Texas Liberal

All People Matter

The Night Johnny Rotten Spoke To Me—My Greatest Punk Rock Moments

Anyone part of a midwestern hardcore punk scene in the 1980’s was lucky. I was lucky in this regard. Cincinnati, Ohio had a great scene.

(I’ve wondered sometimes what kind of scene Houston had. Click here for a link to Houston Punk Archives. )

In reverse order, here are six of my best punk moments and accomplishments.

6. Watching The People’s Court and spending the day with San Francisco hardcore band Fang when I was 17.

This would have been 1984. It was one of my first punk encounters. Sammy from Fang later went to jail for manslaughter—And I’m not sure how benign he seemed the day I spent with him and the band.

But it sure was fun.

Later that night, Sammy got sick from a mix of White Castle hamburgers and whatever else he may have ingested. He threw up on stage. However, he finished the show as would any true performer.

5. Being included in the lyrics of the Cincinnati classic punk song Newport Gestapo by The Edge .

The song title referred to the Newport, Kentucky police department. Newport, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, was where our best local club, The Jockey Club, was located.

In the song I arrested by Newport police in a raid of the club. The Jockey Club was indeed raided, though I was never arrested.

4.  Anytime I was in Newport’s The Jockey Club.

It was always a blast. Click here for a great website dedicated to a great punk club.

3. The night the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten spoke a few words to me.

Public Image Limited played one night at a club Bogarts in Cincinnati. I knew the manager of the club. He let me work “security” for a few shows I wanted to see. I’d get maybe 50 bucks and some beer and pizza.

At the P.I.L show, my job was to stand in between the stage and the wooden barrier built just to protect Johnny Rotten. I was supposed to be looking out at the crowd. Instead, of course, I watched the show. Mr. Rotten saw me looking at him instead of the audience. He locked eyes with me and said, ”Get back to work.”

That’s my Johnny Rotten story.

2. Being thanked on the liner notes for the Seven Seconds album “Walk Together Rock Together”

The Nevada skate band spend a night or two at the home of a friend. We all hung around. If you have the record, I’m the Hockeypunk on the liner notes.

That was me—the Hockeypunk. I’d take a hockey stick to shows sometimes. Everybody needs a gimmick. I felt that way as a kid and I feel that way today.

1. Easily–My three years on Cincinnati’s best ever punk radio show “Search and Destroy” broadcast weekly on WAIF 88.3 FM.

I’m forever in the debt of Handsome Clem Carpenter for having me as co-host. It was great being the Hockeypunk and it was always fun to have someone come up to me on the street and say they had a tape of the show.

We were “All punk rock all the time” for three hours a week.

October 16, 2007 - Posted by | Cincinnati, Good People, Music | , , , , , , ,


  1. Awesome sauce, one of my favorite topics.

    We got a shirt that we painted in the photograph under the CD on the Rhino reissue of Meat Puppets 2.

    There’s some Mike Watt stuffs from our past in here:


    Watt has some amazing links on his site that remind me of your trip. He is at http://www.hootpage.com

    Carry on.

    Comment by fullbodytransplant | October 17, 2007

  2. Thanks for the comment. Good to hear from a fellow-traveler.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 18, 2007

  3. I shook Johnny Rotten’s hand at a book signing in San Francisco while he was promoting “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs”. But he wouldn’t let go of my hand. Before I finally pulled away, he told me he gives a lot for the money. He said, “I give good hand.” Needless to say, it was thrilling!

    Comment by Betsy Young | June 3, 2008

  4. I loved The Jockey Club..saw some great shows during ’84-’85 and met some great people. Get one of those big, pink cans of Super Hold Aqua Net and it’ll take you right back to the JC circa 1984. Something had to hold up all those liberty spikes!

    I used to stay up late on school nights to listen to Search and Destroy. I’d put my tape recorder up to my stereo speakers and tape the shows.

    Comment by Rockin' Ruby | December 2, 2008

  5. that show was on thanksgiving i remember it was sold out and i got tickets for me and the suranyis from a friend as well. i used to stand in that barricade and build it and take it down. its was a odd thing stopping stage divers when i used to be a stage diver. it was a dri show that i finally quit on. could not be part of throwing people out for doing what we were inviting them to do.

    Comment by bill brady | December 3, 2008

  6. I never tossed anybody for anything.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 10, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: