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Dirty, filthy rock'n'roll!

Smell the magic!

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I wasn’t there on Aug. 16, 1974, when the Ramones first played CBGBs, but I know what it probably felt like, because I am here, in the Z Club, on Friday, June 1, to see Han Solo’s Baby, American Dirt, and Magazine Dirty.

I’m not saying one of these bands is the next Ramones, but I’m definitely feeling all the energy, excitement, and anticipation of a slice of largely unknown punk and rock acts ready to show they’ve got the chutzpah!

GOT DIRT?:  American Dirt front man Dave Wilson lets it rip. - PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • GOT DIRT?: American Dirt front man Dave Wilson lets it rip.
SHIRTS? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING SHIRTS! :  Drummer Steven and shirtless guitarist-singer Wrong Chord Dan of Han Solo’s Baby deliver a raucous set of their two-chord punk.
  • SHIRTS? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING SHIRTS! : Drummer Steven and shirtless guitarist-singer Wrong Chord Dan of Han Solo’s Baby deliver a raucous set of their two-chord punk.

Wrong Chord Dan is singing about sexy girls (“are no fun”), delivering two-chord punk that makes the Ramones’ music sound complicated. Suddenly, three-chord punk seems ambitious. Of course, this is a band whose Facebook page claims they’re SLO’s “absolute worst band.” In point of fact, they’re a wholly engaging garage rock act, who Patrick Hayes informs me “are breaking up tomorrow.” Woohoo! I saw Han Solo’s Baby’s last show!

In between songs, bassist Big Bri tells Wrong Chord Dan, “Dan, get your shit together.”

“I was on that shit,” Dan claims. “We’re gonna have all sorts of sex. We’re gonna do all the positions.”

I offer Kristen, Z Club’s 25-year-old bartender, some of my earplugs, but she declines.

“I have to be able to hear the orders,” she says, not realizing that if she doesn’t start wearing earplugs at shows like this, she won’t be able to hear much of anything in a few years.

PRIMAL SCREAM THERAPY! :  Singer Dirty Curtis Campbell and bassist G. Mac Cherry (aka Hayley Thomas) of Magazine Dirty lay down the law. - PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PRIMAL SCREAM THERAPY! : Singer Dirty Curtis Campbell and bassist G. Mac Cherry (aka Hayley Thomas) of Magazine Dirty lay down the law.
BE COOL! :  Magazine Dirty guitarist The Benevolent Dr. Dimples, Esq. (aka Reid Cain) exudes bald cool. - PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • BE COOL! : Magazine Dirty guitarist The Benevolent Dr. Dimples, Esq. (aka Reid Cain) exudes bald cool.

Then American Dirt takes the stage. I’ve been meaning to see these guys for a while, since their lead guitarist Jon Bartel is a colleague in Cal Poly’s English department. Jon’s got on the classic country rocker costume: trucker hat, sleeveless denim jacket, jeans, and a belt that ain’t workin’!

They rip into their set—half rock, half country. Lead singer Dave Wilson is a rock star with his long hair and tattoo sleeves, and he sings with the ferocity of a banshee.

The whole scene is so damn rock’n’roll. Between songs, Wilson gives a nod to Han Solo’s Baby by saying, “After tonight, I have to say I fuckin’ love dick songs.”

The whole night throbs like a raw nerve. Not everyone has stood in a hot garage, light streaming through cracks in mattresses pushed up against walls and windows, egg crates nailed willy-nilly, a bass drum stuffed with a pillow to dull the thump, the anticipation, the perspiration, then the moment, the downbeat, that garage energy of a new band finding their voice. It sounds like that in here.

  

AREN’T THEY ADORABLE? :  Patrick Hayes of Twang N Bang Records and Hayley Thomas of Swap! Zine enjoy the fruits of their labor. - PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTOS BY GLEN STARKEY
  • AREN’T THEY ADORABLE? : Patrick Hayes of Twang N Bang Records and Hayley Thomas of Swap! Zine enjoy the fruits of their labor.

American Dirt finishes its set and Wilson calls out to the audience, “Glad to see someone around here gives a shit,” the eternal complaint of a band that deserves more attention.

Next up is Magazine Dirty, and front man Curtis Campbell, a professional hair stylist, is sporting a wicked hairdo.

“I’m thinking Mick Jagger circa 1963,” he says, before getting on stage and strutting in a way that would make Mick proud. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife.

“Someone’s going to get pregnant tonight,” I predict, to no one in particular.

This is raw, real, rock n’roll! Where were you?

Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Keep up with him via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at facebook.com/glenstarkey or myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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