Pansy Division In Topeka
I did a Pansy Division show in Topeka Kansas once. (Actually, I did the first two PD shows in Kansas) I thought it would be funny to bait Fred Phelps by doing the show in Topeka.(Fred Phelps is a homophobic Baptist minister who regularly protests against Gay people, and the funerals of those who have died of AIDS see: http://www.godhatesfags.com ) I had talked a shitty bar in College Hill, a dilapidating nieghborhood int Topeka, into letting me do some all-ages shows there. (The Boston Tap Room) It was supposed to be a package deal with Pansy Division, Cub, and Pluto. Cub is an all-female band from BC (Joe Shithead produced their record) I had done several all-ages shows at this club before the Pansy Division show.
Even though I nailed a flyer to Freds church doors, he didn’t show up. Cub had van problems, so they didn’t show up either. FrogpondDID agree to drive down and play for next to nothing on a few hours notice.
The people at the bar knew that PD was a homo-core band, so they assumed that Cub must be a Lesbian band. One of the girls from Cub had ridden along with PD to the show. When they pulled up and started loading in, this world-class jerk (with hockey hair, much less!) a total speed freak white-trash redneck who was friends with the bar owner runs up to the PD guys (Chris, the bass-player) and says
“Hey! Where’s them CUB dykes? Let ME get on one of them and I’ll make her straight!”
Chris was shocked and just stared at the guy and said “WHAT!? I beg you pardon?”
So the guy repeats himself and says “All them bitches need is a good fuckin from a stud like me! She’ll never wanna munch no carpet again!”.
I was standing right there, part of me wanted to fall down laughing, part of me wanted to hide under a table until the show was over. Chris just stood their looking at the guy like he had just sprouted a trunk and antlers. One of the girls from Cub had just walked in and witnessed this part of the conversation.
“Huh? What?” she said. The white trash speed freak looked at
her and said “Are you in Cub?…Hey baby-doll, I can turn you straight!”. She just stared at him, slackjawed. (I’m sure she was sizing up the guy, the bar, and her (then proven correct) images of Kansas).
She rolled her eyes and said “We AREN’T Lesbians!” and walked off. (Somehow this wasn’t the kind of homophobic display I had hoped for by inviting Fred Phelps).
“Well hot-DAMN! The guy said, “I just might get me some!” then he turned around and announced loudly to the whole bar
“Hey! They ain’t DYKES!” Almost like he was disappointed, then he walked off.
I stood there feeling totally embarrassed, and tried to apologize to Chris. He rolled his eyes and kept loading in his gear. The white trash guy had by then appointed himself head of security, AND bar manager, and the bar owner took off, not to be seen again that night. It was still an hour or two before the show, so I went out front to watch for Frogpond. Earlier I had been excited about having them play, I thought it would be cool to put them in front of an all-ages crowd in Topeka. But I looked at the punkrockers who where hanging in front of the bar, they where breaking bottles, starting fights with each other and talking about kicking ass in the pit. I started thinking that maybe when Frogpond pulled up, I should just run out to their vehicle, hand them $40 bucks for gas, tell them the show was off and send them home. (And considering the white trash speed freak, and his mind-set…well…) I started thinking “Oh shit! WHAT have I done? I’ve just put Frogpond out as a target gallery for all kinds of abuse! These punks are going to HATE them…and they aren’t as polite, or nearly as apathetic in their hatred as Lawrence or KC punks, these are violent glue-sniffing Topeka punks! Well, Frogpond showed up, set up and played…and to my surprise, the audience LIKED them! SHOOOO! That was a relief! Then Pluto played.
The show really wasnt so violent (except for this “security” guy) I had expected a much more violent show, but because most of the more “Hardcore” members of the Topeka Punkrock Scene believed very strongly that punkrock should have nothing to do with Queers, they there fore boycotted the show. Several of these homophobic punks had shown up earlier to hang out outside and tried to start fights and convince people not to go into the show…but then they realized that someone might see them outside of a Pansy Division show…and their reputation couldnt stand that!
Then Pansy Division came on. By then the white trash speed freak ‘head of security/manager’ had put on a full head (and nose) of steam. He jumped into the pit and started WHACKING people left and right, then randomly pulling kids out, tossing them around, then throwing them out claiming they where “Out of control”. Then he would go to the back of the room, and scream “Hey you FAGGOTS!!” at the band and high-five his buddies…then go back into the pit and bully around the kids some more. Fucking nightmare. I couldn’t get any of the guys I had talked into helping out to do anything about the guy.The guys that I had brought with me where friends of mine who had agreed to help me out by doing security and what not. But since they where’nt getting paid, I surely couldnt expect them to get involved with someone as volitile as this guy, especially since the guy had some sort of ‘status’ with the bar. I tried to get him outside to talk him down, but he was off in powder-ville.
Finally the show was over, without any MAJOR incident. The bands packed up and I tried paying everyone out. Frogpond (bless their hearts) accepted like $30 bucks for playing. Pansy Division got there money, and I gave the bar the agreed on amount (Based on how many kids where left AFTER the show, not on the per-head agreement we had.The original agrrement I had with the bar was to pay them $50 dollars, plus one dollar per head, I did’nt reallt think I should have to pay them for the people that their “security” had thrown out for no reason…besides, it was the speed freak that was collecting the money from me, and I doubted that the owner would ever get the cash.)
Then we all got the fuck out of Topeka and drove to Lawrence, where most of the band crashed at the Frogpond house.
The next day, I got a message on my machine from the club owner: “Hey DUDE! I heard how your show went! Your people where TOTALLY out of CONTROL!…DUDE! That ain’t happening! That ain’t happening in MY bar! You are DONE DUDE! You are so OUT of Topeka man! You ain’t pulling this shit in MY market!, Not in MY town DUDE! You are DONE here! I’m running shit here, and you are OUT! Don’t even bother calling me back DUDE! This is MY town!….” (and he blathered on some more.) I felt like calling him back and thanking him.
I had another PD show that night at the Bottleneck, it was a Monday, and the turnout was pretty slim. Pansy Division did a good show anyway. (End-note: The bar’s REAL managers name in Topeka is JIFF GREG, he’s a complete looser and a scum bag. Two weeks after the PD show, he took all of the money out of the bar and split for new York, leaving all of his employees unpaid for weeks worth of work, and blew all of the money on coke. His DAD actually owned the bar, and this was the SECOND time he had pulled this stunt. His Dad finally yanked the bar out from under him and closed the place. Jiff Greg still rears his ugly con-artist head once in a while and claims to manage this or that band (usually a band that has Billy Christ in it.) and attempts to con someone out of a bunch of cash, then he runs back to the shelter of whatever rehab place his Dad puts him in. He might change his name from time to time, but if you are in a band and ever run across the guy…get away from him as fast as possible, he’s bad news.)
Bob Fucking Cutler….Glad to leave Topeka (and Lawrence) to the likes of these jerks.
|Visit Pansy Division by clicking here!|
Visit Frogpond HERE! Or HERE!