God (and everybody) loves The Fags!
|God (and everybody) loves The Fags!|
by Maggie Bloodstone -
SGN Contributing Writer
Upchuck: Gone But Not Forgiven CD release party
Most sincere apologies, teens and 20-somethings - it's true; me, my friends, and our older brothers and sisters really did use up all the Coolness 20, 30, 40 years ago. We got everything when it was new, scary, and untouched by corporate claws, and left only enough for Amy Winehouse. So, you'll have to get by on Hot Topic Ramones lunchboxes and bad drugs. Tough. That's what you get for calling us "old." But, to be fair, in Seattle one person did hog the lion's share of Cool for years, leaving the rest of us trailing in his glittering wake: Charles Gerra, aka Charles Garish, aka Upchuck.
Upchuck and his many talented accomplices are what made a very dreary decade tolerable for so many of us Emerald City club kidz. Inspired by the usual suspects of the time - Bowie, The N.Y. Dolls, CBGBs, and most especially Himself - Upchuck was our very own superstar, in the-original-Warholian-sense, except with talent. In a scene that was ripe and rocking even before Kurt Cobain escaped Aberdeen, Upchuck distinguished himself as the front fag for the glam/punk outfit The Fags, for not only being able to sing, but for his ability to integrate the rotten vegetables flung at the band by easily-threatened hardcore punks into impromptu performance art. Following The Fags' partial dissolution in '85, Upchuck continued a solo career in Seattle and New York (I had the immense honor of singing backup for him, of which I remember little besides being more interested in watching Chuck than making my pseudo-operatic ululations).
Sadly, Upchuck joined two other local icons, Andrew Wood and Steven Jesse Bernstein, in oblivion on the cusp of the '90s, missing the grunge boom that doubtless would have brought all three much-deserved attention outside Belltown and Pioneer Square. I last saw Chuck in state, decked out in a Louis XIV wig and a red velvet tin-soldier ensemble - of course.
So you can imagine my glee when Chuck's nephew, Aaron, informed me that there would be a posthumous CD release party in honor of his influential uncle at the King Cat Theater this Saturday, September 27. A chance to relive my misbegotten punky-poser past for an evening - and maybe even remember it this time! Dennis White, another fixture in the Seattle scene from back in the day, is giving Chuck what he calls his "deathbed wish" after a long, arduous search for master tapes of (see his interview on www.punkglobe.com).
He's gathered together the surviving Fags: Barbara Ireland, Dahny Raphael, Ben Ireland, and Paul Solger - and if you recognize the names, you're either cooler - or older - than I thought. Atlanta legend Phreddy Vomit will be filling in for Upchuck (yeah, I know, Upchuck/Vomit - I laughed already), and also on the bill, The Fags' evil twin sister band from S.F., Ginger Coyote And the White Trash Debutantes, and our very own all-Tranny '80s cover band, the Nasty Habits. Chuck would have been proud. And, any 40-50-something who haunted the Wrex or the Vogue will experience involuntary acid reflux at the mere mention of the return of The Fags' Annual Macaroni & Cheese Bakeoff! I suggest you get your punk ass there if you want to get a taste of pre-grunge punk in its most pristine form - I guarantee you will cross yourself at the mere mention of Upchuck forever after, you snotnosed little shits. And get off my lawn.
The King Cat is located at 2130, 6th Avenue & Blanchard, www.kingcattheater.com. Doors at 8, show at 9 (not punk or Fag time).