The following is an excerpt from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico. All photos by Ken Salerno.
GWAR/Tesco Vee’s Hate Police – December 16, 1990
Bob Gorman (GWAR Historian): I remember seeing the bill and saying, “Wow we’re playing with Tesco?” Yeah, Randy would book anyone together as long as it was a strong bill.
Oderus Urungus (GWAR): We didn’t really know Tesco until we played with him. He was pretty shocked and appalled at what he saw [when he looked at us]. We were doing horrible stuff. We actually used two tour busses on that tour, and Tesco’s Hate Police got half of one of the tour busses. It’s funny, because Tesco and I became pretty good friends after that. It turned out that he lived in the same neighborhood as my mom. When my mom passed away, he ended up buying my fence. He came over, we dug up my mom’s old fence, and he hauled it off to his house. So somewhere out there, he’s got my fence.
Tesco Vee: Oh yeah, I did do that. He was having a big estate sale, and he had all his childhood toys, which he didn’t want to sell. It was him and his brother’s toys, which was pretty wild. They had everything for sale.
Bob Gorman: The thing about Tesco is that he’s really a kitten, you know? A lot of that anti-women stuff is really overblown. He’s totally devoted to his wife.
Oderus Urungus: It wasn’t really the stuff we were doing on stage that shocked him, it was more the off-stage behavior. When he came into the back lounge [on the bus] and found us discovering what crack was, it freaked him out pretty bad. Our old guitar player used to be a complete fiend. This weird Rasta dude came on the bus with us, along with his weird girlfriend, and he broke out this super elaborate crack-smoking device. We were all like, “Whoa! What’s that, man?” Then the door opens up and there’s Tesco. Oh my God, it was horrible! Also, we were playing music by that band The Frogs, and he couldn’t handle that. All those songs about having sex with little boys and stuff... We were back there listening to The Frogs and smoking crack. Poor Tesco. He couldn’t handle it.
Tesco Vee: The look on my face must have been like a little, naïve kid from the Midwest meeting his first prostitute. Wonderful. I must have blocked that out. Jesus.
Bob Gorman: Tesco was up front with his jug of Metamucil. He’d also have a tub of pistachios, and he had to have Yoo-hoo and Skor bars. By the end of the tour I loved pistachios, Yoo-hoo, and Skor bars. I still don’t need the Metamucil, though. I think the time we played with The Hate Police was the first time we really hung out with him.
Tesco Vee: That was a great tour rider. I don’t even remember the Metamucil. I must have really been into proper evacuation, I guess. I can’t imagine. I probably dragged it from home and was gulping it down. Constipation on the road can be killer with all the shit food that you eat.
Oderus Urungus: We were good buddies with [all-female band] the Lunachicks for a really long time and still sort of keep in touch with them. They were our little New York rock goddesses, and we were these weird little barbarian dudes from Virginia. I think we had sex with all of them on various occasions. I was madly in love with [Lunachicks member] Squid for a long time, but Jimmy Gestapo was her on again/off again boyfriend, so there was a weird thing going on there.
Tesco Vee: We were the perfect opening act for GWAR. Those shows were great. We got exposed to a lot more people by playing with them.
Sim Cain (Rollins Band): GWAR asked Jello Biafra to come onstage with them, and Jello was like, “Okay, I’m going to come up and give my speech about Nicaragua, and then you can do your thing.” The GWAR guys all looked at each other and said, “Into the meat grinder,” because they had this huge meat grinder onstage. So, during the show, they’re like, “Ladies and gentlemen, Jello Biafra!” Jello comes out, gets one word out, and they pick him up and throw him into the meat grinder! All the way down, Jello is yelling, “You assholes!” He was really pissed off.