Twenty-five years ago tonight, in 1986, I saw the infamous Butthole Surfers‘ “Rock Against Romance”/Valentine’s Day show at The Rat in Boston. It damaged me. Mentally. Spiritually. Emotionally. Loved it. The volume was so loud, my teeth literally shook and a friend of mine had a spontaneous acid flashback. Doors were opened that could never be shut, especially when lead singer Gibby disemboweled a giant teddy bear and wore its hollowed-out head as a mask.
I’m not kidding. That show really informed me as a writer. Here I was in a familiar place, in a club I hung out in a lot, surrounded by familiar faces I knew from the music scene back then… and reality just broke. I’ve used that sense of reality breaking in my fiction, most recently in “Shibboleth”, the dark science-fiction piece that finishes out my collection Stories from the Plague Years.
A glimpse of the psychosis induced–courtesy of video taken of that tour… “Whirling Hall of Knives”