I’ve been to a lot of really insane shows in my day, but this one was a top ten as far as the craziness factor goes.
Back in 1989 I had just moved back to Albany NY from the Bay Area. A few friends from Albany and myself had decided to fly to the Bay Area for the Last Christ On Parade show which was being held at Gilman St. This was just a few days after that Big Earthquake that erupted and disturbed the World series and life in that area.
The Show was billed to be Christ On Parade, Neurosis, Econochrist, Nuclear Roach, and Steel Pole Bath Tub.
My friends and I had arrived early at the club to hang out, catch up and have fun. The show started to get really packed. It was hard not to notice that much of the crowd were Skinheads. These weren’t your regular run of the mill skinheads either. These were San Jose Hispanic Skinheads. These guys had a reputation for being just as racist and fucked up as as your regular run of the mill white power skinheads. The Bay Area punks had been bullied by these kinds of jokers for years, and things soon started to escalate as more of these boneheads arrived to the show. They started picking on people, saying racist shit and getting physical like they always had in the past at other venues. The difference was that at Gilman Street warehouse we usually felt safe, and we outnumbered these clowns. After Steel pole Bathtub and Nuclear Roach played the mighty Econochrist took the stage. Within minutes the skins were sieg heiling the band at the front of the stage. There were at least 50 of these guys acting out like Nazis. Econochrist finally stopped playing and Ben who was the vocalist of the band started yelling at these mongoloids about what they were doing. Suddenly a stocky skinhead girl jumped out of the crowd, and onto the stage where she started hitting Ben who was still mocking the skins over the microphone. One of the friends I was with whose name is Roger Vandusen pulled her off the stage by her leg and as she fell onto the floor he started kicking her (other punks joined in on the kicking). This started the riot! All of the sudden 50 skins were attacking people in the crowd, assaulting my friend Roger, and just going ballistic on people. By some miracle the punks were some how able to push the skins out of the club and everything spilled out into the streets of Oakland where there were even more skinheads who hadn’t paid to get into the show (they were drinking and stuff). Fists were now flying on the streets, boots were kicking, and sneakers were running. Shit really got out of control and very bloody. Most the punks had run back into the club while the skins were trying to get back in or beating up on random people. These random people were either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or had gotten locked out of the club along with the skins. After a long time some ambulances and police finally arrived. A few people were arrested, and some others were taken to the hospital.
Christ On Parade who I’d flown out to see didn’t get to play their last show. Pretty positive Neurosis didn’t get to play either (I think they were slated to play after Econochrist, but I could be wrong). To this day I’m still not sure C.O.P. ever got to play a last show.
When things eventually settled down we somehow ended up back at a punk house where Ben Econochrist was either hanging out at or living. I started talking to him about the incident, and eventually played him audio I had recorded from the show on a walkman (or whatever I used back then). We sat there in aw, laughing in disbelief. Unfortunately I can’t find that live tape anywhere. I probably ended up recording a really bad hardcore demo over the top of it, or its just laying in a box un labeled.
At any rate Econochrist were a punk/HC band that were from Arkansas and after touring ended up moving to the Bay area.
Enjoy this Econochrist Discography!0