Wednesday, October 10, 2007

H-Town Punk Rock Memories


If I wasn’t going to be out of the country, there’s no way I’d be missing the Axiom 20th Anniversary Party in Houston at Fitzgerald’s this Friday and Saturday.

Sprawl, deSchmog, Bayou Pigs, Cinco Dudes, Sad Pygmy, Fleshmop, Grindin’ Teeth, Anarchitex and the Cave Reverend are just a few of the bands resurrecting themselves. I feel way worse missing this than I did missing my 20-year high school reunion earlier this year. After all, the Axiom is where I cut more than a few of my punk rock teeth as both a fan and a performer.

The Axiom opened east of downtown Houston on the corner of McKinney and Live Oak in the fall of 1987. Another all-ages punk venue called Cabaret Voltaire had occupied the same location in 1986. At the time, the neighborhood surrounding the club was an urban wasteland of shotgun shacks and abandoned warehouses. I haven’t been over there in awhile, but I’m pretty sure it’s all lofted up these days.

I first played the Axiom in November 1987 with the Ingopods, the high school-era band I sang for alongside guitarist Kilian Sweeney (deSchmog, Churchbus), bassist Noah Sternthal (Willis, Big T), rhythm guitarist Jonathan Sage (deSchmog) and a succession of drummers. We were opening for Austin’s Nice Strong Arm.

Although the Ingopods replaced me with Troy Black when I moved to Austin for school, I’d always try to get back to Houston to get shitfaced on Milwaukee’s Beast and sit in with them for a few songs. It sure beat getting shitfaced on Milwaukee’s Beast alone in my dorm room.

Cheezus played the Axiom several times, too. One of our most fun shows was when we played there with the Shoulders and deSchmog in the summer of 1991. Later that year, we were playing the Axiom with 27 Devils Joking when the TABC showed up. You could usually tell when a raid was going down because the agents always seemed to be wearing khakis and blue blazers.

Although the Axiom closed in 1992 and gave way to a similarly-themed venue called Catal Huyuk, followed by Harvey’s in 1994, I still thought of that club as the Axiom. Accordingly, I’d have to say my favorite ever Axiom moment came at a Noodle show in 1993, when our guitar ace Jonathan Toubin vomited on several people in the crowd while his mother watched from a safe distance. Being part of that was definitely a watershed moment in my musical career.

1 comment:

Kilian said...

missed you Greggie. great post :- )