The following is an excerpt from 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 – December 31, 1991
Carl Humenik (City Gardens security): I want to tell you this, and people don’t realize it when they’re out in the crowd at a GWAR show. When the spray comes out and hits them, it lands on them like rain. But it’s a power washer. If I was up on stage and got in front of it, it would give me bruises. I had to make sure I was out of the way of the spray, but I was still getting soaked. I always wore clothes I knew I was never going to wear again, because I would have to throw away whatever it was. I mean, people can’t like the music. There’s no way you can like that music. If I had better ear protection back then, I would have had it on.
Bob Gorman (GWAR historian): Ween was supposed to open, and we threw a Destroy All Monsters show together. That was kind of embarrassing. If we don’t have a show specifically built, we’ll do a Destroy All Monsters show. If we write it correctly and actually practice once or twice, they turn out pretty good. We have a bunch of costumes we don’t use anymore, so we just work out some choreography and write half-assed story.
Oderus Urungus (GWAR, vocalist): Destroy All Monsters is a name for a particular variety of GWAR show that has got about a 10% success rate, especially when you get people who do not know how to wear the costumes up there. Some of our guys were editing one of our big movies that got nominated for a Grammy, so we didn’t have our whole crew. We had fill-ins who got drunk and ended up stumbling around in monster costumes. It was really embarrassing. Like, “Oh yeah, we’ll just get our friends together, it’ll be no problem.” Well, they all got wasted and it was like, “This is the only night I’ll ever be in GWAR, so I’m gonna get fucked up!”
Bob Gorman: We were kind of banking on the fact that Ween was going to open up for us, because they were starting to get bigger and bigger at that point. They decided to play their friend’s party instead and totally dissed us. At the end of the show there was a big climax where all these drunk guys in monster costumes kind of collided, then we did the encore, and the lights came up. I remember a couple of kids standing up front as we were cleaning the stage, and the kids were like, “That’s it?” I was like, “Oh, man...”
Oderus Urungus: That’s where that term “the walk of shame” began for us, because the dressing room was all the way back, at the other end of the club. After the show was over they turned all the lights on, and we had to walk all the way back through the crowd. We just had this feeling that we’d done a really bad show and that people were mad at us. It was horrible. We got dissed by Ween! It was crushing news. The turnout was really light, and we were like, “Oh, don’t worry. People will come because Ween is playing.” And then we got the news that they weren’t. We were just like, “Oh, my god...”