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Entry date: 5-30-2022 - PRB 2018 (part 1) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Happy Memorial Day.

I might as well spill the beans on Punk Rock Bowling 2018 since I mentioned it yesterday. As I begin, I’m going to say that for the most part, it should be a pretty good and fun story. I’m also going to say that I’m not trying to be super vague about some of the people I talk about who are famous for any other reason than this: I don’t want to be a name dropper. If I decide to write a book specifically about some of these things, I will go into more detail and name names.

Because there was some success in getting the name of Slope Records out there after our involvement in 2017, we decided to be a sponsor of the festival again. This meant that Slope bands would again be featured on the bill and my band, The Father Figures, was going to play the main stage. To say I was excited about this is like saying that the sky is blue.

Another thing that came up had to do the Phoenix by way of Cape Cod band, The Freeze, who were joining Slope Records. Tom L. asked me to consider playing bass in The Freeze so they could play one of the club shows that happened after the main festival stage was done. I liked The Freeze and my friend, Zack, had been in the band for a long time, so I said sure. I was friendly with Clif, too, and like him, so what the heck? It would be fun to two shows at PRB, especially one where people actually knew who the band was.


Side note 1:

That may sound like a dig at The Father Figures, but we are the worst at self-promotion and probably should be way more well known than we are. If I’m being honest, I would love for people to know about all my bands way more than they do, but I never want to be that guy that’s walking around going, “Hey, I’m in a band. Listen to my band. Come see my shows.” I do it a little because I’ve had to, but I would much rather that people come to see the band because they want to see the band and not out of any loyalty to me. Bobby and Michael are similar guys when it comes to that, so we are bad at promoting ourselves and we are fine with it.

Side note 2:

I had been approached a few times prior to this about possibly joining The Freeze and I always politely declined. They had a revolving door with their rhythm section since Clif, who is the only original member still associated with the band, moved to Phoenix. Several of my friends had done time in the band and while I was always intrigued, the timing was never right, nor could I have done the type of touring the band liked to do.


So, I had a few months to get with The Freeze guys and learn the songs. I had a blast doing it and as the festival got closer, I got more confident that we were going to pull it off nicely. We even played a show in town right before we left where I did double duty as The Father Figures opened for The Freeze and my confidence grew even more.

We got everything situated for Slope and had all the merch and such lined up. The Father Figures were opening the whole shebang, so we had to be at the venue nice and early. It was a lot of fun and we felt like rock stars. Cruising around backstage prior to the show and afterwards, we were rubbing shoulders with a lot of people I look up to and got some great pictures.

Our set happened with maybe a hundred people in the venue (which held about 10,000), so that was disappointing. They had some ticket snafus, so people were just barely trickling in. Luckily most of our friends knew to be there super early, as well, so they got to see us. Looking back, it was a really fun experience. Rhondi got to enjoy all-access, as did Bobby’s wife, Miryam, and a couple of our friends.

The food backstage was decent, too.

The day we played, we shared the main stage with DOA, Suicidal Tendencies, and L7. The rest of the day’s line up was not really anyone I was super jazzed about, so I won’t bother to mention the others. I had never gotten to play with DOA before, so I was stoked on that and rightfully so. They were great and they were great dudes. Michael even got interviewed by a guy who was doing a documentary about them to tell how JFA had been inspired, in a way, by the guys seeing a DOA show in 1980ish.

I didn’t get to stay and see L7 and Suicidal Tendencies because I needed to get over to The Freeze show, but that was okay. Double festival duty on the same day. Timing is everything, right?

We were staying at the Golden Nugget, which is like punk rock central during PRB, so I felt like a true rock star walking through the hotel and then down Fremont with my bass. It was kinda fun to see people trying to figure out who I was. I probably could have milked a few beers out of it if I had time.

The Freeze set was at an outdoor club down Fremont about a mile from Golden Nugget. The name of the venue was “The Place” and it was thoroughly unremarkable. We played with The Faction, Zero Boys, Shattered Faith and Grindline. It was nice to see our chums from Shattered Faith, for sure. It was also the first time I got to play with Bill from The Freeze, which was a bit unnerving. He lives in California, so he had not been at any of our practices. The guy is an amazing guitar player and it was a ton of fun.

The crowd was really into our set, and it was a great way to finish a very long day.

See. Good stuff from that day. No drama. That was for the rest of the festival and doesn’t need to be brought up here. Well, at least not today.

See you tomorrow.

This guy is the coolest and I'm not talking about myself. Picture by Rhondi.

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