Thursday, February 21, 2008
Raygun... Naked Raygun
True story: I met my good friend Charlie back around 1988 or 1989 because of Naked Raygun. We were both working at a library at the University of Washington and I had seen him around, he just looked like another goofy college kid. But one day he shows up to work in a Naked Raygun shirt and I was kinda floored. I went right up to him and said, "You like Naked Raygun? You like punk?" And so began a friendship that has lasted twenty years, bonding first on our fondness for punk and noise music, smoking pot, eating pizza, reading comics and MRR, and drinking beer. Charlie was way more of a Naked Raygun fan than I, I liked 'em alright, but he'd actually argue with me that their version of "Suspect Device" on 1988's Jettison LP was better than the original by Irish punkers Stiff Little Fingers from the '70s. That was sacrilege to me, Stiff Little Fingers were (and still are) one of my favorite bands. But regardless, hanging out with Charlie I listened to a lot of Naked Raygun.
We went and saw them live back around 1990, so when we heard they had reformed and were playing Seattle last November, we pretty much had to go. And Charlie's not the kind of guy you see dancing around in the pit at a show, yet there he was, nearly twenty years later, pogoing up front loving every minute of it. They put on a great show for a couple guys probably in their mid-'40s and pulled out most of their classic songs for a good-sized (but not capacity) crowd, that ate up every minute of it. Naked Raygun are one of those bands that genre-cross in a great way, side by side singing along were 40 year old geeky punk dudes with 18 year olds with spikes and mohawks. That's the way more shows should be. Most of my photos from the show ended up pretty blurry, save for these ones: