The Gay Blades vs. The Gutter Punks of St. Marks

Words by Clark Westfield
Photo by Lucia Holm

New York, New York — One time The Gay Blades were asked to play a benefit for a Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Normally we hate doing things for free, but we actually hate storms way more than gratis performances — we acquiesced. It’s the night after our record release party in NYC. We load in to St. Mark’s church in the East Village, a famed bohemian hangout and community center in NYC. St. Marks — the street, not the church — is famous for being the cultural magnet for all things punk. What you see today is a boatload of homeless gutter punk kids intermingling with young and wealthy assholes from CT. Much like a swirling clashing of cold and warm fronts, this area can be a confusing epicenter of colliding worlds.

We load in. Work out and start to play our set. Midway thought this set, a few of the aforementioned gutter punks slink into the show. They dance. What else could they do? They hear The Gay Blades, which just screams “please start moshing,” or what they might call “slam dancing” if this were 1987. The room was ugly before they came, and the quotient of ugliness has now reached uncomfortable levels. We want this over. Philanthropy does not come naturally to us.

ANYWAY, they spit on us. Naturally — I lick it off — naturally.

I be sure to let them know I will be blowing them after the show, so just sit tight.

They leave because I’m scary and I just worked out. You’d do what I asked too.

We finished up. Made a shit load of new and creative friends and then we moved towards the exits, having forgotten the gutter punks whose essence I’d only very recently tasted. While carrying most of Puppy Mills’ drums, I was surrounded by said miscreant teens.

“Where’s our blow jobs bitch?” the boys say.

Boys, boys, boys.

From the right. I am punched in the face.

I didn’t fall down and I didn’t drop the drums. For that I’m grateful and fairly proud. I stumbled a bit and came back to the king Mexican gutter punk who snuck me.

“I just played a benefit show!” I yelled.

He leaves, and checks out the interior of the church. It checked out.

“I’m sorry,” one of them says and offers me his hand. I take it — naturally.

Then I was stabbed in the right side of my abdomen, puncturing my kidney. That’s not true. We just left. But I definitely had a sick ass black eye.

Moral of the story: Don’t swap spit unless your ready to get fucked.