Warlock Pinchers: An extensive oral history straight from the jokers' mouth

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MB: When we opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it was one of the best shows ever. It was when we were still a shitty little band. Dan started talking some shit about Bono, and it was such a frat audience. This was before the Chili Peppers were huge. They were a party band for jocks, or whatever.

Dan started pissing them off, and he made fun of everyone. The entire audience turned on us and pelted us with change and beer cups. A couple thousand people throwing stuff at us. Then we collected all the money off the stage afterward, and it was a lot of money, too!

DW: First that year we ended up playing Glen Miller Ballroom with Butthole Surfers. I don't even know how the hell we got that show.

AN: I got it. I have it all on tape. I'm calling up Bill Bass from Feyline, and I was like, "Hey, we'd love to play this show." He'd heard of us, and he knew we were the obnoxious band that might light stuff on fire. I have this funny recording of him saying, "You can't shoot anything; you can't light anything on fire."

So I was like, "What if we just throw out stickers." "No throwing! Just because of the name of this band, I have to get double insurance." He said, "The last thing I need is you guys messing up my show. Just come, play your instruments and have a good time." I was trying to hedge on the kind of pranks we could do. But the show ended up being awesome.

DW: A lot of the crowd liked it.

AN: Butthole Surfers liked it, and we ended up being friends and playing with them multiple times here and other places. A month later was the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I called up Feyline and said, "Hey, Bill, that show went great. What about this Chili Peppers thing?" He said we could play, but that one didn't go quite as good.

DW: The crowd hated us. They threw coins at us, so we ended up playing thirty minutes of a forty minute set allotted. We spent ten minutes picking up the change off the stage.

AN: People were spitting on us; we were spitting back.

DW: And we said, "Thanks for paying us!"

AN: It was funny because after that harsh crowd, they made us charge the same amount for our shirts as the Chili Peppers, and they were fifteen or twenty dollars when we normally charged five. People ended up buying our shirts and liking us. A thin margin of people liked us, but we actually got fans out of that show. Even now people say, "I remember when you played with the Chili Peppers and everyone hated it!"

DW: Antagonizing the crowd -- the more they hated us, the more we hated them. We got off on it.

AN: If you can gain five percent of a crowd by pissing off ninety-five percent of the crowd, those are pretty good odds. As opposed to being some band that played when people are out in the lobby not even watching. It was a memorable show.

That was kind of our thing -- not to be a boring band, especially in Boulder. I think that's another reason we wanted to piss people off: We we're pissed off because there's a bunch of shitty music in Boulder. Boring shows, just the worst. So we wanted to do something obnoxious and memorable.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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