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Pancho And Redbone - rock musicians evaluate other rock musicians

A GUIDE TO ASS--KICKIN' ROCK

HOWDY DOO FOLKS, MR. ANDY HARRIS HERE, writing at my desk unit near the verdant green hills of Palos Verdes. Now, from time to time I find myself doing articles in this esteemed publication you're reading, and nine times out of 10 these pieces have to do with some rock band or another. While it turns out I happen to really like taking photos of rock 'n' roll shows and all the fun that comes associated with them, writing about these things is often a whole different monster. So this month I thought I'd try something a little different. I'd like to introduce you to Pancho and Redbone, a couple of guys I've come to know from the streets and dead-end bars of my digs in San Pedro; two men as different as a fish to a fowl, yet they seem to be the best of friends nonetheless. They too are fans of the rock, just as we are, and both fellas are hideously underemployed so I thought I'd throw a little journalistic bone their way to see what they would do with it. So here you have it friends--Pancho and Redbone's guide to kick-ass rock.

The Bananas

(Pancho)-Great band, man. They're from Sacto and for those not in the know, that's Sacramento, capital of this foolhardy state. The Bananas leave me smiling every time I run into them: Two guys, Mike and Scott, guitar and drums respectively, and Lisa the girl on bass. Mike is the center point of the band--lots and lots of fall down drunkenness on stage, laughing and telling jokes and looking a whole lot like the geeky kid from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He plays that axe of his straight, no distortion: A real happy-slappy experience is what a Bananas show is like. Same goes for their two CDs, Forbidden Fruit and A Slippery Subject. Sing-along stuff about drinking and dream girls and funny stories, and more songs about drinking.

(Redbone)-- Awwwe Pancho, why didn't ya tell em about how you was pourin' that Columbian Rum in a box down the singer's gullet when we checked 'em out in Berkeley last winter? That's what really matters, man! The Bananas are downright nutso-smasho and Pancho here jes' wants to talk all intellectual about their "sound." But I'll tell you what, my little Mexican compadre was talkin' nothin' about sound or pluggin' their CDs when they showed up down in Santee-Anee and played up a gig at that there Koos Cafe a spell back. He was a whoopin' it up, drunk as a skunk dancin' and gigglin' to the magic those Bananaramas kicked out that night. He's dead-eye correcto when he say's they's great to sing along with though, 'cos I found myself singing my fool head off that night, buddy. Man, I sure hope they's still out on that wild road, lettin' everybody know jes' how it's done. Or hell man, even if they rode that Banana boat back up to Sacramento, and right now are toolin' around the Governor's mansion and what not, I kno w they's rockin' hard at home. I reckon they's still drinkin' and a shootin' up the town (that Lisa's a hellion with a six shooter I hear), and that's jes' what they should be doin', I don't guess.

(Pancho) -- At first I was skeptical about this band and their name, but before the first song was over, I was sold--rock 'n' roll, for reals. Loud and fast rules. Singer is Jared from that metal band Karp, Dave and Quitty on guitars from Behead the Prophet, and so on. First time I saw them it was with that emo-ish band Unwound a few years back. I was completely unprepared for the rock that was to go down that night. A cymbal bashing, tambourine smashing, afro-flipping good time. These guys are from Washington state, Olympia to be exact, and I know of at least a couple CD/LPs and a few 45s/7-inches to their credit. The new CD's called Lend Your Hand, but it lends you more than that. Life will be altogether radder after you experience the Tight Bros.

(Redbone)--Skeptical? Long ass name? Never mind what that Pancho has to say anyway. He's due for a swift kick in his swap meet ass; son' bitch wouldn't know a good time if it came up and knocked his front teeth out. Back to the matter at hand. Them Tight Bros! Now that's an all-out rawkin' bunch a fellas. That Olympia they's comin' from, I'd say that's the land of Sky Blue Waters ain't it? Hamms! They're from the same town as Hamms Beer! Hot damn! Well. it makes enough sense anyhow.

(Pancho) -- So it turns out I got invited to some July 4th party down the street from my house this year. I wasn't gonna go, but shit, there was some bands playing and a bunch of cute girls milling around so what the hell. As usual, old Redbone managed to sniff out the party as well and when I got there he was in fine, fine form. I walked into the front room and there he was, arm and arm with some floozy, splashing booze all over the place and blowing up fireworks in his hands. One of the bands was just getting under way and to my surprise it was The Blacks from Tucson, Arizona. These guys are fucking great! I had seen them before at this very same house last year. They aren't black dudes, but they are extremely fast and evil sounding. On this particular night they sliced through the sulfuric smoke of Redbone's fireworks and disregarded the buckets of beer being dumped upon them to bang out, a demonic mess of a set. I later wound up hanging out with the guys in the band when all was said and done, I had a cop y of their LP CD, Hate You Like Gold, in my hands. This disc is horrendously top notch.

(Redbone) -- Holy heck Pancho! You was at that party over on 4th Street? I didn't even notice ya; what with all that nasty smoke a floatin' around and all that wine in my belly. Folks kept forkin' over all kinds a stuff to me too: Lit up Roman candles, cocktails, zebra striped brassieres... It was a full-bore blowout of a shindig! And gawd damn them Blacks! They jes' came a blastin' outta that smoke like a trio of ghouls screamin' for blood! I honestly don't think I caught one word that singer was yappin' about and I honestly could give a rat's ass! They had me and the rest of them scrags and scalawags gyratin' all over in some sort of fiendish trance! By the time they finished up I was on the verge of passin' out and I done pissed myself right then and there! Shit! It takes a lot for a band to make me wet my knickers, son. Them desert boys get an A+ in ass kickin' class. that's for certain.

Redbone: Hey Panchito, you ain't never gonna believe what just came over the wire from old Tucson, AZ. It seems that the singer and axe man from them Blacks we was hypin' up has done gone on to a finer place than this here ball of crud we're residin' on. I don't quite know the thick or the thin of it, but I'll tell you this: We have just lost ourselves one prime piece of rock 'n' roll real estate: Chad Black has done gone on.

Pancho: It's true. Chad, the Blacks singer and guitarist died during the band's US tour in July. 1 really don't know what else to say about it, except that it's a sad, sad end to a great, great band.

Redbone: Naw man, there's plenty more to say! Here's to a band who tore the damn roof off and kicked the walls down every time I saw 'em do their old rip roarin'! Here's to a nice fella who was ready to pull an all-nighter at the drop of the old sombrero. Here's to this plumb crazy blur of happenin's an' whatchamacallits we call life, even when it deals us out a shitty old hand like this. How 'bout, "Sianara Chad, thanks for the rippin' and screamin' and good times."

Pancho: You know Redbone, sometimes you hit the nail right on the head. Long live the Blacks; RIP Chad Kerr 1970-2001.

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