A History of Sacripolitcal: The Media Blitz: 1985 – 1988

sc0004e425During the mid-1980’s, Sacripolitcal became a fixture at Marin County punk shows, frequently playing at the Sleeping Lady Cafe, various underground warehouse shows, and at the Flashback Cafe in Mill Valley, where the founder of “Cutting Edge Productions,” Mike Kavanaugh, dubbed them the house band.

Performances at the Flashback Cafe were frequent and rowdy. It was there that Sacripolitical appeared with bands such as Tales of Terror, Special Forces, Victim’s Family, Defend the Keg, Diet Tribe, The Pukes, and many, many others. Often, Sacripolitical would hand out special “prizes” and “treats,” sometimes consisting of band pins and stickers, sometimes consisting of spent rifle and pistol casings. The shows went late into the evenings and were regularly interrupted by the police, who sought to silence what must have appeared to them like a riot waiting to happen.

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Sacripolitical distributes “treats” at the Flashback Cafe.

One especially memorable evening at the Flashback gives a sense of the energy that defined Sacripolitical’s performances. John M. had incurred a head wound earlier in the week due to an unfortunate run-in with a department store’s plate glass display window. As a result, he had a series of stitches sewn into his lacerated scalp, some of which came loose while the band was on stage. As he bled profusely, the packed crowd whirled about in a fury of slam dancing and thrashing; John’s gore-covered face serving to heighten a collective, primal blood-lust. Members of the audience became one with the band and as the frenzy intensified, something transcendent and Holy was evoked through their anarchistic communion. The owner of the Flashback, viewing this tableau from behind the bar and not appreciating the miracle unfolding before him, became so overwhelmed, terrified and upset that he proceeded to smash every last dish, cup and drinking glass in his kitchen, all the while crying and weeping that he couldn’t stand seeing such violence take place in his own club! What irony! How Sacripolitical!

sc000169acThe years between 1985 and 1988 also saw Sacripolitcal performing at the Novato Theatre alongside Camper-Van Beethoven and Frightwig, as well as at a warehouse show in San Rafael alongside Ludivicho Technique and The Pukes, with Fang as the headliner. The show in Novato was memorable for taking place in the nicest venue with the best sound system that Sacripolitcal had ever utilized. The place was packed; a contingent of bikers providing just the right amount of sleazy danger. The show with Fang was memorable for taking place in a glass warehouse. Yes, someone organized a punk rock show in a glass warehouse! When none of the bands (except for Fang) got paid, a great deal of that glass was smashed by mysterious forces seeking to bring balance and justice back to the universe. It was Marin County, after all, where karma rules.

Sacritpolitcal lost Sam G. when he moved out of the area, and he was briefly replaced by Gary Benson, perhaps the fastest drummer in the punk rock land. A barnyard show at Gary’s farm in Novato became the scene of an impressive riot when the Marin Skinheads crashed the party one fine evening during Sacripolitical’s set. Ted, a member of the skinhead gang, initiated the trouble by yelling insults at the band. When one of Sacripolitcal’s officers, Vince Giacomini, intervened, all hell broke loose. The place erupted into a maelstrom of thrown fists and smashing bottles. The battle ended in a dog pile of bodies and many bloodied faces and injured heads. As they were driven out of the barn, the retreating skinheads smashed out the windscreens of a few of the cars parked outside. The next day, Ted apologized for all the trouble he had started. Things, it seems, just sometimes get out of hand. No hard feelings? Eh. It was all in a night’s work for Sacripolitcal.

contentDuring this vital, inspired period Sacripolitcal started to receive radio play on various local stations such as KPFA, KUSF and KSFS. The print publication Maximum Rock and Roll reviewed their shows as well as a compilation tape of Marin bands, which led to Sacripolitical being interviewed on the Maximum Rock and Roll radio program. Kent Jolly had the honor of sitting down with the Sacripoliticans, asking questions about their inspiration, life in Marin, and their upcoming shows. Jokes about bowel movements and fart noises ended up dominating the conversation. This was followed by the playing of Sacripolitcal’s smash hit song “Sick Fact: The Ballad of Berhard Goetz.” There’s nothing like a song glamorizing a gun toting vigilante to provoke discomfort in lefty anarchists, and sure enough, after the interview was over, Tim Yohanan (RIP), the producer of the show, groaned, expressed dismay at all of these impertinent hijinks, and begged for someone to take the radio show off of his hands.

The Sacripolitical media blitz was at its peak. All that was left was to take over the world.

But world domination was to prove elusive.

NEXT: The San Francisco Years: 1989 – 1993

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