(I’ve gotten away from Legal Disclaimers — see about author if you are insulted by anything I’ve written.)
I’d promised a review of the Las Vegas ‘Popovich Pet Show,’ but something I didn’t mention was the band FEAR was playing in Santa Ana California last weekend. This will be a ‘compare and contrast’ style post, similar to what we all learned in English 101 in college. For those who visit the Shortbus on a regular basis, I apologize for how long it has been since I’ve posted. Work has been strange this week.
First, here is a small brief about the pet show, Popovich Comedy Pet Theater. Gregory Popovich’s animal show happens a few times a week in the V Theater at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops, in Las Vegas. This is the early show of many held in the theater, our show time was at 4pm, and that was the late show for the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater.
For those of you who are not familiar, FEAR is an early eighties punk-rock band who had two albums, one named, ‘The Record’ and the other, a dud by comparison, ‘More Beer.’ Both were written mostly by singer and rhythm guitarist Lee Ving. Lee and the drummer were the only two original members left in the band performing at The Galaxy Club in Santa Ana.
Lee Ving did bit acts for Hollywood in the eighties, but he was better known for his wild songs like ‘I Don’t Care About You’ (lyrics– I’ve seen an old man have a heart attack in Manhattan. Well he just died while we just stood there lookin’ at him. Ain’t he cute?) and ‘I Love Living in the City’ (lyrics– Bodies wasted in the street, people dyin’ on the street, but the suburban scumbags, they don’t care, just get fat and dye their hair!)
Both of these shows have a couple things in common, neither show allowed us to bring cameras. This is too bad, because now I’ll have to work hard to describe what I experienced. As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. The other similarity for these two shows is that both Popovich and Lee Ving are over 50-years old. In fact, punk-rocker Lee Ving is over 65. One last article of common ground is that both Gregory Popovich and FEAR disapprove of their fans stage-diving while they perform.
With Popovich, C-Jane had gotten the tickets in exchange for a pint of blood. With FEAR, I paid $25 bucks and went with RJ, BigDeal, and Smurfy. C-Jane doesn’t do six-band punk-fests.
I’ve never introduced RJ, BigDeal or Smurfy. They are oftentimes found in back of the Shortbus to Hell, but rarely are they in the spotlight. RJ is a professional Best Man and for $100 he’ll keep your soon-to-be wife’s ring safe and sound, but you better pay him first. BigDeal hired RJ for his wedding next week and instead of taking BigDeal to a titty-bar for his bachelor’s party, RJ took us to see FEAR. Smurfy is Irish, and that is why he is called Smurfy. You say that doesn’t make sense – well, life doesn’t always make sense, alright?
Talking about Gregory Popovich, he has saved many helpless animals on death row at the Lied Animal Shelter and turned them into stars of the stage. There were about five dogs, seven cats, one parrot, and two rats that were among the cast, as well as four humans. The Comedy Pet Show was extremely funny for everyone under the age of thirteen. We got a couple chuckles from the show, but we were really happy to be in the back of the theater amongst the shadows since this was predominantly a kid’s show. C-Jane and I were likely the only adults in the theater without kids.
FEAR gave many older kids (18+) an opportunity to use drugs without the supervision of their children since the Galaxy tickets said “Adults Only.” FEAR was accompanied by 5 other bands, including Splntr, El Nada, and the Yeastie Boys. The four of us took balcony seats despite Smurfy’s want to get closer to the stage.
Popovich had one stage diver – a cat that was trained to leap 15-feet into a blanket held by dogs wearing firemen hats and uniforms. The dogs seemed very happy with the arrangement, but the cat didn’t seem so sure. FEAR on the other-hand, Lee Ving got pissed at a stage diver who’d kicked the cord out of his guitar in the middle of the song ‘Beef Bologna.’ He then yelled at security, forcing the stage divers to find new and improved ways to leap into the swarming mass of moshers.
El Nada had two punk rock girls come onstage. One stood in the background and did the twist, the other girl showed off her tape-covered nipples to everybody in the Mosh-Pit, and then to us in the balcony enjoying our beer. Popovich also had lots of pussy on his stage, only his were pussycats. He had cats that could jump through hoops and a parrot that could play basketball.
I felt out of place at both shows. Popovich made me feel too old. The show was cute, and geared towards kids. At the FEAR show, I just felt old. Watching all these old guys playing to a crowd of people as old as I am showed me just how dead the punk scene is. It is deader than rock and roll, and that is pretty dead.
All the band members except The Yeastie Boys were as old as me and my friends if not older. The Yeastie Boys were younger and dressed like clowns but sounded like something I don’t listen to, so I didn’t. Outside of listening to FEAR, I found the music as being just loud and noisy. I enjoyed my beer and the punk-rock girls – all two of them, the rest of the show was a sausage-fest. (That’s not absolutely true, there were a couple other women/girls at the show, but they were a definitely the minority.) Outside of El Nada – the barrio punk band – and RJ, everybody was white.
FEAR was fun to listen to, but I enjoyed hanging out with my friends more. I knew all the songs FEAR played, but it felt like going to watch my dad rock out. “Tear it up, Grandpa!” When I was much younger and enjoyed punk-rock, I didn’t realize that Lee Ving was as old as my dad, and I didn’t care because he was cool and anti-establishment. Now the anti-establishment movement is dead, it died with Occupy Wall Street, a big turd in the punchbowl. Punk is dead, rebellion is stupid, and protest is futile.
Luckily, we still have Popovich Comedy Pet Theater to raise our spirits.
(Today’s disclaimer – None of the pictures in this post are owned by me. I found them all over the internet and used them. Some might see this as stealing; I see it as spreading knowledge and art. C-Jane asked, “How would you like it if someone took a chapter of your book and let the world read it?” I said, “If it is only a chapter, thank God for free marketing.” However, most of them came from Wikipedia, and the others came from the Popovich pet show page.)