|Anthony Allen Van Hoek - Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups|
|Written by Anthony Allen Van Hoek|
|Thursday, 10 September 2009 23:11|
Some people just get 'it'. When Über Röck spoke to Anthony Allen Van Hoek, guitarist with the legendary New York City punks Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups, and asked him if he'd be willing to write about his hellish gig horror shows, we knew that he wouldn't let us down. Guess what? He didn't. In fact, Anthony proves that he is in the running to be elected President of Badass with this awesome anthology of atrocity.......
"Us Slice 'em Ups have played a lot of gigs in a lot of places. Some have been good, some bad and let's not forget the ugly. But unlike some bands who've had gigs from hell, we've had too many for me to possibly pinpoint which one was the most hellish. Every single one has had some hellish element to it, even the good ones.
Unable to play a show for which we've already been paid our guarantee because the drummer's about to be arrested for punching some guy in the face outside? Check. Bass player's so drunk he's playing completely different songs than the rest of us (and he's still rocking out like he's kicking ass)? Uh huh. Singer moonlights as a bartender during the day and her customers have bought her so many shots she's passed out in the bathroom when we're supposed to be going on? Yeah, that happened too. Guitar player gets attacked outside the gig and ends up literally punching the guy out of his sneakers? True story. Read on below for all the sordid details.
A year or two ago we had a very cool, and high-paying, gig playing halftime at the Badass Burlesque party on the Bowery here in New York City (right across the street from the former CBGB actually). Everything was going perfectly: the people running the night were great and even paid us upfront, hours before we were supposed to go on. Free drinks were flowing, performers were burlesquing, this was a raucous crowd for sure. They were going to love us! Then came the call. Our drummer was outside trying to evade the cops after he smacked some guy in the face during a battle over a parking space. He managed to escape, but obviously we did not get to play and the guarantee was returned to the fine folks at Badass.
Then there was the time we were debuting our awesome new bass player at a show in Queens. First couple songs went pretty well, people were into it. Then I started noticing that things were sounding a little weird and people were kind of looking at us a little weird too. I looked over at Ernesto, our stinking drunk new bassist, and could very plainly hear that he was playing an entirely different song than the rest of us. I mean he was playing THAT song correctly somehow, but the rest of us were all playing the song that was written in very large letters on all four setlists that were hung all over the stage. And to top it all off he's headbanging away with Cliff Burton like abandon. Awesome.
So our singer's the greatest and I love her to death. However, a while back she was working the day shift at a deadbeat bar in Bumfuck, Brooklyn. In fact she was working there one day when we were supposed to be opening for Cheetah Chrome (one of the guitar players from the Dead Boys for all you ignorant folks out there) out in Staten Island. I was the first to arrive at the club and soon thereafter a car pulled up with our singer and bass player inside. She spilled out of the car and ran/stumbled inside. "Oh man," said Hans, our then bass player. "Umm, what's wrong?" I said. "Someone had a few shots at work today," was his laconic reply. I went inside to see how bad things were and saw a full club and no sign of my shot-filled singer. The promoter approached and simply pointed to the lady's room. I poked my head inside and saw Jackie (Jaqueline Blownaparte)'s legs sticking out from under one of the stalls. She was out cold. I did my best to revive her but it was no use. The only words she could muster were, "...wanna go home..." And so we did.
OK, with this next one we were actually able to play the gig! It wasn't until afterwards that the bullshit began. Miraculously, we had been invited back to try again with Badass Burlesque on the Bowery. The crowd did indeed love us and it was a great show. Then we started to load our gear out to go home. As I was walking out the front door with my amp head cradled in my arms, some drunken dickhead ran up out of nowhere and gave me a big shove. I never saw this asshole before in my life so I have no idea what he was thinking. Instinct took over as I placed my amp on the sidewalk and wound up to deliver this guy the punch of a lifetime. I didn't have a measuring tape with me but it seemed like he flew back about ten feet into some parked cars and took off running. I turned back to pick up my amp and heard someone say, "Holy shit you punched that guy out of his sneakers!" I looked over to see his sneakers sitting there on the sidewalk. Ha! I was very impressed with myself as Jackie poked her head out of our car that was parked mere feet away from the whole thing. "Did you see that?" I asked. "See what?" she said. Damn.
Really, these are all just the proverbial tips of the iceberg. I haven't said anything about the time we played in Cleveland and we stayed in the freezing apartment above the club (they neglected to tell us that they turned off the heat as soon as they closed the place), and later on various nameless members of our band proceeded to have explosive diarrhea in the bathroom, keeping the rest of us up all night. Or the time we played a pool hall in Saratoga and got scolded for tagging our logo in the bathroom. How about the time we played in some nameless Connecticut town in a bar that was full for the local post office's Christmas party? That was a good one. And last but certainly not least (or last for that matter) there was the time I ACCIDENTALLY smashed my Les Paul at the end of a gig. If I'd done it on purpose it would've at least looked cool but as it was, I sort of dropped it in front of my amp and somehow it broke in three pieces, gone.
Oh and for the record, our current bass player Uruk always plays the correct song and has never played a gig wasted."
Chesty Malone and the Slice 'em Ups are currently finishing up their second album, entitled "Torture Rock". You can check them out at: www.chestymalone.com