I had a fistful of drink tickets that I wouldn’t be using. So just before our set I went to the bar and got a bunch of bottles of Oland’s. I was giving beer away during the show, making people do silly things in return for an Oland’s.
There were a couple of really drunk guys at the front, bonking around and yelling while Colour TV played. One of them really wanted me to give him a beer. I’d been bantering back and forth with this guy for a while.
“BEER” he yelled.
“I don’t know,” I said into the microphone. “There’s this guy up at the front here, and he keeps opening his mouth up wide and pointing into it. I think he really wants someone to put something in his mouth, is there anyone here who can help him out?”
The guy leaned over the railing and snarled, “You’re a faggot.”
“Ooh,” I said. I looked at him, and then I looked at the full bottle of Oland’s I was holding. I reached out towards him with it. But instead of giving him the bottle, I splashed beer all over him and tried to dump it over his head.
From here my memory gets a bit blurry. Someone said they saw the guy spit on me. All I know is that I suddenly decided It Was On.
I threw down my guitar and went over the railing onto the dancefloor. The guy responded by tearing off his shirt, Incredible-Hulk-style. He was built like a Sherman tank.
It seemed like one second I was charging towards him, and the next second people were helping me up off the floor with my head ringing. I wasn’t knocked out exactly but there’s a gap of a few seconds. I don’t remember getting clocked, don’t remember seeing it coming. But it’s safe to say I got owned pretty hard.
I staggered around for a moment. Then I saw the stage and made for it. Sanctuary.
Turned around in time to see the guy shaking bouncers off each arm. In the end I think it took four or five of The Attic’s finest security staff to finally get him down the stairs and out the door.
Back on stage, I was seeing stars; or more accurately, scintillating pinpoints of coloured light that moved horizontally across my field of vision. Everyone was asking if I was OK. I was definitely feeling a bit subdued.
I picked my guitar up off the stage. “Let’s just play something,” I said. “Not the new song… I can’t remember the lyrics.”
So we ripped through “Will of Winter” back to back with “Ghost Voices.” A triumphant feeling started to come over me. Strangely so, considering the evidence of my rapidly swelling face.
I looked out into the crowd and said, “Is there anybody else out there who wants to fuck with me? …No? Good.”
And then we finished our set, and I went and got some ice for my head.
Ryan from The Attic was very apologetic. If anything I thought it reflected well on his bar that the security staff cleaned up so efficiently. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I went after the guy, I think I was planning to throw my arms around him and give him a big kiss. Jesus Christ, good thing that didn’t happen, mister tough-guy would’ve fed me my teeth for sure.
The best part was after the show when we were trying to figure out how to get our gear into the car. I got to say things like, “Sorry if I seem a little stunned… but I am a little stunned.”
Two days later my head still hurts. I was sure the left side of my face was going to swell up and turn purple all over, but really there’s just a small patch of broken blood vessels along the edge of my cheekbone where his knuckles must’ve collided.
All in the name of rock’n’roll.