So, if you were born in the 70s, grew up in LA or thereabouts, and liked indie or at least “indie” rock, there was one area band that you went to see less maybe for the music (although you liked that too) as for what might happen during the show.
This band never got the traction of say the Chili Peppers and Janes Addiction, but its frontman went on to national stardom for a certain type of reality tv – a type very much connected to What Might Happen. One of the times the band performed they were playing at a certain historic So Cal theater (spelled “re”) that was almost destroyed by a recent and record-breaking fire (within two blocks).
I didn’t know it at the time but someone was recording the show, or at least parts of it – including their probably most known song (the one about the rocker turned booze baron).
It ended up on YouTube, and is there to this day (near the top of the search list for the song).
When you find the video, you’ll notice first his shaved head.
Early on in the show, the singer announced that his girlfriend had just dumped him (you can probably guess why), and for that (which is to say some) reason he had crudely lopped off his hair.
The set, or at least the part of it they got through, went well enough, but in between songs the singer grew increasingly agitated, drinking beer and gin and snorting something he’d fetch from his pocket.
Just after they finished that song came the meltdown, a tantrum about the band, the girlfriend, and women in general.
He was slurring his words, and when challenged by one of the bandmates threw a bottle of beer at him.
The band left the stage and the crowd was alone with him, the audience and the singer.
The crowd was then treated to a roughly ten minute monologue about his troubles, much of it some combination of self-pitying and incomprehensible.
At the end he pulled a knife from his rear pocket – a switchblade, in fact – and threatened then and there to end his life,
Harikari Harakiri style.
That’s when the lights came on and two men who looked like orderlies rushed onstage and dragged him away.
There is a theory about the video given the size of camcorders back in the day, it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to smuggle even one of the smaller hi8 ones into a show.
The theory is the singer gave one of his fans advance approval for filming the show, already planning to kill himself at the end.
He would have become famous in death to an extent he wasn’t yet in life.
Ironically, it’s his troubles, and getting over them, that made him that kind of famous.
According to a witness at the show, after the orderlies took him away, a certain doctor came out to address the audience about the singer, and drug abuse in general.
He was going to get the help he needed, he said, and a couple of women threw alt radio station swag into the audience.
He encouraged the young people in the audience to seek help if they had been abused, or were self-medicating, or self-harming.
The singer had been a semi-regular caller to the doctor’s then radio show, often obviously drunk and on drugs.
There was one particular episode in which a neo-Egyptian sex temple leader was the guest, and he called in to angrily denounce the leader, who had sex with thousands of women without protection.
Now, of course, the singer was right, but he was obviously not coherent.
This is how the singer and the doctor got to know each other, as host, and caller.
Dr. Drew’s sidekick from VH-1’s “Celebrity Rehab”
Risen from the gutter, he whispers hope to Hollywood’s junkies
One by one, the famous train wrecks and no-name junkies come to see the addict whisperer in his sunny aerie above the fabled corner of Hollywood and Vine. Eleven stories above the strip clubs and head shops and crowded sidewalks embedded with shiny golden stars, they seek Bob Forrest’s help in fighting their demons.
Forrest is a former rocker known for his intoxicated rants and onstage antics as the lead singer of the post-punk band Thelonious Monster. Yes, he fell off the stage and set the props on fire. That was part of the draw. Yes, he cursed out Jesus, said scary things about the first George Bush and mangled “The Star Spangled Banner.” That was over the top. And yes, he planned to kill himself on stage during a concert but chickened out. That was the monster talking.
He was one of the worst heroin junkies on the Hollywood club scene until he shocked everyone by getting sober in 1996. He says he delivered cocaine, crystal meth and heroin to some of the most famous people in the world. Helping addicts stay sober is his shot at redemption, or as Forrest puts it, “breaking even on some of the sh—y things I did in the past.” – Source