We’d been writing songs and practicing in a dingy basement for a few months but had no gig mojo yet. Drummer Tony Luke and I were getting ready to go to a party when he got a call. I took a hit of acid and continued assembling my Mad Max costume. Tony came back excited: A band had canceled, so our first gig was that night. This was our chance. I wondered if I should puke up the LSD...but the hell with it. Let’s do this!
I didn’t tell my bandmates that I was tripping my gourd off by the time we had our gear set up. I had no clue if I could even remember the songs, but I was determined to get through it all with Mad Max-like determination. I had a mission to accomplish! “I am the Night Rider, and I’m hotter than a rollin’ dice! The Toecutter — he knows who I am!,” I yelled at the costumed crowd.
“You! You can run, but you can’t hide!” I berated the crowd with the Mad Max banter. The only problem: The keg was in the other room. I grabbed it and moved it next to us. If anyone wanted a drink, they’d have to deal with King Rat. Soon we had a sizable group, no doubt tolerating the noise because of the beer. I looked back at Tony. He asked, “Are you tripping, dude?” Now, 22 years later, King Rat’s tenth CD, No Apologies No Regrets
, will be released September 29, on Unable Records.
The Denver Bootleg is a series chronicling the history of local music by longtime Denver cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz. Visit Krumpholz's website to see more of his work.