Monday, December 31, 2007

LA Guns

I found some real treasures today while picking through the boxes and piles of magazines in what used to be my bedroom in Rocky River. Flyers from old See World, Southern Trespass and Amps II Eleven shows. My old wrestling 8X10 photographs which have always been a superb gift to weirdo friends and touring bands who spend the night at my place. CDs that span my entire life as a music fan (rap, punk, straight edge hardcore and even a stack of pro wrestling theme song records!)

I need to throw some shit out but I only have the heart to get rid of little things. So when I found a piece of yellow scrap paper I was excited to rip it to shreds and toast my hard work with a Great Lakes. I'm glad I took the time to read the words on it first. It was the start of an article for what would have been the eleventh issue of Wroth! fanzine. It would have been an true-case account of an LA Guns show at the Cove in Geneva on the Lake. Too bad the zine never saw the light of day but not so much in the sake of this piece being published. I thought I would print it on Deadtown before I tore up the scrap paper and maybe while I enjoy that Great Lakes.

It's two pargraphs long but packs a punch for something writen by an idiot in 1999. Take it for what it is (awesome).

New Years Eve. The dawn of the new millennium. Place: New York City. Time: 11:58 PM. The air is crisp and the roar of the Manhattan crowd grows with anticipation. What's this? Broken glasses? These belong to john. I'd know them anywhere. It's a clue. Now it is a race against time. 11:59 PM.

Meanwhile in Geneva, Ohio on a different night, in a different year. A young man of nineteen sits at a table contemplating whether he will risk ordering a drink from the waitress with ample hair and ample breast. A door opens and a nineteen year old jaw drops. That jaw belonged to me, Matt Wroth. And this is the story of the night I met Tracii Guns.

Well... that's it isn't it? Pretty awful but somehow it sums up who I am perfectly. Also it's a slice of life from Cleveland circa the late-nineties. I went to this show with some friends who had no agenda other than getting out of the house. Little did they know they would see Jizzy Pearl live and in person. And on top of that I really did meet Tracii Guns. I walked right up to him and asked him I could get a photo taken together. I did this with an agenda. I wanted to get a letter printed in Metal Edge with a pic of me and my guitar god. And that's just what DID happen. I found that today too.

Metal Edge Magazine. December 1999. $3.99. Pages 80 & 81.

Here's the letter:

Recently I had the pleasure of checking out the Poison tour package. I even had VIP seats, which meant I could hang out by the tour buses like a rabid fan thirsty for rock 'n' roll blood. This is how my friend Ryan and I met LA Guns bassist Chuck Garric. This cat was totally down to earth. When Ryan bought a Turd CD (Chucks killer old band), he even ran around trying to get us change for $20! Then, a week later, LA Guns took time out of their hectic schedule to visit Geneva on the Lake, Ohio to put on another mind-blowing performance. This time it was in front of less than a hundred people, but it was even more incredible than a week before in front of 11,000 fans. And the most amazing part is that they choose to play, no one forced Guns to do what they do best that night. Here's a photo of me with Tracii Guns, the best dressed man in the music business today. It was the highlight of my utterly pathetic existence. And let us all praise Tracii Guns, king of thy rocketh and they rolleth.Matt Chernus
Cleveland, Ohio


I made it into Metal Edge one more time with the help of being in Amps II Eleven (we were in their sister mag Metal Maniacs too!) Go to your local library and ask if they have a back catalog.

For further reference to me see the June 2000 issue of Wrestling Maniacs. It's got pictures of the Rock, Steve Austin, Sting and Mankind on the cover. A picture of me on the inside. I'm going to frame the copy I found today.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Teabagged for Christmas

I don't want to be boring but I think that I am. I know that I have been writing about the same couple of bands whenever I try to steer the focus back to Cleveland music but I don't know what else to do. I only have a couple of good friends and they all happen to be musicians. So they call me and try to convince me to drive to a bar, get wasted, see them play and then drive home. It almost always works and I have a good time doing it. So then I want to write about it.

So I'm a-gonna write some words.

I got to see the Hollywood Blondes the other night at Spitfire. Man, these dudes have gotten so much better than the last time I saw them play their Pabst and Converse Punk; Cleveland has finally created our own Screeching Weasel... if Ben could wail like Stiv Bators.

I was happy enough to be drinking an Elliot Ness and smoking in doors but when these dudes turned in a long set of tunes, the night was more like a drunken yarn that some older punker told me about in American History class when I was fourteen. I can see how bloodshot that dudes eyes were and how his clothes smelled like Marlboro Reds. But, shit, it's not the mid-nineties (damn!) and I'm that old punker smelling of Great Lakes and Pall Mall smoke.

Tommy Teabagger, legend in my own mind, has honed his stage presence, finally living up to his nickname and local lore by being cocky, snotty and singing like an angel. A Hells Angel, of course. I don't have any song titles in my mind so let's just say that they were all winners and the crowd were champions too, throwing bricks of cheap fireworks into the Blondes' kick drum, creating the perfect Cle Christmas ambiance.

Go see these dudes if only to get your kicks without actually getting aggro and kicking someone. Be happy, be drunk and try not to get eaten by Tigers on Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

CMZ (That's a play on TMZ. I meant it as cleveland then whatever m and z stand for).

I think this blog has to go into a different direction. No one really wants to know what I'm up to (I don't care myself). For instance, I am writing this at the library I just walked to and I think I am still drunk from the night before. See? That's not that interesting.

So. I think, from now on now, this blog should be about my celebrity sightings. TMZ and Deadtown Cleveland can walk hand in hand.

First off this blog: This Moment in Black History. Bim, Buddy, Lawrence, Chris. Celebrities? Sure, in a sense of the word. I picked these dudes up at the airport yesterday morning and I was in about the same shape I find myself in now. The first thing Bim says to me is "Have you been drinking?" I had been. Twelve hours before. That set a tone, for sure. That tone escalated when we saw celeb two.

Bim asked Patrica Arquette is she had a joint. Lawrence then stressed that hash would be cool too. The whole story is long and hilarious but I think it's better left at that.

Celeb three and four were spotted later that night at Cha Cha Lounge. First I took a piss next to the bass player from Metallica. I don't know his name but I remember he had a depressing looking apartment in Some Kind of Monster and I respect that completely. Then the fat dude from Knocked Up and Superbad showed up. Everyone left at this point whispered.

This is what life has become and I am confused by it. And with a small apartment suddenly housing seven Clevelanders everything is weirder. Hopefully we will all see Britney Spears tonight and then we can all head back to Ohio.