September 14, 2002
The following first appreared on “Whatever Happened to Rock & Roll” after we arrived back home from seeing the Sex Pistols play at the Inland Invasion in California. A great birthday and great concert with the greatest girl in the world.
First, some history as to how this all came about. A while back I was attending this insurance appraisal school in Mississippi and one night on the internet I saw that The Sex Pistols were going to headline this cool all punk show in CA. So I posted the link on my website cause it was cool and told Miss Chicky about it that night when I talked to her. A few days later, the day before my Birthday, Miss Chicky called me with a “choice” for my birthday present. Choice one was a down payment on a new motocross bike and a week in Kansas to visit my parents OR 2 tickets to the Inland Invasion show in CA and a week in KS. At the time I was so blown away that there was no way I could of made a choice. I called a friend I work with and told him. He flipped a coin for me and it was the Pistols. Even though that wasn’t the deciding factor for me, maybe it is just one more peice of proof that Fate does play a role in every thing we do. Maybe the “naturals” as I call them, were telling me from the start that I already knew what choice I was going to make. (God I’m high right now!) Then I had about 5 bourbon and cokes and after lots of deep thought about it, I called Miss Chicky and told her I choose the Pistols. This was going to be history in the making. This could be the last time the Pistols ever play again. Who cared if they did or didn’t , I was going to see the Pistols! But the best part of all this isn’t the Pistols, it isn’t how fucking good the Pistols ended up being, the coolest and best part for me is that Miss Chicky gave this to me and was here to share it with me. Without her I would not have gone, without here I would not of loved every second of it like I did, and without her, none of this exists anyway for me. I love you so much baby. You make life great.
So we left on a Friday,We arrived at the show location in Glen Helen around 11 a.m. After making our way through the lines to get in and getting searched (which involved them confiscating my 4 packs of Rolaids but not the disposable camera in the crotch of my pants) we decided to go ahead and get some T-shirts. After getting one of each we made our way to the second stage on the lawn. From a distance you could see a small but very visible dust cloud hovering over the pit in front of the stage that spanned from one side of the lawn to the other. The California sun was not something either of us were used to so we quickly found some shade. We perched ourselves next to a display tent made of up old skateboards and punk rock show posters. A great place to people watch. TSOL came on stage and the lead singer announced that they had been so bored lately that they would gladly play anyones backyard party who had the balls to call. He promptly gave out his home phone number and raged into a song. As the last song they of course played “Code Blue” that had the entire lawn crowd singing along word for word. It was then that it really kicked in that there were 20,000 punk rockers in one place. Amazing.
Even more amazing at the moment however was the fucking heat. Me and Miss Chicky were about to heat stroke out so I told her I would return shortly with some water for us. I had no idea what “shortly return” would entail. I made my way to the other side of the lawn along the way finding some cigarettes(always a nice bonus) and finally came upon the “LINE”. About 50 feet across and 80 feet long, this line was pointed into the direction of a four stall booth selling water and beer. After making my way to the halfway point (30 minutes later) a small girl came running up through the line of people (elbow to elbow of course) and quickly got stopped by a larger taller girl telling her in no uncertain terms “NO BUTTING!”. The small girl didn’t say a word, instead throwing a punch worth of a Tyson fight into the nose of the taller girl. All hell broke loose and lasted till I made it to the front of the line. Very entertaining. So after being in line for a little under an hour, I decided we need 3 waters. 3 dollars each!! Fuck it, we needed water. About this time I heard Keith Morris from the Circle Jerks talking about how fucked up it was that they were charging for fucking water! No shit.
When a new band would start playing I would leave Miss Chicky and the shaded spot for about 15 minutes to make my way to the stage to check out the band up close and attempt to take a picture. Around 2 or 3 pm we felt like we had already been through a short war and decided to make our way to the main stage where we had reserved seats waiting on us. We made our way over, got our seats, sat down, and realized this was worse than standing in the shade. The sun was peaked out right above us with no shade in sight. So we walked over towards the vendor spaces and found some more shade. It was at this time we discovered “Chronic Candy”. It was a very cool discovery to say the least. Finally around 6 pm or so I walked back to our seats to see if the sun had made its way out of ours and since it had I went quickly to get Miss Chicky. After settling down in our seats, finally in the shade, it was once again time to brave the water line. An hour later and $10 poorer I brought our 3 waters back.
Around this time (4 or 5) people in the lawn behind the seats began starting fires. Not small BQ fires, but huge round bonfires that they slammed their way around. You couldn’t tell the difference between the smoke and dust clouds.
I can’t really remember the order in which the bands played but I can remember the good and bad parts so here we go.(Main Stage bands)
Blink 182 got booed from the start of their set. It was quite funny. I’m pretty sure they cut their set short.
New Found Glory got booed too but got a lot of shit thrown at them as well. Why were either of these bands on the bill in the first place?
Bad Religion were very cool. They had all 45,000 people singing along to “Sorrow”.
Pennywise were in the same catagory but not as bad as Blink 182. Luckily for them they played harder and really saved face by talking about the bands that should of been there but weren’t i.e. Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, etc. They had a good portion of the crowd singing along to “Fuck Authority” which proved to me that the majority of the crowd were young punks if punks at all.
The Buzzcocks kicked ass playing crowd favorites such as “Breakdown” and “What do I get”. They talked about how cool it was that their music was finally getting some attention after all these years. The Sex Pistols used to open for them back in the day.
X played when we were searching out shade but I did hear them open with “Soul Kitchen” and it sounded great.
The Damned looked and played cool as hell. The lead singer wondered out loud if this was really a punk rock show cause nobody was storming the stage. He dared the lawn people to get off their asses and jump the gates and get to the stage. He also said the little punks in yellow(security) wouldn’t do a damn theing.
The Adolescents also played while we were searching shade and checking the “Chronic Candy” booth but I did hear them play “Kids in a Black Hole” which sounded awesome. They also tried to get the audience to rush the stage numerous times.
Social Distortion was one of our favorites of the day. Mike Ness commented that the day felt like ” One big fucking punk rock high school reuinion”. He also wondered aloud why the Dead Kennedy’s, Black Flag, The Germs, and Fear had not been inlcuded in the bill. By this time the fires were growing in number and size in the lawn and with the sun set it was an awesome site to see. Ness commented on them and then tore into a fast and hard version of “Ring of Fire”. He asked the crowd how they considered this to be a punk rock show when half the audience was in the lawn barriered with gates and security. He told the crowd the security wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing if they rushed the gates and jumped them. You could see Marshalls and the yellow shirts running around scrared shitless after he said that. Funny and a little rush of adreniline imagining just how chaotic it would be if they actually did it. Before their last song, Ness said he knew everyone was just waiting around to see their “Johnny” so they would soon be done.
The Offspring were up next. They played all their hits and few crowd favorites. You could tell this was “their” crowd. They were good but neither Miss Chicky or myself could wait for them to leave the stage.
The Sex Pistols came on and the first thing out of Johnny’s mouth was, “If any of you think we have ANYTHING to do with Levi’s OR KROQ your fucking wrong. We have nothing to do with either!” They then ripped into a hard as nails version of “Bodies”. All through the show Johnny made fun of the radio station KROQ which was sponsoring the event. Awesome. Some asshole in front kept throwing beer on Johnny but he difused the situation by calling the guy a hippie and telling him he was in the wrong show and the wrong decade to and get the fuck out. You could see the security guards hauling him out. Johnny commanded the stage. He ruled the stage. He was king. HE IS KING. He pranced, he sneered, he attacked, he danced. No matter how far back you were from the stage you could feel him on the verge of getting in your face and attacking your ass. He was like a fucking wild dog that had been in a cage for 10 years and someone let him out into a room full of raw bloody meat. This motherfucker is the REAL DEAL folks. He had a natural talent for singing that is overshadowed by his in your face I don’t give a fuck what you thing attitude. In one song, the line goes,”there is no GOD” in which he quickly added “except for ME”! He grabbed his package at one point saying “No rapper has a fucking package like this one!”. Each and every song was better than the last. It was impossible to take your eyes off him the entire set. He challenged the crowd constantly. After leaving the stage for “A cup of coffee and a cigarette” they returned to say “Finally the teenyboppers have left, now we can really have some fun!” To which they played “Silver Machine” the ultimate fuck you and irony to end a show, with a 70’s hair/hippie bands song. I’ve stood by my statement of Nashville Pussy putting on the best live show ever for some time now. I now stand by this statement. No band, not in this time, can come close to the Sex Pistols live. Nashville Pussy you are now number two for me. Johnny Rotten is an amazing performer for the simple reason he is himself and “himself” means he is loud , in your face, and extremely opinionated and he truly doesn’t give a crap what you or me or anyone thinks of that. He is a true BAD MOTHER FUCKER.