December 11, 2009
Super Reatard Punchout!
Jay Reatard doesn’t seem to be having much luck with people lately. It’s been only two months since his rhythm section defected to Wavves (who’s frontman Nathan Williams is also far from a people person) and last night during a gig in Austin, Jay got attacked by two fans, in a place called Emo’s no less. The drunken pair were perturbed when Reatard, only forty minutes in, announced that the next would be his final song (apparently they weren’t aware that the garage popster is notorious for his short shows) and decided to take matters into their own hands.
When the first one rushed the stage, he gave little trouble to the bouncers, and the band admirably kept playing (though it’s unlikely it was as impressive as this). However, after the first’s initial failure, another fan must have felt for his drunken comrade and blindsided Reatard, actually getting a hit in. Reatard, luckily, wasn’t seriously injured. He retaliated with his mic stand angrily ended the gig, reportedly flicking off the audience as security took the attacker off stage.
Strangely, the two aggressors were apprehended after the show as the rest of the audience was leaving the building, meaning they stuck around to see if the show was actually finished. What was going through their heads, the possibility of Jay returning with a black eye, playing an encore for the guy who tried to punch him in the face and the guy who successfully punched him in the face? That the crowd would go wild, and our heroes would be praised for keeping the punk spirit alive? Surprisingly, no, that’s not what happened. They were promptly arrested.
Also, why did they think that a Jay Reatard show was a good place to throw down? Although Reatard’s pop isn’t pristine or anything, (you can hear some Stooges and The Jam in there), it’s hardly bringing back the days of 77. Some would like to use this incident to attest otherwise, but if this had happened in, say, D.C. during the early 80’s, would anyone have cared? Besides, fighting bands was a stupid byproduct of punk’s aggression to begin with. Everybody knows that if you are drunk and needlessly aggressive at a show, the right thing to do is find an opponent that is equally as drunk and needlessly aggressive as you are, not the band you paid money to see – didn’t anyone learn anything from their moms?
by Geoff Anstey