Tuesday, April 22, 2008


When Memphis Tennessee's Jay Reatard punched a drunken fan in the face a couple nights ago in Canada and then canceled the show only three songs in my initial reaction was:

"What a fucking hypocrite"

Jay Reatard's complaints were that the show was overcapacity, there wasn't any security staff, the crowd was spilling beer on  his equipment, and kids kept climbing on stage, messing up his performance.

How un-punk.

In Punk's beginning this type of phenomena wasn't just tolerated but encouraged.  The ethos behind the movement dictated that the barrier between performer and audience be smashed, all the rules of conventional performance be broken, and that anarchy prevailed.

Yet Reatard's reaction is totally punk:  heartfelt, spontaneous, and without consideration for established social norms.

Obviously the didacticism of the punk/un-punk debate is philosophically bankrupt, just as any argument that swings between the yes/no poles of a term that is essentially nebulous.

What's interesting here is the Reatard's desire to perform uninterrupted by the social qualities attributed to his genre, his territoriality over his place on stage, and his rage at being silenced by some dumb, drunk Canadian stage diver.

The music being good and the documentation of this whole event (thanks to the fact that every kid in the Western hemisphere owns a digital camera/cell phone) is really going to get his punk rock career moving.


Gary Lain said...

This was a fine post, trumanswater.

trumanwater said...

thanx gary,

i copped some of yr style for this one.

Anonymous said...

people should never pay and always bum rush the door staff at Jay Reatard shows, then throw bricks and used needles at this dude.

this guy's career will totally nosedive if clubs & promoters start associating him with "people will show up, not pay, rush past security, and throw heavy / pointy / contaminated things at the stage"

let's make it happen people! we can do it!


let's get some tshirts and buttons printed up.