So this past Saturday I go and see the old rivals, the Penetrators down at the Casbah. They were in fine form considering the amount of time since I'd last seen them (1982?) and such and so forth. There's a lot of water under that bridge, and time has mended some fences I guess so I went to enjoy and take in my youth all over again.
It was immediately noted by myself and later validated by an old friend (and you still look marvelous my dear!), that the average age was well into the 50's and probably older and we were out flanked by the geriatric scenesters. I felt young again, real young (which was later validated by the fact I could squeeze into size 29 skinny hipster Levis 511's, but adult sensibility kept me from buying them). My wee bit o'gray hair now seemed insignificant compared to the white and gray tresses flowing that night.
Opening up the show were Manual Scan (missed them, they must have started at 9pm), The Latino Uncles (El Vez and Mario Escovedo) and The Loons (Mike Stax and Anya, his wife). Since I didn't see Manual Scan and haven't seen them since the last reunion back in 2001, I have nothing to report other than I trust they can still hold it together well as they have in the past. The Latino Uncles were a riot, a righteous one at that and with El Vez's and Mario's Latin gesticulations and animated stage presence how could one not but laugh, sing along and at a minimum stamp one's foot.
The Loons are well, loons. You have to be crazy to get up on stage, turn back the hands of time that far and get it right to boot, plus making a racket that one might enjoy. What I didn't enjoy was the fact that there was no stage, it was cramped in the back bar, the sound was meh at best and I had a lousy spot in which to shoot photos. So I went back to the main area and scoped out a place before the Pen's hit the stage and got a Guinness as well. All was fine until I spilled part of god's ambrosia onto my photo gear. Rats... I tried my best to blow the liquid out of anything I could see (which wasn't much...) thank god the flash worked as I not excited about the built in one.
Gary Heffern hit the stage and everyone was ready to relive the glory days, which admittedly the Pens amply and ably provided. I only heard a few gaffs somewhere between the guitar and bass, but for the most part they played well and threw in a new song or two of which Gary needed some prompting from a sheet of paper. Jeff Kamack provided drumming as Dan McClain had sadly departed sometime back, but did his job with authority and dignity. Joyce Rooks later joined them onstage for a few songs, I hadn't seen her since 1981 and she still looked as sweet as ever. Scott Harrington, an original member also joined them for the set and provided steady Les Paul meat to Chris Davies' tortured Fender wranglings.
It had been pointed out a few weeks back at another reunion gig by
oh crap now I gotta dust off some other memories I suppose. Or not...
Here's some pics for posterity