Sunday, December 23, 2007

Our Band Could Be Your Life

The night of their appearance at the huge Pandora's Box festival in the Netherlands, Kramer went to fetch Haynes for sound check. "It is firstly most important to state that, on this night, Gibby had eaten an entire handful of four-way acid tabs and drank an entire bottle of Jim Beam before the sound check had even begun," Kramer notes.
Leary was furious at Haynes for getting wasted for such an important show. "Fuck that stupid-ass motherfucker," he snarled to Kramer. "I hate this fucking band. I swear to fucking Christ on a stick, I hate this fucking band more than I hate myself. And that's a lot. I don't even care if we ever play again. If you can't find him, fuck it. FUCK IT!!!!" With that, he began smashing a couple of guitars with his bare fists.
The festival featured several stages, and Kramer eventually found Haynes at a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds show. As Kramer tells is Haynes was completely naked, repeatedly fighting his way onto the stage and charging at Cave as hulking security guards punched and kicked him off the ten foot high stage and back into the audience, where he would remain for a few seconds before trying to claw his way back onstage again. Finally, guitarist Blixa Bargeld came forward and kicked Haynes in the groin with a pointed German boot. This time Haynes did not get up.
Kramer pushed his way through the crowd to come to the aid of his bandmate, only to find him laying unconscious. "I bend ove rto see if he is still alive, but he seems not to be breathing," KRamer says. "I poke him in the shoulder. Suddenly, like a volcano, he bursts to life and swirls his fists in every direction, clipping me but good, along with a few innocent girls, and drawing the ire of their boyfriends and the enraged security guards, who are now motivated to leave Mr.Cave to his own devices, descend the stage and join the boyfriends in administering a thorough and none-too-subtle beating upon Gibby's face, head, and shoulders, until he is once again unconscious on the floor.
Or so it seemed. Actually, Haynes was only pretending he'd been kocked out, and as the hired thugs walked away, he rose to his feet and began screaming a them, "DUTCH FAGGOTS!!! GODDAMN FUCKING DUTCH FAGGOTS!!! A WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY FILLED WITH NOTHING BUT FUCKING TURD BURGLING FAGGOTS!!!! I FUCK YOUR ASS IN HEAVEN AND HELL!!!! FUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOOOOU!!"
"The ensuing chase and capture as the stuff dreams are made of," Kramer says, "Stark naked like the day he was born, beaten, bruised, bloody, and tripping, this icon of modern music ran like Jesse Owens through the entire complex, down the halls, up the stairs, grabbing beer bottles from people's hands as he went and throwing them down on the concertgoers below. A hail of beer cans, bottles and miscellaneous garbage rained down upon the Dutch persons as I finally caught up with Gibby just as a throng of the biggest security guards I had ever seen caught up with him too.
"At this time there were perhaps twenty hands upon him, holding him down, and although Gibby is completely crazy, he is not stupid. 'I'M SORRY!!! I'M FUCKING SORRY!!! PLEASE DON'T BEAT ME ANYMORE! I HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR!!! I CAN'T HELP THE WAY I AM!!! PLEASE DON'T HIT ME AGAIN!!! IT'S AGAINST MY RELIGION!!!!"
Haynes then made a successful run for the dressing room and slammed the door behind him. Kramer could hear Leary and Haynes screaming at each other inside, and when he finally worked up the courage to open the door, he found the two of them smashing guitars, bottles and chairs in what Kramer calls "the most potent example of bad behavior I have ever seen. To this day, more than fifteen years later, I have no more vivid memory of the effect a life in music can have on a human being."
Just before they went onstage, Haynes chugged an entire bottle of red wine; moments into the set he dived straight into the horrified crowd, which parted like the Red Sea. Haynes knocked himself unconscious on the floor, to warm applause from the theater's security team. "I look down at Gibby," recalled Kramer, "He tried to move, but then collapses as vomit begins to pour from his mouth."
After the show Haynes was irate about having been unconscious for most of the show and insisted on getting paid within five minutes or he'd be "taking it out on your Dutch testicles!" Haynes snatched up the fistfuls of guilders and stuffed them in a pair or pants in his guitar case, but almost immediately forgot that he had een paid and went on yet another rampage, streaking through the festival complex and screaming that he had been ripped off."

-Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could Be Your Life; from the chapter on the Butthole Surfers

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