.Beastfest 2001

9 East Bay venues! 22 Shows! 5 Nights!


“We have a scary recording story,” say “We sent four songs out to a place in Milwaukee (cheap rates) to press a 7-inch. We hadn’t heard back from them for a month. E-mails went unanswered and phone calls brought us to a phone-company recording. We figured our money was just as gone as the company we sent our masters to, but then a few weeks later we got a package. It looked like it had survived a couple trips around the world and maybe a few soccer games, but when we opened it, we found 108 7-inch records of exactly what we ordered… Or, so it seemed.

“When we finally sat down to listen to our 7”, we thought that some other band’s music had been pressed onto side B, which was suppose to contain our songs ‘Christopher Cross’d’ and ‘Castrate the Magistrate’ but sounded more like ‘Revolution 9.’ We realized after a couple listens that they were in fact our songs, but they were playing backwards. We also realized that these songs contained those hidden messages certain devil-fearing preachers always warned us about. We thought it was funny, but the more we listened, the more we confirmed that these messages (unintended though they were) contained some amazing coincidences:

“In ‘Christopher Cross’d,’ lines like ‘Hey! Some steaks…’ equaled ‘takes me away’ (a line from ‘Sailing’). In the same song, ‘As I wait for the tide down below’ equaled ‘Elope? I’d take ass.’ (Christopher Cross never married). In the song ‘Castrate the Magistrate,’ the line ‘Your peckerwood conscience shrivels the congressmen’s knives’ translates, unmistakably, to ‘Dirty Diana is a molehill to Danson’s Becker.’ Strange but true.”


“Our scariest fan was definitely a weird guy named Jimmy who saw one of our shows at the Starry Plough a while back,” says from the Bootcuts. “He walked up to us to buy a CD, and he seemed like a nice-enough feller. He was tall, about 6’4”, with a huge, brown bushy beard and a long, thick scar that started under his left eye and swooped around, and disappeared under his mustache. He started showing up at all our gigs, and he’d stand right there in the front and stare at us girls. He always had this odd grin, showing off his one front tooth. Then, one night, at about midnight, someone called Lurleen’s house and started breathing really hard and moaning. Finally he said, ‘Jimmy likes you. Jimmy likes you a lot.’ We had to hire a body guard for Lurleen because he started showing up at Berkeley Bowl, following her around, pretending to smell the produce.


Scariest fan? “It would have to be my aunt Marge,” says Marty. “She died of old age ten years ago, but I could have sworn I saw her in the pit at the Vulcan a couple of months ago.”

“I had this dream I went solo and was doing an acoustic set with my guitar in front of Axis records in Alameda,” says Louie. “Nobody showed up. But I imagined there were 50,000 people there. I rocked! When I finished, there was no applause.

You know, I think the message in that dream was that I am, by far, my scariest fan.”

Joel, Marty, and Louie all tell this story in unison: “We were booked at this warehouse in LA last year with a bunch of bands. Apparently it was the last show there. The landlords were evicting everyone, so the flier told people to bring their own jackhammers or tools of destruction. We saw axes and sledgehammers … one guy dressed as Rambo.

He had a blow torch, and while we were onstage, everyone started destroying the place — glass was flying around us.

The guy with the blow torch was a little zonked on something… He set himself on fire accidentally and climbed back up onstage, took the microphone, and screamed that he would take everyone down with him. At that point, fifty people rushed him, putting the fire out in the process. It felt like Escape from New York or something.”


“We went on a short tour of the Northwest,” says Dan, the guitarist for Secadora. “After we played in Portland and were driving north to Seattle, we noticed a funny smell in the car. It wasn’t any of those familiar bad smells (dog poop, bad milk, dead animal, rotten fruit, burning hair, tar, or gas of any sort). It was something we couldn’t identify. After we played Seattle we headed to Olympia to stay with friends and it was pouring rain on the drive and we didn’t notice The Smell very much — it seemed to be fading. After a night in Olympia, however, we got back in the car and The Smell had intensified. We stopped in Portland for the evening at a friend’s and cleared out the car, removing junk-food trash, dirty and rain-soaked clothes, etc. The car was completely empty except for the seats, steering mechanism, stereo, seat belt, and mirrors. Feeling hopeful, we hit the hay. Then the next morning we packed the car and headed south. But The Smell was back, creeping into our noses as each hour slowly passed and the scenery changed into California. When we opened the car windows, The Smell got worse. We still couldn’t identify it. There was some debate over whether it was dairy related, as it had a sour tinge to it, but we ruled that out after five straight ambiguous hours with The Smell. We kept the windows closed, since when they were open The Smell intensified. We were laughing and crying at the same time. It was a long twelve hours. We never figured out what The Smell was. It went away after an expensive ‘touchless’ car wash and a bottle of Fabreeze.”


Scariest fan: “Fans?” says Katherine . “I guess we have a few. Our number-one scariest fan would have to be Vini, an East Bay legend. He’s covered with layers of auto grease cause he’s a grease monkey and I think by now it’s just soaked into his skin (and his brain). In fact, I wouldn’t light a match anywhere near him. We’re not sure what he really looks like under it all, but we love Vini cause he comes in and yells, ‘You suck!’ at the top of his lungs and gets the crowd going. If you don’t know him you worry that he’ll suddenly flip out, since his method of communication is constant harassment, but this carefree bachelor is really harmless and lovable and just wants a good spanking.”

dangerously obtuse!from the bowels
of bEASTfestSCARY STORIESlove brought them together… a disembodied claw
ripped them apart!The chords
are coming from inside the building!! They rose
from the crypt
to stake their
monstrous thirst
for beauty!


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