Apr 19, 2012 2
“These guys were gods to us,” I told my friend Ken. He and I had played together in a band that was inspired by the Bad Brains and even had one song, “Our Savage God,” which was very much “in the style of.” I’d been listening to them since ’88—my kid brother saw them some years before that, so I’d heard of them way before that—but had never seen them ever.
A pit started jumping as soon as they fell into “Rights Brigade” and I was getting crushed against the people in front of me. I did find it was easier to deal with the moshers when I was aggressive, shoving them backwards en masse (I’m big-ish), but I soon tired of this (being old and frail as well), eventually drifting back to the other side of the pit where I could see and deflect what was coming at me (admittedly, with some remorse and self-criticism that I had chosen not to endure the up front intensity as my more stalwart friend did).
Before the show, my assumption was that the band (Dr. Know, guitar; Darryl Jenifer, bass; Earl Hudson, drums) was still going to rock—which they unequivocally did—but that HR might not be all there. The last time I had seen him was in Ithaca in 1993. He was touring with his reggae band but by the time he showed up at The Haunt that night, the band had quit. He had the club play his latest album over the PA and sang along and I left.