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The Supersuckers - the hardest working band in rock

The Supersuckers - once billed as The Hardest Working Band in Rock. Lee Runyon and I drove from Rochester to Minneapolis to see Bad Religion on November 30th, 1994. We were playing pinball (Williams Cyclone) through the opening acts, until The Supersuckers broke us out of our trance and started rocking the house. We left a few bucks worth of won credits behind to hear some really good rock.

Ever since that show, Lee and I started to collect anything we could by the Supersuckers, and see them whenever they were nearby. Lee actually registered their domain before the band could, and we were going to put up a kick-ass tribute site. The management of the band didn't want us to do that, and demanded we give them the domain. We complied, and got extra crap like tickets and demos that weren't in circulation. I am a homebrewer, and we together came up with the idea to send the band some homebrew. Unfortunately half the band are recovering addicts from one vice or another, and Dan Bolton, the guitarist, opened the box and drank everything himself.

For a while they hooked up on this special tour for Camel Cigarettes playing various cities, mostly on the west coast. There was no cover charge or tickets to these events, they were somewhat exclusive though. Camel would give passes to people working in restaurants or bars that sold their vice, as an appreciation type of thing. I doubt they do this anymore, because you can't smoke anywhere today. But now I can breathe easier...

I slipped in one of those shows (November 18th, 1998 – Phoenix, AZ) by getting on the guest list, courtesy of Danny Bland (formerly of The Dwarves), the band’s then manager.

A couple hundred people waited out on the sidewalk for the doors to open. While waiting we were entertained by a guy on a unicycle and a belly-dancer. Not top notch entertainment – but how many concerts give you any “waiting for the doors to open entertainment”.

Finally the doors open, and my name is crossed off the guest list as I enter (another free concert). Upon entrance there was a large room with tables set up on either side, on the tables were buffets lines set up with enough food to feed all the homeless for a month. Since the homeless weren’t invited it was up to me to eat and waste as much food as I could. The next thing I noticed was that the bars are OPEN - yes kiddies FREE ALCOHOL. There were girls going around handing out Camel smokes away too. (Smokes, Booze, Food, and Rock – all FREE)

The evening started with basic hip-hop music piped in, and some outrageously hot looking babes dancing (pros from a local gentleman’s club). The belly-dancer made her way inside, only now she had a large snake wrapped around her shoulders. The unicyclist was juggling as he rode his one-wheeled bike.

Dancing Eagle, drummer for the Supersuckers, recognized me and talked with me for a few minutes. He took me along heading upstairs (backstage) to have a few beers with the band while they were waiting for the opening band to finish.

As we neared the room with the band and groupies somebody caught his attention. Dan told me to head in and have a beer. After entering, somebody handed me a beer and told me to go ahead and eat some of the food set out for the band backstage.

So there I am, standing in the room with the band and groupies, nobody knows who I am. I have a beer in one hand and food in the other. I'm starting to think this is pretty cool, and I'm having a good time.

Eddie (the Supersuckers singer) sees me, walked up then asks,

“Who are you George Costanza or something? Did you just wander backstage thinking you could drink our beer and eat our food”?

Eddie can be a bit stand-offish at times. I said,

“My name is Kevin, Dan sent me up".

What a nice bunch of boys they are! I had another beer and met their friends from Tucson.

I followed the band down to play...

The opened up with Beat To Shit, and ended with Born With A Tail. I was going to grab the set list, but some asshat took it before the band was even through with it. They played all the new songs, Santa Rita High, Dead Ends and Dust, and others - they also played The Cowboy Song and Hell City, Hell(only the second time I've heard Hell City, Hell live).

I spent the rest of the time just rocking, gazing at the strippers, all with free beer and a full belly. There were so many hot chicks there I almost blew my load right there. That was most definitely the place to be that night.

A couple months later I decide to take a vacation up to Seattle and visit a friend I’ve never met. Doug Niman the accountant for the Supersuckers. I got to see all the famous places in Seattle from a rock perspective, play cards with the famous Danny Bland, and watch the Packers and 49ers play for the NFC Championship at Gerald Collier’s (Formerly of The Best Kissers in the World) house.

The trip led up to a big show at some Laundromat called the Crocodile Cafe that had a large room for rock shows. I was invited by management to the warm-up show, with less than 20 people in attendance. The band ran through the set list really quick. I was going to be a special show of only cool cover songs. The band plays Seattle shows enough that they have to mix it up now and then. Doug and Danny introduced me to a bunch of people that the band wrote songs about including;

  • The 19th Most Powerful Woman in Rock (booking manager)
  • Sugie
  • Mudhead

When the set list was finished Danny called Eddie over to introduce me. He said,

“I don’t know of you’ve ever actually met Eddie or not, but this is Eddie”

I quickly stuck my hand out and said,

“Yeah we met, back in Phoenix last November. Costanza, George Costanza!”