Motorhead's Hammered Tour May 2002

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We headed out for New Jersey around seven or seven thirty at night. I had been home from the crap factory I called college for a couple of hours. I had my shiny new ticket I purchased on-line from ticket-master all ready to go. It had been relatively smooth sailing for what was maybe an hour trip, until we saw the sign for the club, which would be our destination. We went straight, but should have made a turn. We made a turn but it was too late. We zigzagged all about the place. Only thing to do was turn around and start from scratch.

The Birch Hill Height Club, scenically located between Route 9 and a few auxiliary road inhabited by hillbillies, was site number twelve on Motörhead’s new tour. The noise didn’t start till around 10pm, so we did as the other well-rounded demented freaks did, drink in the parking lot. To make a disappointing story short we didn’t bring enough. Later, we found out that’s all the booze there was going to be; the club didn’t have a liquor license. The line to go in was a long and slow one, and soon I found out why. They were padding people down at the doorway, and judging by the amount of people hopping on and off line, it wasn’t an ill-founded estimation on their part of how many came carrying more then just a few years of emotional baggage coupled with a little dementia. Even my partner in this had to go and secure a few ‘items of interest’ in the car.

Once inside, I stood shoulder to shoulder with all of society’s finest: skinheads, punk rockers, red necks, eight-foot-tall bikers, the Mexicans, and even a Rastafarian – – the usual angry disturbed individuals. They stood around drinking, popping and smoking every conceivable chemical in abundance, and quite possibly a few that weren’t. Perhaps the most sarcastic highlight of the evening were the words which adorned security’s shirts: “Peacekeeper”- – -cynicism at its finest. The opener was Morbid Angel, a death metal group. They weren’t a bad act insofar as they sucked, but despite that they had a pretty descent following in the mosh. Morbid Angel plays their last song and heads out, and everything seems to shut down. People go outside for a quick hit on the bong or slug of booze. Others (myself included) crowd in the mosh area and slowly, out of the crammed up pit of disturbed creeps, the demand for Motörhead is echoed across the club. Security is understandably displeased with this.

Motörhead arrives and all hell breaks loose. I forget the first song, namely because at that time there were more important thing for me to pay attention to, such as various human carcasses flying around in all directions into everything, one of which, happened to be mine. I recovered to the relative safety of the outer perimeter of the violent and over heated human mass by the third or fourth song, which just happened to be every punker’s favorite song from ‘Limey Old’ England, a cover of “God Save the Queen.” A song or two later they played one off their new album Hammered. The song was dubbed “Brave New World,” I can’t comment on the lyrics however, since, by that time my hearing had safely faded into the relative obscurity of nonexistence, then again what do you expect from a band with an album named ‘Everything Louder Than Everyone Else’? As far as I was concerned it was as good as any of their classics which they played, such as “Iron Fist” or the aptly named “Born to Raise Hell,” which everyone did. Amongst the other songs they played was a tribute to the late Joey Ramon another oldie R.A.M.O.N.E.S., Sacrifice, and of course everybody’s favorite Ace of Spades.

The show ended unimpressively early at 1am eastern standard. Not being tired, able to hear well, and with no live show, somewhat bored, we drove around a bit. We ended at a 24-hour drive through fast food joint. After eating in their parking lot we headed home. My hearing had slowly, but steadily returned and I found myself slugging through the through the last few month before I received my Bachelor’s Degree. Here I sit, ever present, waiting for the next road trip.

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Ray Macula

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