The Meatmen and Black Fag - Alex's Bar - May 31, 2014

Categories: live review
Alex Distefano
The Meatmen
The Meatmen and Black Fag Alex's Bar 5/31/14 Alex's Bar in Long Beach was nearly packed to capacity on Saturday evening as the legendary '80s shock rock punker Tesco Vee brought his band known as the Meatmen to destroy eardrums, and shatter all notions of decency, dignity, and political correctness. They were joined by the crazy, lovable queers of Black Fag. "I'm 58 years old and have been punk rock for over 30 years now, longer than a lot of you were born!" Vee shouted into the crowd of hands, most of which raised Pabst Blue Ribbon tall cans. "But the point is I'm still up here doing it and I don't give a fuck!"

Tesco Vee has been the brains behind the Meatmen since 1979 when the band formed just outside of Detroit Michigan. Think of stripped down versions of GWAR, The Mentors and GG Allin, mixed with old school hardcore like Minor Threat and Negative Approach, and retro thrash riffs in the vein of Slayer and Venom. Vee is rounded out by his band of musical cohorts, which include Hindu Kush on guitar, Biff Bologna on bass and Swarthy "Bun-Length" Franklin on drums.

See also: The 10 Best Shock Rock Bands of All Time

Alex Distefano
Through numerous lineup changes over the decades, Tesco Vee has remained as the only constant of the Meatmen. And is undoubtedly one of punk rock's most underrated and iconoclastic cult figures, and a hero of the shock rock subgenre, borrowing from speed metal, thrash and old school hardcore, and mixing in a heavy dose of booze, drugs, crude humor, sexually explicit themes and lyrics, and many stage props and simple yet in your face costumes. "Who else would prance around up here screaming in ABBA pants like a Kansas City Faggot for your entertainment but the one and only Tesco Vee!?!?!" he yelled with an evil smirk on his face.

You would think that age would lessen the anger, hatred, hostility and need for violence that usually is associated with younger more rebellious punks. But the polar opposite is true for Tesco Vee. "If Anything I've gotten angrier as I've gotten older," he said. "Punk rock is about fucking shit up!" At age 58, Tesco Vee's enthusiasm, energy and in your face vocals and evil grins, serve as a lesson for younger punk bands to aspire to.

With a set that lasted just over an hour, Alex's Bar's patrons were treated to some of the sleeziest, grimiest, hardcore punk rock from the '80s, '90s and into the new millennium, as the band pummeled through songs spanning their career. The Meatmen's stage show included several different props, including giant phallus shaped objects, a red Papal hat with 'TV' engraved on the front and a nose, brought out during "Pope on a Rope."

A mild and loose mosh pit formed during the song "KKK," and although not everyone at the bar was moshing, those who were made it count.

You gotta give Tesco Vee and musical Men of Meat Credit, for not only the musical integrity but also their humor, and affinity for poking fun at others. "Anyone a fan of the Dwarves? And by Dwarf, I mean Glenn Danzig, of course he's probably worth $100 million, and I'm worth $100 bucks. But I got the street cred to back my shit up!"

Next: Review of Black Fag's set

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