Butthole Surfers Reunion Tour Ends With A Bang

Written by Jonny-Leather on . Posted in Music, Posts.


In their heyday, The Butthole Surfers were the craziest band on the planet. Under the influence of heavy drugs and insanity, their concerts were legendary events of unpredictable madness.

In 1986, they first met Lynch (a.k.a. Kathleen, a.k.a. Ta-Da the Shit Lady), who was then working at a strip club called Sex World in New York City. Though never an official member, she became the Surfers’ famous "naked dancer," performing intermittently with them through 1989. One show in Washington D.C. with G.W.A.R. saw Kathleen take the stage to dance in nothing but gold body paint and antique wooden snow shoes. And at another particularly wild concert in 1986, Haynes and Lynch reportedly engaged in sexual intercourse while on stage, as Leary used a screwdriver to vandalize the club’s speakers. This came after only five songs, during which time Haynes had started a small fire. Wikipedia

With all of their core and most consistent members along for the ride, Webster Hall’s Butthole Surfers reunion concert last night promised to be an entertaining one. It was the last night of the tour, and Paul Green’s School of Rock All Stars were also contributing to the Butthole Surfers lineup.

I arrived late, missing all but one song of The School Of Rock’s set. MC Trachiotomy & Th’ Terribleness  followed The School Of Rock All Stars. The were so terrible that when MC Trachiotomy announced "this will be our last song," the crowd roared with applause.

The Butthole Surfers took the stage around 10:15, and for the first 60 minutes, they were really pretty tame. Then, late into the set, Haynes’ frustration with the stage-side sound engineer turned into spectacle. He persistently motioned to turn the monitors up. Pissed off, Gibby gave him the middle finger, walked over to him multiple times and according to fans threw a bottle at him, and/or punched him in the face. From my angle from the balcony, I could see none of this action, and when security came on stage mid-song to remove Haynes, we were all left pretty dumbfounded. The inebriated Haynes made a comical gesture and made his early exit. The rest of the band managed one more song with guitarist Paul Leary handling the vocals.

Leary and the remaining members left the stage, never to return, after handing out some hi-fives. The house music was turned on and the band was obviously not returning for an encore, especially with Gibby having been kicked out of the venue.

The crowd then became angry, chanting for "Gibby," then chants of bullshit!" and finally chants of "refund!" followed. Upset fans hurled whatever they could at the stage and at the security staff, who tried to settle them down. The infamous Genesis P-Orridge walked out onto the littered stage, and after attempts to speak into the dead mics, and to silence the crowd, she was pulled from the stage by security as well.

One fan was mauled by a security guard after jumping onto the stage to receive a set list, but despite a room filled with disappointed, angry, drunken Butthole Surfers fans, riotous hysteria was avoided.

The sound mix was far from perfect, but it was still a good show, and it’s questionable if Gibby was justified in whatever actions he took (punching, bottle throwing…etc). It would have been nice to see the band finish the set, but what would a Butthole Surfers show be without at least a little unhinged bedlam?

Set List
22 Going on 23
Fast
Suicide
Moving to Florida
100 Million
Watlo
Goofy’s Concern
To Parter
Tornadoes
1401
Graveyard
Dust Devil
Ulcer Breakout
Roky
Cowboy Bob
Cherub
Sweat Loaf
Jimi
Cartoon Song
X-Ray
The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave


Photo by Jonny-Leather
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