bar-b-q killers “his and hearse”

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies.

She – the singer – is dead now.


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  1. Shevil
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    I saw Laura and the BBQ Killers in, Jesus, must have been the early eighties. They were on a two band bill with Emergency Broadcast something? Systems? who later became Guadalcanal Diary. Athens was weird then, weirder than is now. Unless you got into 40 Watt you were playing local bars on the outskirts that mainly catered to the country pool hall crowd. On weekdays, they’d let college kids from town play to fill up the bars. The few locals who were out drinking generally put up with it.

    It was at some bar, I don’t know, maybe 15 or 20 miles outside of Athens. I forget the name of the place. So the BBQs and she come on stage. The bar has a couple dozen skinny kids really into it with a few locals shooting pool in the backend. Like I said, everybody really put up with each other so it was cool. Laura/she and the band were on and it was getting really wild, upstage. Then She jumps off stage pushes through the college kids and grabs one of the local guys pool stick and cracks in half over her knee. I think we were all expecting him to crack her but it was the bars stick so he just picks up another one from the rack and keeps playing pool. Right then, it was pretty cool.

    She takes the stick onstage and keeps singing but holds the sticks like they’re prison bars and keeps swinging on them and looking out around them at the guy. Then it got really weird and almost magical.

    She sticks her hands in her pants and lets out these huge screams/groans and pulls out an egg. The amazing part was how and why she kept it in their without breaking it, but there she had it. After all these years I can’t emphasize enough how amazing it was she’d had an egg ready for the moment and hadn’t cracked it. It was perfect. She held it up and then quick as anything chucked it at the guy who’d stopped playing pool to watch I guess because of all the screaming. It missed him by far but hit the ceiling above him and was dripping onto the pool table. He started walking towards stage (the rest on the band kept playing) but She never broke gaze with him and was waiting. All the skinny college kids kind of panicked and awkwardly tackled him and confusedly started punching him. Punching is an exaggeration. It was like they didn’t know how or didn’t want to because they were hitting him with the soft sides of their fists.

    I remember hopping back and forth on the outside of the circle wanting to be involved but having no idea how to. I’d never thrown a punch either. I remember looking at She and she was hopping up and down like she had similar reservations but seemed very pleased.

    The guy just got up and walked off. He seemed like he knew how to fight but didn’t know how to fight a couple dozen kids who didn’t. He wasn’t bleeding. He didn’t seem hurt at all. Needless to say, the second act never went on and we never went back to bar. After things had called down and everybody was outside talking about it She and the band were packing up in a couple cars. I saw her and said, “Nice show.” She looked back and said, “It wasn’t.” Which I took to mean “It wasn’t a show.”

    Show or no show I didn’t miss another one for my remaining months in Athens.

  2. Doug
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I think it was Emergency Broadcast Network? I loved that stuff.

  3. Doug
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Wait, no, you were right.

  4. mark
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Great story. Thanks, Shevil.

    I spent a few years thinking, based on the film, that the lead singer was a man. Then I met some guys on a beach in South Carolina who knew her. They’d seen my Pylon shirt and decided to strike up a conversation. At some point they asked if I’d seen Athens Georgia: Inside/Out. I told them that I had, and they asked if I’d seen the part with the the Bar B Q killers. I told them that I had, and they asked what I thought about the guy that sang for them. I said that I liked him, and they laughed. Then they said, “that dude’s a woman,” or something like that. I don’t remember much after that. I woke up the next morning in the sink of their hotel room.

  5. Posted October 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I was in a band in Tallahassee called Bone Ranger. We were scheduled to open for the BBQ Killers at The Club Downunder at FSU. We were sitting by the loading dock in the bass player’s (Tommy Hamilton from Gruel) pickup truck when their van pulled up next to us. Immediately a teenage boy rolled down the passenger side window and looked over at us. “Wanna get stoned?” That was our introduction to Laura. We played and had our friend Billy Taylor come up on stage and do his “Roy The Clown” character, wearing a hideous old woman mask and very large shoes (size 16, also belonging to Tommy). When BBQ Killers played Laura spotted Old Glory on a pedestal flag pole on the side of the stage, dragged it into the middle of the stage and set it alight. It was a very good night. The drummer in Bone Ranger is now part of a production duo that have a song that’s #3 on the country charts. It’s more hideous than the mask Roy The Clown wore.

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