Drinking, Fighting, Fucking and Crying Title

Drinking, Fighting, F*&king, and Crying

acdc-hells_bells_s_1Circa 1998 – This is another Schlitz Family Robinson story. It’s too perfect for the “Fighting” category not to use it.

Sonny, Brown, Grez and I finished practice on a Saturday about 8:00 PM. Three fourths the members of Celestial Crumb had come over earlier that night, to hang out and hear our new material. Mike from their group rolled a massive joint from which everyone partook and the practice veered into rather experimental territory after that. Pretty sure we culled more new material from that session but I can’t say for sure. One thing about smoking when you’re playing music – for me, if I smoke first, then it’ll probably be a shit session. but if I do it after I’m warmed up and in sync with the other musicians, especially ones I am as comfortable with as I was at the time with these guys (and probably still would be if we played), the session usually transforms into something spiritual.

After we finished, someone suggested we hit a few bars. We began at Oak Lawn Illinois’ now long-gone Irish Pub, The Goal Post. The seven of us drank there until, due to events that I will omit for now due to time constraints, we were asked to leave. It was nearing 1:00 AM and that meant there was really only one place left to go:


Henry’s was a shitty pub located in a dinky strip mall in Palos Hills. Open until 4:00 AM all week and until 5:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, this was a place we used to like to compare to a sewer – the 2:00 AM bars were the grating; after they closed, only the worst, drunkest, most debauchery-minded patrons filtered into Henry’s. On this night, already buoyed by a fairly extreme head of steam, we were no exception.

Henry’s used to have a hard rock “DJ” that spun metal on weekends. We walked in and fought for a spot at the bar, then happened upon one of the large, round tables near the DJ. Sonny and Brown went up to order the round, and while at the bar ran into a guy we knew from high school, nicknamed “The Sea Hag”. The Hag had drummed for a band called Collusion back when we started our first band, Wink Lombardi and the Constellations; Wink had played our first ever show with them at the late, not-so-great Chicago venue the Thirsty Whale. Words were exchanged between the two and it was not until they returned with our drinks that Sonny revealed he might need some assistance; it seeemed back in the day of that Whale show our former bass player had stolen the Hag’s drum throne. Now, three or four years later here he was demanding retribution.

Some people just can’t let shit go, eh?

Sonny had responded to  the Sea Hag’s accusations/demands with the rightful and classic – “Not me, bro.” This had only served to piss the Oceanic Rube off, and as we sat quaffing our drinks the incident faded into the background.

For us, not for the Hag and his cronies.

Fast-forward to last call – the ominous bell that begins the song this tale is based around began to toll and the DJ chimed in on the PA system: “Last Call for Alcohol!”

We tried to flag the waitress down for one last round but the place was packed to the gills and we hadn’t seen her in some time – thus our table was filled with empty pint glasses, pushed mostly into its center. Sonny, who has the best Bon Scott impersonation I’ve ever heard, leapt onto the table and began screeching along with the track blaring out of the speakers, his throaty Scott-screech still one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.

Just as the song reached the chorus and Sonny went into the words, “Hell’s Bells! Satan’s Calling for you!”, from the other side of the room the Hag’s entire posse bum rushed us, fists flying. Sonny lost his balance and fell, flipping the table up and on top of Brown, broken glass covering him as the dozens of empty pints rained down on him like death from above. Being that Henry’s was filled with drunken reprobates, everyone in the room seemed to stop what they were doing and joined in the melee, until the only thing I could see was something akin to the infamous cartoon brawl cloud:

cartoon-brawl-cloud-vector-clip-art-illustration-with-simple-gradients-all-in-a-single-layer-704613253I threw a punch or two but primarily concerned myself with Sonny, who was directly in front of me. I grabbed him by the shoulder and led him through the punches, out the door and around to the right side of the parking lot. Too late did I realize that we had actually parked on the left side. We turned, saw that Jack and Mike from the Crumb were besieged by four guys, and ran to their aid. I’ll tell you, I learned in high school to avoid fighting at ALL costs. Getting stabbed in the hallway outside of honors Biology will do that to you. This night of debauchery at Henry’s was one of only two times since that incident that I have fought, both times for self defense or in the defense of friends.

I ended up punching some toothless Hickory Hills redneck in the mouth, we got every one out just as the cop sirens crawled up out of the distance, and made it home without further incident. I finished my night using Jose Cuervo to cauterize Brown’s many shallow cuts from the broken glasses, and a week later the guy I punched in the face bought me a beer, because for some ungodly reason we wound up back at Henry’s. In the end though, my opponent won, because when he offered to buy me said beer (“You were just helping your friend.”) he didn’t ask me what I was drinking and instead handed me one of what he was having – an MGD.

So yeah, Hillbilly got the last laugh on that one. But I got something amazing – I got an amazing memory I can indulge in every time I here AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells.

Enjoy. Next week: F*&king.

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

One Response to Drinking, Fighting, F*&king, and Crying
  1. sonny vitkauskas Reply

    I still have the drum throne. It was snowing hard that night I remember putting snow under my hat and placing it back on my head because I got clobbered from a wild punch. Mr. Brown got the short end of the stick that night. I’m sure there was collateral damage because at one point we were carelessly throwing empty beer bottles like grenades after the table flipped over on Mr. Brown.

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