The sound of one man clapping VI

Punk Band

Someone organised a party at the footy club. (Was it an 18th?) We were to be paid in beer and, equally exciting, would be opening for a local big-name band.

These guys were massive. They had a CD out and even had their own stickers, which you would see on P-plated rear windows all over southern Adelaide, as wells on guitar cases and school books. Massive. They lived a few blocks away from Mike’s and were musical veterans, averaging at least 23 years of age.

One time, their guitarist jammed with us when we were looking for a second guitarist. His strumming hand moved so quickly it just became a pinkish smear in the air. We couldn’t believe he’d given up his afternoon to hang with us. In reality he’d probably had nothing else to do.

So, we were to open for those guys and be paid in beer. I wore a skin-tight op shop shirt which, it turned out, had once belonged to Danny’s girlfriend. He was very cuddly that night.

With five band members, we polished off our free carton of Southwark effortlessly, playing and drinking as if we were invincible.

And the audience! Heads bobbed and nodded, voices shouted post-song, beer was spilled and cigarettes greyed the air of that footy club front bar. I played in my boxer shorts, broke two sticks, cracked a borrowed crash cymbal and busted my finger open on the edge of my floor tom, leaving a beautiful red firework stain on the Remo skin.

Later, between songs in the headliners’ set, their drummer pointed to me and told the full room to give me a big clap. Said I played like a motherfucker.

My All Stars walked on that smoky air for days.


~ by Daniel Townsend on May 29, 2015.

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