Chris Skrobot - My MF'n Hero

I don't know if you've ever had food poisoning.

I have.

It's brutal.

You go to the bathroom.

You don't know which end to put down first.

And it doesn't matter.

The same stuff is coming out of both ends of you. And you're too sick to care. You notice, but you don't care.

And you don't feel better when you're done ... at either end.

Wednesday as we rolled into Pittsburgh, up Penn Avenue and into Bloomfield for the Swig Tooth show, we run into Aaron, Mark & Dan outside the bar. Aaron tells us there has been a change and that the "headliner" ... Venice is Sinking (or, as we renamed them, Venice is Sucking and/or Venice has Sunk) is going on first. And Swig Tooth is playing last. And there's another issue we'll discuss later.

But first, let's talk about Venice is Stinking.

They're from Athens.

They're on a label.

Therefore they make the rules?

Well ... apparently.

Let me explain:

As we were sitting there waiting for them to start, the sound-guy dolt of the day said, "Why don't you guys play your first song so we can get the vocals set right."

Lead singer for Venice is Stinking says "Our first song doesn't have vocals."

Kara said, "Oh, that's not a good sign."

And the drummer reminded me of Corky from Life Goes On.

And drummed about as well.

But that fit the band. Allow me to explain more:

They were this mix of people who obviously met at high school band camp:
  • Corky on drums. Too loud. A lot of noise.
  • Keyboardist also played trumpet, too. And smoked. And looked like a young Bob Hite.
  • Guitarist sang. Kind of. The sound sucked so bad that you couldn't really tell.
  • Bassist ... well, we never really saw the bassist. He was in the back.
  • And the best part? The lead singer/viola/flute player.
That's right. Lead singer played viola and flute. That's rock and roll. At least when she picked up the flute I could make the "now it's time for some heavy metal" joke. Too bad she was a total cunt. Good luck finding a job when this whole music thing you're trying stops working.

Because it's obviously not fun for you.

Musically ... it was an interesting, if not relaxing, almost-lullaby-like sound I can classify as ... shitty background music for banquet halls.

Lyrically, however, it was worse. They might have had a good line or two, however, when you repeat that line, over and over, it sucks.

They might have had a good line or two, however, when you repeat that line, over and over, it sucks.

They might have had a good line or two, however, when you repeat that line, over and over, it sucks.

They might have had a good line or two, however, when you repeat that line, over and over, it sucks.


And they were the second best band of the night. And they sucked. Hard.

Pleasure Technicians was the middle act. They sucked. Hardest. Like Morricone Youth sucked. So bad I was totally disinterested.

I'm still not sure of a single song they played, or a word they said, other than sending out songs to the two dozen people that came to see them.

And cheered.




And in something that nobody I've spoken with not connected to the band understands ... seemingly enjoyed.

Chris Skrobot played in a cover band called Rockhouse who's final performance was tonight. He played a solo during "Blue on Black" that was absolutely a bazillion times better than anything Pleasure Technicians did. That's how bad they sucked.

But let's get back to why Chris Skrobot is my Mother Fucking Hero of the Week.

Not for his amazing guitar solo during "Blue on Black."

And no, it's not his ability to be friends with strippers.

It's because of this line:

"We're here. Let's go do what we do."

Let me explain why those eight words make him my Mother Fucking Hero of the Week.

Chris caught a batch of food poisoning.

And Wednesday in Pittsburgh was Day Two.

Two days of cramping.

Two days off puking.

Two days of shitting some of the most odiferous substances ever to pass your asshole.

(That's all based on my experience with salmonella. Twice. And something I got from some bad chili. Once. I didn't ask Chris about the substances coming out of his orafices.)

There are very few things worse than that combination. You can't eat. You can't drink. But you have to to avoid dehydration.

All you want to do is be left alone. In the dark. With the softest toilet paper in the world. And an exhaust fan. On high.

I've never played guitar on stage in my life, but I'm sure that with that combination of things going on, the last thing you'd want to do is go rock out.

In front of, initially, two dozen people.

(At the end of the show it was me, Kara, Corky, the "singer" from Pleasure Technicians and their drummer. And the sound-dolt. And his girlfriend. And the bartender.)

And yo sure as hell don't want to be three hours from home.

Playing rock for a handful of people.

Chris could have easily said, "I'm too sick to play."

He was given that out by Aaron.

Aaron stood there, on the sidewalk, before any equipment was trucked up a flight of stairs, before the door was slammed on him by a bitch on her cell phone during load-in, and before the cunt viola player from Venice is Stinking pushed him back against the wall during the load-out while his hands were full of equipment and her hand was full of a cell phone, and told Chris it was his call.

Chris had been on the phone with his insurance company trying to find out if they'd cover his emergency room visit. He wasn't able to get anyone on the phone because it's after business hours.

He's sick.

He's frustrated.

He's sweating bullets.

He's paler than Jim Gaffigan.

He's been puking and shitting for 36 hours.

And he looks at Aaron, Mark & Dan and says, "We're here. Let's go do what we do."

That's why Chris Skrobot is my Mother Fucking Hero of the Week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow. Just...wow. Chris is now my hero too. That's some serious balls, man. I am in awe.