot, the mic stand or a telecaster knockoff. You would spray a thin coat on your guitar and then you would put a match to it and you get a nice cool flame that would last 15 or 20 seconds. It was important to do this while there was some crazy guitar solo, freak out or noise section in a song.

So that night at the Satyricon we were playing No More Bullshit, and in the crash and burn guitar stops, i was down on the floor spraying my guitar with Aquanet. When i went for my lighter i dropped the can of Aquanet which rolled towards the front of the stage. As i was coaxing the blue flame upward on my guitar A punker chick picked up the can of hairspray and started spinning in a slow circle spraying a cloud of hairspray onto everyone around her.

I was of course oblivious of this until the 6 foot ball of hairspray drifted downward and intersected with the blue flame on my guitar. The resulting fireball burned off my my eyelashes, most of my eyebrows and the hair on my arms. There were some cheers and a smattering of applause from the small crowd as if this was part of the show.

No more bullshit. No more MTV. Yeah right. The next year we were on MTV an signed to Virgin Records. What a trip.

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The scene at the Satyricon is re-enacted for Americas Most Wanted.

No more bullshit
No more bullshit
no more MTV
no more rock stars

No more bullshit
No more bullshit
No more MTV
No more bullshit

no more bullshit
No more bullshit
Elvis Presley died
and no-one knows why

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