T saw Gary (Dr Know) walking around. I was bowling. She pointed him out and I decided I'd go say hi even though I had told myself I wouldn't approach the band. It's been almost 10 years since I've had anything to do with H.R. and a good 12 years since I've hung out with the band. I really didn't expect Gary to remember me.
As he walked by me I said "Dr". He stopped, said hello, we shook hands and I told him he proabably didn't remember me. He said I looked familiar and asked me my name. I told him Ramald from Los Angeles. His reaction was so cute, T said. He gave me that Dr Know grin of his, pulled back and lowered his body as if fainting, still holding my hand and said, "Ramald!. How are you?" and proceeded to give me big ol' hugs. It was cool.
He asked if I had said hello to H.R. and Earl yet. I said I hadn't and that I was just there to see the show and I proabably wouldn't and would he not tell H.R. that I was there. He said, "You know you're bound to speak to each other eventually". I said yeah, but... and then he got all mischievious about it, telling me he was going to tell H.R., etc. We talked for about 10 mins about things and then he went to the bar and his cell phone. I went back to my game (bowling).
When he got off his cell I asked him if he'd like to join us at our table. He said H.R. just walked in, he's over there, go say hi. I was, no. I'm not sure if he'd appreciate it, etc. and Gary was like, "that's what I'm trying to tell you, it's all good, blah, blah, blah...". So I said alright.
Joseph (H.R.) was playing this skateboarder game. I was watching him. When he finished he started to walk by me so I said, "Joseph, my brother". He stopped and looked and you should have seen the look of horror and surprise on his face. He stepped back, his body shook and he grabbed his chest and said, "RaMALD...". It was hilarious. He was so surprised to see me standing there, it actually took him mins to finally be able to extend his hand and then hug me.
We made some small talk. Brought him over to our table where T was. He looked like he still couldn't believe that he was seeing us. It was so funny. He asked about the kids (I thought that was thoughtful), commented on how good we looked and how he was glad to see us again, etc. all along with this very surprised look of disbelief and disorientation on his face.
He offered to "break bread" with me. Another good sign that all was well between us.
While the opening bands were playing (quack, quack, qua, quack, quack quack - sorry but that's all the "singer" of the second band would "sing" into the mic), Gary and I and H.R. made small talk. Gary got me back stage and onto the bus to say hi to Earl who recognized me but didn't remember who I was (I thought this strange that Earl didn't remember but Gary did since I hung more with Earl then Gary (?)) - H.R. was doing the smooth operator moves on some chick at the bar (some things never change).
The band was amazing as usual even though Earl didn't seem that animated. What truly bummed me out was, I saw the greatest front man in the history of punk/hard-core last night ruin the energy, intensity and sheer awesomeness that is the band Bad Brains.
H.R.'s bonoesque fly sun glasses and camcorder routine while he carelessly slurred the lyrics to what are some of the greatest songs ever written made me want to slap him. It was as if he was mocking the very thing that made him. I felt bad for the band.
They played for about an hour and H.R. didn't give an attempt at singing till about the last 20 mins. He did of course show more interest in the reggae. Let me tell you something: Darryl Jennifer's bass tone is god!
Instead of an encore, Joseph rambled on about who knows what for nearly 20 mins (it was embarrassing) and then that was it.
As I was afraid of, it was a mere shadow of what once was. I would say I saw Bad Brains at 30% last night but we still had fun.
Stage dive anyone?