Sunday, October 14, 2012

Punks You Can't Beat Us

Melbourne, Australia

Living in Melbourne has been a long time dream for me; my Mecca for music.  Now that I'm here, I'm lapping up every opportunity at live music.  It's got an excess of something I love & somehow I find myself with more energy than I can bear.

The kitchen staff scoffed at me when I told them I like punk music.  All but one.  I had wanted to ask if he knew any good venues or gigs based on his old rugged tattoos, but I don’t like being presumptuous.  Turns out he fronts a punk band.  Actually, it turns out he’s a veritable celebrity in the Melbourne punk scene.  We started jabbing on about music during afternoon cleanup.

He got me into the Melbourne Punk Pub Crawl.  It’s been going on 30-odd years, always on the day of the AFL Grand Final.  Keep the day clear.  People come interstate for this.  They used to have clashes with the cops, but now they have a police escort.  It’s kind of a big deal.

When I got there they had already trashed a cop car.  There were some loose cans of paint at the back of the corner pub that was unsuspectingly slammed with hundreds of punks.  One was nicked & used to redecorate a patrol car.  They weren’t too happy.

A show of force to show who really owns the streets.  It was the first time I’d heard someone say “Drink up guys, there’s gonna be a raid!”

There are few shits, but most of us are wonderful people.  Yeah, sure I associate myself with these guys.  I might not look the part, but I brought a turkey sandwich to a pub crawl.  How punk is that?

Then there was the bridge gig – the best show yet.  Under an overpass by the railway lines, we ran our own show.  You would never know screaming past with your windows up, but we lit the night on fire.  Our rules.  Bands all night, bring what you want, share.  There was a bar & a skate ramp built.  Arm-in-arm with some of the most rugged midnight warriors that’d make you cross the street, singing all the while.  They don’t know me, they just high-five me after a sweet mosh.

There’s a real sense of community among us.  Sticking up for each other; I saw this tiny girl go crazy at a show.  Writhing on the pool table, flipping chairs, picking fights with the bouncers, & ripping her clothes off, while the manager gave her water & made sure she had friends nearby.  Then asked me if I wanted the same shot she had.

One of these things on my “always wanted to do” list is dye my hair & get a Mohawk.  Somehow this fell into my “I’ll just do it when I get to Australia” box.  One of my friends has a shaved head with a pink fringe.

Stick around, Have Fun, Lay low.