GIG TALES: "The Bouncer"
SELINAS: Coogee Bay, New South Wales, Australia. 1990.
by Jon Dunmore ©

The Bouncer hit me so hard that I went stumbling, rubber-legged, down the stairs into the carpark. Then he came after me…

Bouncers: gymnasium-crazium police-force rejects, with over-developed trapezius and a paucity of intellect so pronounced that it rivals that of strippers who give toothy head and girlfriends who can't cook. Their sole source of potency being denying patrons paid entry into a shithole that no one in their right mind would enter for free, it's quite apparent why their penchant for savagely beating people ranks as their primo weekend pastime - countering the repression they must harbor towards lunkheads of all persuasions breaking their balls just to step over a freakin' threshold.

By 1990, I was a ball-breaker of premium caliber. Having had enough of the music industry's blind eye, I was Peter Finch in Network: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" And with my new subversive band, "F.U.", I was intent on pushing the outside of the arrogance envelope. Nauseated at having spent years pandering to the thieves and pimps who called themselves A&R, bookers, managers, agents, record execs, I altered my vision, I shifted my stance and, like Caesar in Conquest Of The Planet of the Apes, I said, "No" (- and also "Fuck You" a lot).

I wanted to re-establish the POWER that came with being With The Band, Man.

So armed with the knowledge that it is always better to ask forgiveness than to seek permission, I de-censored my patois; there was no politically-correcting factor deployed between my small brain and my big mouth any more. I started this band to go against the grain and by god I was going to stick to my vision if it took a savage beating in a Coogee Bay carpark to prove it…

I was baiting the Bouncer all night, so his crack upside my skull was not entirely unwarranted. But HIS attitude was not completely civil either, towards the bands who were essentially fellow contractors, alongside him, working for the venue Selinas. Technically, he was supposed to be on OUR side, but he made it very clear that, like most bouncers, he was more intent on letting the coquettish ingénues with melon tits feel up his 'roided biceps than giving due respect to his fellow contractors.

I cannot recall every insult I smarmed at that stooge that night at Selinas, but it was an unrelenting stream, starting with load-in and continuing all night, every time I was near the front entrance, which he "guarded" - ranking on his faggoty bow-tie, his menial "job", the fact that even though he hated my guts, he had to "guard" me from the dickhead fans - and many, many digs about his inherent gaiety. And it wasn't all subtle, some of it was just outright, "I swear you look gay - no, really, I mean it - you look really gay, man!" He tried to grimace and take it like a London bobby, occasionally retorting with blunted barbs which displayed not one ounce of wit or intelligence, but his mien was fraying fast…

It was after we came offstage; the singer, drummer and myself were lounging at the entrance with this stocky dope and someone made a comment, the exact wording forgotten, but the gist of which begged my wisecrack, with my back to this Bouncer, "It musta been this guy - he's gay -" THWACK!
- And that was where we came in….

For one who had always believed that bouncers were too prosaic to interpret my eclectic derogation as anything more than cro-magnon grunts, I was more astounded that this one possessed the INTELLIGENCE to discern that I was insulting him, than shocked at actually being hit. Holding my head, I expounded from the bottom of the stairs: "You can't hit ME - I'm With The Band, Man!" [Note the unabashed deployment of the Power Phrase.] His retort was as eloquent as it was informative: "Fuck you - you little shit!"

Now the answer to "How do you deal with an enraged bouncer?" is the same as the answer to "How do you shave your balls?" - Very Carefully. So I did exactly the opposite. I started taunting him, flapping my arms like a fairy and busting some fancy Ali-vs-Frazier footwork, daring him to catch me - if he could swerve his swinish bulk towards me in opposition to the gravitational pull of the earth. That was when he called to the other bouncers…

Y'know, perception of a bouncer's gayness is directly correlated to the number of them surrounding you in a carpark about to give you a savage beating: i.e. no one looked all that gay any more.

Long before I even knew the term, I had opened a can of whoop-ass. So I made like a Flock Of Seagulls and I Ran, fleeing through rows of cars and scudding over car hoods. They gave chase like a pack of wolves hunting the lamb. I made good my getaway. Narrowly.

Three blocks away, I called the police.

Because I had ramped up the severity of the fracas on the phone, they sent four squad cars, obviously envisioning ghoulish gaggles of loose-lipped bouncers running wide-eyed in the streets, cracking bystanders' heads arbitrarily and displaying their biceps uncontrollably to women who didn't have melon tits and therefore didn't need to witness this crucial display of man-muscle.

Then - as guilefully as politicians on a home-stretch to a seat in office - the bouncers started lying. Amidst a backdrop of cop-car roof racks spinning noiselessly blue and red for dramatic effect, the surfeit of police officers grilled everyone involved with the incident, and though I and my band-mates maintained our stance of victimization, every bouncer alibi'd for their apish brethren, "who-me?" innocence wafting off their neanderthal foreheads. The cops' position was that if every bouncer was denying that any incident took place - then no incident took place, inciting my drummer to state boldly in front of these ineffectual police, "Hey Jon, why don't we take a block of wood to this arsehole's head and then deny that we did anything…"

Meanwhile, my singer reported that in another section of the club, a huddle of Bouncers were being cussed out by the club manager for bringing The Law down upon his house of rock repute with such clamor. After all, this venue was not a lowly "toilet gig" - international acts stormed through here; they needed a savage beating lawsuit like a bouncer needed more bicep.

But it was all showboating. This club was obviously a member of the local council, as were the local cops, which made the chances of anyone being hauled from that establishment off to a dank cell that night as unlikely as Cameron Diaz learning to act. Nothing short of a brutal slaying with a screwdriver to the eye would encourage these lackluster pigs to move against this venue.

No one was charged. But at least short-range satisfaction was rendered unto me. For with the club manager's directive to the bouncers to cease & desist, now our mouths ran rampant, along with other bands who had shared our bill and who had witnessed the furor and subsequent panty-waisted outcome; everyone cussing and riling the now-impotent bouncers as we loaded out; those artless cretins fuming that they could no longer even vent their now-justifiable rage, let alone "bounce" any one of us for insolence. And I bet none of them got any patron melon that night either.

Yeh - eat it, Laffing Boy! Remember who I'm with - I'm WITH THE BAND, MAN!


Added: 2005, Jun 25