1989/01 The Daily Nexus (UC Santa Barbara student newspaper)

Critically acclaimed bands in Bozo masks and Pippy-Longstocking coifs, Chili Peppers doing trumpet solos, and off-the-wall tributes to Tracy Chapman and Sammy Hagar back to back. In what is sure to go down as the insider’s party of the year, headlining Thelonius Monster, second-billed Mary’s Danish. an unannounced set from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tusk – the “new-wave cover band” — featuring members of Sonic Youth, Red Kross, the Love Dolls and maybe even Black Flag, blew out a jam-packed Roxy last Sunday night in Hollywood.

Tusk, leading off in masks and multi-colored headgear, with’ two drummers on one drum set, took off on Cheech and Chong’s “Earache my Eye,” before pelting the dumbfounded crowd with ‘We Got the Beat,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Ant Music” sung over the lead line of “Back in Black.”

As amusing as that was, the VIP’s had turned out to see the budding Mary’s Danish, who seem to be climbing up the coattails of buddies Thelonious Monster and The Red Hot Chili Peppers to become the most talked-about of L.A.’s club hoppers. With a sound as powerful as the glory days of X, and with voices as gloriously twangy as Fetchin’ Bones, Mary’s Danish lived up to its L.A. Times billing as the Number one club band of 1988. With drummer of six days Pam doing a tremendous pounding job, the band blazed through mega-smash “Don’t Crash the Car Tonight.” Mary’s Danish will be on campus Feb. 23 in the Pub for free, and you can bet they’ll have a big money contract by then.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers showed up in time to play four songs to try out a new drummer on the same unfamiliar tunes that dragged the Peppers into their hardcore mode. “Fuck the funk, look ma, we’re punk,” might have been the title of any of them as Anthony and newly outgrown Flea (I’m talkin’ hair) whipped the crowd into the usual body-tossing frenzy.

Thelonious Monster, dragging their trashed selves on stage with new guitarist Tony replacing the departed Chris, began by ripping through “Walk on the Water.” trying desperately to hold the attention of tiring record execs. Dread-locked singer Bob Forrest wondered out loud whether the industry reps appreciated the Monster’s luck-it-all style, declaring. “I can be a real asshole — just ask my friends.” To punctuate the point, Forrest and friends delivered an anti-tribute with Tracy Chapman’s “For My Lover,” augmented by neon-capped Flea’s trumpet, before declaring the whole thing a “Sammy Hagar Weekend.” Not even a Sammy Hagar weekend could have topped this. though. — randy banchik


Many thanks to Hamish at RHCP Sessions for the scan.