DiWulf Publishing House is proud to present this exclusive excerpt from Dave Scott Schwartzman’s upcoming book If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Walla Walla: The Wacky History of Adrenalin O.D. Dave, the drummer and unofficial historian for Adrenalin O.D. has collected a lifetime’s worth of photos and flyers from his decades of work and has collected them into one volume detailing the history of adventure these friends experienced playing across the U.S. Adrenalin O.D. was an influential outfit that emerged out of the NYC/NJ hardcore punk scene of the early ‘80s and made their reputation on blazing speed and a sharp, clever sense of humor that was fond of skewering just about anything in its purview. Now, for the first time, the A.O.D. story is told, in hilarious fashion, from the boy wonder who considers himself “the luckiest little bastard I knew.” Dave’s new book (which includes input and anecdotes from the other members of A.O.D.) is a fun, hilarious recollection of tour adventures, scene history, and a time when hardcore was a small, familial entity.
Here we present an acid-induced tale of the fascination the band shared with a beloved (if a bit warped) roadside “attraction” known as Prairie Dog Town.
PRAIRIE DOG TOWN, OAKLEY, KANSAS
I-70 was a long and boring ride through the vast flat nothingness that is Kansas. What perked up our interest every so often were the billboards we would see for Prairie Dog Town. It would say, “See the world’s largest prairie dog.” Another would say: “See the rattlesnakes and the six-legged steer.” After passing a few dozen of these billboards we were totally psyched to hit this roadside attraction. One of us suggested it would be a good time to take some acid. Once again, it was cheap and accessible in the Midwest. As we got closer, some of us dosed. It kicked in just as we arrived. You could just tell this was going to be fun.
The place was empty and the only person present was the owner. He was called “Big Dog.” We entered his gift shop, which was adorned with strange taxidermy like two-headed goats and a four-eyed sheep. Big Dog was a large, older fellow with a carny’s demeanor. He huddled us all around this big tank of rattlesnakes. He said to look at them from the top and we all stood on cinderblocks to get a good look. There were sure enough more rattlesnakes than I’d like to count and they were all rattling. All of a sudden, Big Dog slaps the side of the tank, scaring the fucking shit out of us as he laughed. We all paid our admission to the freak animal zoo out back, and we were each given biscuits to feed the animals. As soon as the back door opened it was lunacy. There were little prairie dogs running around everywhere, hundreds of them. They would pop out of their holes and run to the next hole. This was crazy shit to see while tripping. It looked like we were in a giant game of Wack-a-Mole. Once we saw the animals, my mood changed. There was a disturbing array of freak animals living at this place. There were cows with extra legs coming out of strange parts of their bodies. There were sheep with extra limbs. The advertised “World’s Largest Prairie Dog” turned out to be out a giant statue of a prairie dog (damn carny trick). This place was gross. It stunk, and there were flies on the animals. Some of them were in small cages. It was truly one of the world’s most depressing roadside stands. Still, we had fun thanks to our altered mind states.
As we walked around the freak zoo, Keith began eating the animal biscuits. I went to pet the goats, and as I walked on, I noticed Keith had struck up a friendship with a donkey that was following him for his biscuits. Eventually (and thankfully) we ended our visit and exited through the gift shop into an air-conditioned room. Big Dog was curious and asked if we were in a band. We told him yes and he asked, “who?” We told him Adrenalin O.D. and he said, “maybe my daughters know you.” He went to a back room and pulled out his two daughters, who had matching thick-lensed glasses. Big Dog said to his daughters: “These guys are a band.” The girls swooned. Suddenly, Big Dog yells, “He can’t be in here!” I look behind me and Keith had let the donkey into the gift shop. It was causing mayhem as it tried to turn around in the narrow aisles, sending souvenirs flying like a bull in a china shop. Big Dog led the donkey out and it felt like the right time for us to leave. Later on during that tour, we ran into our friends from Philly, Flag of Democracy, and they told us about this place called Prairie Dog Town where the owner asked them if they had ever heard of Adrenalin O.D.
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