George Tabb Needs Our Help!
Those who have been reading Maximum Rock’n’Roll all these years would not need an introdution to Mr. George Tabb. That picture on the left has been his calling card for yoinks. That masthead for his regular column in MRR may sound ironic now since the man is struggling with health issues arising from the 9-11 attack on WTC in NYC. The debris and contamination resulted from the decimation of the two towers has been spreading cancerous ailments upon residents in the area. George Tabb is one of them, and George Tabb is also one of us.
A seasoned punk rocker, life-long rock’n’roll devotee, George Tabb writes great entertaining stories and songs; of hope and despair and whatever shit wedged inbetween, all with self-depracating humour and alarming honesty. He has got two books out, compiling all these retelling of his unfortunate journey while his punk rock bands includes The False Prophets (one of my all time favourite NY bands, who was mixing a lot of styles withour losing the plot, way back in the early 80s).
For me, George Tabb’s MRR column has always been a uproarious gem amongst the mostly po-faced, serious columnists in there (of course, Mykel Board is still an exception). George has been giving much to snicker and laugh at for years and I think I should give him something to help with his predicament. But what can we do?
A benefit gig? As per usual, there’s not much money to be made at local shows, and once we converted that to US Dollars, it’ll be more like fitting for a jug of beer and no more. But I’m game for it. If you guys reading are playing in a band, and willing to chip in by playing for free, please write to me and lets plan something up. It maybe a jug of beer but I think George needs all the beers he can get!
To those who has money to spare, do donate to his PayPal account. To those who are operating a blog, a zine, mailing lists or whatever form of your own media, please highlight this petition.
here are the links:
George’s band, Furious George jamming with Dee Dee Ramones on Betty Crocker, Punk Rocker
An excerpt of his words, compiled in the book Surfing Armageddon, A Memoir (Soft Skull Press)
SO, THERE I AM, on a freezing New York City night with my pal, Louis, each of us in our Ramones style leather motorcycle jackets.
Only mine costs well over three hundred bucks, while my bag boy buddy‚Äôs costs next to zilch. It‚Äôs one of those fake ‚Äúpleather‚Äù jackets, which looked almost as cool as the real thing, but could only be found at places like Kmart or other discount stores.
It‚Äôs the winter of my senior year in high school and Louis and I, now total punk rock Ramones fans, are making our way out of New York City‚Äôs rock club, the Ritz.
We‚Äôd just seen some lame band called Huey Lewis and the News for two bucks at the Ritz‚Äôs Rock ‚Äòn‚Äô Roll Against Depression night and were in pretty good spirits considering no girls took us up on our offers to dance.
It‚Äôs really fucking cold as we begin to make our way back to my mom‚Äôs place on West Fourth Street, and under our motorcycle jackets, real and fake, we‚Äôre just wearing thin t-shirts. Me, a Sid Vicious one Nick had purchased for me at a local punk boutique called Trash And Vaudeville, and Louis, a Ramones Rocket to Russia shirt, complete with the little picture of the pinhead guy sitting on a missile.
It was the only shirt Louis ever wore. Ever.
As we hunch our shoulders to warm up from the subzero temperatures, I think about what my mom had said before we left the apartment for the evening.‚ÄúGeorge,‚Äù she had said in that motherly way, ‚ÄúI know you guys want to look cool and all, but why don‚Äôt you wear something warmer?‚Äù Of course, I just pouted at her like a two-year-old.
‚ÄúNo,‚Äù I said. ‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt make me!‚Äù
‚ÄúYou‚Äôre right,‚Äù she continued. ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt make you do anything, but please try and not get sick. You boys want to have fun during your Christmas vacation, don‚Äôt you?‚Äù
I tell her we do, and while I appreciate the idea, now that I‚Äôm a Ramone and all, it‚Äôs just not cool.
She tells me she understands.
As does Nick.
‚ÄúMrs. Tabb,‚Äù Louis then said, even though her last name hadn‚Äôt been Tabb for many years. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve tried with your sorry ass sucker of a son to make him wear his winter coat, but he just won‚Äôt. I‚Äôm sorry to have failed you.‚Äù
I just looked at Louis and seethed. The little fuck, not two minutes earlier, had told me we had to wear our leather jackets to the Ritz that night, because it would make us cool, and chicks dug cool guys. I reminded Louis that his jacket wasn‚Äôt real leather, and that‚Äôs when he fed that line of horseshit to my mom.
Anyway, as we‚Äôre trudging through at least six inches of snow, with more falling upon us on East Tenth Street near Fourth Avenue, two guys approach us.
We can‚Äôt really make out their faces through the snow, but one guy yells, ‚ÄúYo,‚Äù so we yell ‚ÄúYo!‚Äù back.
When they approach us we can see they‚Äôve got the good sense to be wearing those snorkel type jackets, with the big hoods and all.
‚ÄúHey man,‚Äù says one of the guys as he flips back his hood and lets wet snow gather on his almost shaved head, ‚ÄúYou got a light?‚Äù The other guy takes off his hood and his hair is short as well.
‚ÄúWell?‚Äù asks the one guy who‚Äôs talking, ‚Äúhow about it?‚Äù
I look at Louis and he looks at me.
‚ÄúTabb,‚Äù he says, ‚Äúyou sorry ass sucker, get out your lighter for the gentleman.‚Äù
I look at him pissed. I‚Äôm tired of that term, and my hands are so fucking cold in my blue-jean pockets, I‚Äôm afraid to take them out and use them. They‚Äôd probably get frostbite and fall off, then I‚Äôd never be able to play with myself again. I‚Äôd have to depend on girls for that, which, I knew, was never going to happen.
So I take out my frozen right hand, unzip the front right pocket on my shiny new leather jacket with the Ramones-style Air Force U.S. pins, and all Nick and I had found at an army navy store. I grasp the black lighter with the Playboy logo on it I‚Äôd found at a cool ass head shop a couple of day earlier, and start to remove it.
The next thing I know I‚Äôm laying on the hood of a snow-covered car with the sweet tasting flavor of blood in my mouth, and my nose hurts so bad I feel my eyes swelling.
‚ÄúGive us your leather jackets!‚Äù says the guy who hadn‚Äôt spoken before.
‚ÄúFuck you,‚Äù I spit blood at them.
‚ÄúGive us your leather jackets and we won‚Äôt hurt you anymore,‚Äù says the first guy, as he hits me in the gut with a lead pipe he‚Äôs pulled out of nowhere.
‚ÄúNo fucking way I‚Äôm giving you my Ramones jacket,‚Äù I say to the two punks, and look at Louis.
He‚Äôs already got his off and is dangling it on his index finger.
Because it weighs nothing and is a cheap piece of shit.
‚ÄúGive it to us or else!‚Äù screams the guy with the lead pipe.
‚ÄúOr else what?‚Äù I scream back, really pissed because this jacket means everything to me. It‚Äôs not just an identify thing, it‚Äôs my second skin. I‚Äôd worn it twenty-four hours a day since Nick and I spent my hard earned bag boy cash on the thing, and there was just simply no way I was parting with it.
They‚Äôd have to kill me first. So I told them so.
‚ÄúNo problem,‚Äù says the guy without the lead pipe. Then he takes out a brow handled switchblade knife and flicks open the long shiny blade.