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The Bozo Porno Circus Diaries: Sunny Days, Shit-Smeared Walls, and Slayer

If you never saw a Bozo Porno Circus show then you just plain missed out. The Tone Zone Records band was a freak-out and a half, stuffed to the wall with loud noises and pretty girls getting sparks shot off their metal-covered crotches by belt sanders. Recently, lead guitarist Chris "The" Lane (AKA Crispy and for a brief hilarious time Nikki Wykkid) uncovered a treasure trove of tour diaries and photos, so all this week we're heading down a well of Houston-flavored debauchery from the glory days of our goth scene.

The Bozo Porno Circus Diaries: Sunny Days, Shit-Smeared Walls, and Slayer

Florida was hot and humid -- felt just like home in Houston. We were pulling into the venue in Tampa, a place called The Masquerade. Or maybe it was Jack Rabbit's. It was one of those clubs with more than one name, and after awhile they all blurred together to me. Inside it was a typically dark and cool dance club, a major contrast to the sunny Florida weather just outside its doors.

There was no stage, which was never a good thing, but something we occasionally encountered. When you play music that caters to a dance club crowd sometimes the clubs themselves don't usually host live acts and aren't set up well for live music.

The "Floor is the stage" scenario poses several problems. First, it's difficult to set any boundaries between the performers and the audience. We would often interact with our audience members, and our girls would sometimes pull attractive women onstage to play, but it was still nice to have a few feet of elevation to keep drunks from just wandering into our territory. With all of the metal gear and fire, it could be dangerous to have people meandering around. Plus it just didn't look right.

REWIND:

The Bozo Porno Circus Diaries: It's Cold When You're Naked Sid, the Evil Sex and Drug Clown

Down a short hallway was our dressing room. As those sorts of things went, it was a pretty nice one. Dressing rooms varied from club to club. Some were barely closets - tiny little spaces with maybe enough room for a couch if you were lucky. Others were pretty swanky -- large, with their own bathrooms. This was one of the latter, which was a treat.

The club was adjoined to a much larger music venue, a several thousand-seat theater-type place. I had heard from a bartender that Slayer had played the week before, and it looked like the type of room that a band like Slayer would play. The bartender also told me that a really dedicated or deranged Slayer fan had smeared human feces all over the walls of their dressing area -- the dressing room that we were to occupy that night.

The walls looked clean enough, and I never found out if that bartender was telling the truth, but I avoided touching any walls that night.

Most clubs are similar in their griminess. At night when they're packed with people and the lights are dim they look really nice. Over the years I had seen so many of them before they opened for the night during sound check or whenever we arrived to set up our gear. Sometimes we'd be waiting around in those clubs for hours, and most clubs are pretty gross when you see them well lit and uncrowded.

I once was in a well-known Houston club, setting up for a show later in the evening. I had been in the place hundreds of times as both a performer and as a patron. I knew it was kind of yucky anyway. But with the lights on? It took on a whole other level of filth. I remember walking into the men's restroom and finding a human turd on the floor with a cockroach busily eating it.

That pretty well summed up the way a lot of clubs are without the gloss that night brings them. It's like getting a handful of gold in a fairy tale... Only to discover that the gold is actually poop when you return home.

 

The Bozo Porno Circus Diaries: Sunny Days, Shit-Smeared Walls, and Slayer

If someone had smeared shit all over the walls in the dressing room the week before, there was no sign of that defilement that I could see. Through another door was another rare perk -- a couple of not-gross-looking shower stalls. I made a mental check to take a shower after the show later in the night. Finding any sort of working semi private shower in a club dressing area was a very rare occurrence, and I planned on taking advantage of it.

REWIND:

The Bozo Porno Circus Diaries: The Van Eats Shit, and I Almost Eat Rooster Balls Thursday, April 24, 2002

The show itself went fine. Not our biggest crowd of the tour, but it wasn't embarrassing. Since there was no stage, I ran around more than usual, since there was no edge to walk off of, and our show seemed to go over well with the locals.

Afterwards, I made my way back to the dressing room, and the shower I had been looking forward to. I was busy taking that anticipated shower when a weird guy and two of his female friends abruptly walked in front of the shower and started to do lines of cocaine off of a sink. This was worrisome, since they had to have walked through our dressing room to get there, and all of our stuff was lying out in the open. If these Night at the Roxbury-looking folks weren't thieves themselves, who else was getting admittance into our dressing room?

Plus, it's awkward to basically be standing naked in front of a threesome of coke-Snorting strangers, no matter what your security concerns might be. Being in Bozo Porno Circus had pretty well washed away any modesty I might have left, and I was never shy to begin with, but a shower was one of those rare treats -- a few minutes on tour where I could feel a sense of privacy.

That feeling is definitely shattered when three badly dressed cokeheads assemble a foot away from your shower stall and go to work inhaling as much cocaine as a purse could realistically hold.

"I'm taking a shower here." I feebly exclaimed, hoping they would move their party somewhere else.

"We'll be done in a minute, baby. Want a line?" said the coked-up female closest to me -- figuring this wasn't an invite I wanted to accept, I just got out of the shower and walked back to the room, locking the door behind me as I left. They may still be in that shower room for all I know.

Jef With One F is a recovering rock star taking it one day at a time. You can read about his adventures in The Bible Spelled Backwards or connect with him on Facebook.

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