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Inside the Outhouse

So, who's gonna make the coffee table book?

Going to h.s in Denver sucked. And when Colorado crapped me out to Lawrence, Kansas, it was a fresh start. And what a great place for it. The autumn leaves, the fine old university buildings...the abundant black label beer ($2.89 / 12-pack in bottles!). And of course, the punk rock scene.

The outhouse was one of those special places that happen in a certain time and place, then disappear. I think someone calls it a "Temporary Autonomous Zone." You don't cry when it's gone. You're just glad you got to be a part of it, because it was magic.

That place was the worst shithole of all time. Low ceilings, grafitti, broken glass. Don't even think about the toilet unless its an emergency. But the Outhouse brought out the best in bands. The clauserphobic atmosphere when there were actually a lot of people in it must have something to do with it. That Fishbone show was my personal favorite. But there were so many great shows there: Descendents, SNFU, Fugazi, Rapeman, Sonic Youth, Redd Kross, Die Kreuzen, Gwar...

Looking back on it, what makes it so special for me was not just the bands that played there--those same bands toured around the country and played in lots of horrible venues--it was the people associated with it and the way that it was run. It was a community. People cared about the music and the fun they took care of each other. There was always lots of fear/hype about skins, but they never bothered me none. I remember skins who spent whole nights just making sure there wouldn't be fights.

There was no pretension. You didn't have to be cool. You didn't have to know anybody. You just had to be there.

I didn't romanticize the place much at the time, but I do wish I could go back and give a big hug to all the people who put on shows there. You did a labor of love, and it made a big difference in my life. Thank you.

(By the way, if you want to see some kool shots of Sonic Youth at the Outhouse, check their website. They've archived fucking everything, including 4 great photos taken by Susan Sanchez, nee Welling)

January 8, 2006 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )