March 21st., 1993 - Breakdown/Confusion/Hard Response and Somebody Called the NJ State Troopers - ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY

March 21st., 1993 - Breakdown/Confusion/Hard Response and Somebody Called the NJ State Troopers - ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY

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.

Breakdown/Confusion/Hard Response/Kurbjaw – March 21st., 1993

Jeff Perlin (Breakdown, vocals): At the time, well, even now, we didn’t do riders. But back then everything was on a good faith. Everybody in the hardcore scene kind of knows each other, and you try not to rip each other off. We never really had too many problems with that. We played, and there were a lot of people there. The guy who booked the show was somebody we knew. Since it was a long time ago, it’s water under the bridge and I don’t want to bring up any dirty laundry, but it was kind of disappointing.

Travis Nelson (Hub City Stompers): Randy Now decided to give Alex Franklin and myself a chance to dabble in the wonderful world of show promotion. He had us put together the lineup, book the bands, and everything. As you can see, the lineup was amazing, at least in my humble opinion. Powermove was booked, but they cancelled. They were replaced by Kurbjaw, Lou DiCarolis’ band at the time.

Jeff Perlin: We were supposed to get paid something like $250, but at the end of the show, the guy was like, “Yeah, I can’t really give you any money. We didn’t really make any money tonight.” This wasn’t anyone connected with City Gardens. It was somebody else. Basically, it was somebody we knew from another band who had booked the show. He was giving us the excuses, “There weren’t enough people here, we didn’t make enough money, etc.” Now, there were plenty of people there. So, we were like, “Nah, you gotta pay us. No matter what, you made the agreement with us, and you have to pay us.” We had a couple of band practices, and gas and tolls, that’s $250 right there. It’s like beer money, you know?

Tony Triano (Hard Response, vocals): There was a beef about money that night. The turn-out was lousy, and Jeff wanted his guarantee. It did get out of hand, as it did back then. Cops, parking lot antics, shit like that… I had fun though. We didn’t get paid either, but who cares? It was punk rock, ya know...

Travis Nelson: Nonetheless, the result was a very light turnout. Randy was getting surrounded, harassed, and threatened by Breakdown. I remember Jeff Perlin saying, “Give us our money, you fuckin’ nerd!” There was a “miscommunication” over their guarantee, and their drummer, Joe Farley, was escorted out by the Trenton police.

Jeff Perlin: So, it started getting heated, and some of the bouncers got called over. Next thing I know there’s a circle of bouncers around us. We started saying, “This is BS, and we want to get paid.” Next thing you know, the cops are there. We tell them, “Yeah, we just played a show, we’re supposed to get paid, and the guy’s refusing to pay us.” The cop said, “Do you have a contract?” And, of course, we didn’t. He said, “Well then, you’re screwed.” Our drummer, Joe Farley—who was the [nicest] guy—he lifts one finger up, sort of to say, “Wait one second here,” and [moments later], the dude was hog-tied on the floor. Like BANG! Hog-tied. They lifted him up, pulled him out the door, and put him in the police van. We’re still inside and the cops are explaining, “Well, if you don’t have a contract you can’t get paid.” There was nothing we could do about it. I had this weird feeling, so I went out to where they had taken Joe. I go up to the van, and these two cops look at me and walk away. Joe’s like, “Dude, you just saved me. Those guys were going to beat the crap out of me!” We had to bail him out of jail. That was our fun, exciting experience in Trenton. I don’t think Randy was involved in any of this. It was just the dude who booked the show. It was a really good show… the kids went off, they knew all the songs, and everybody had a great time. It just sucked that it ended up like that. But that’s part of playing in a band… you’re going to go through experiences like that.

Travis Nelson: So yeah... that was our first and last production at City Gardens.

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