Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jay Laughlin - Turning Point

Coming off the Turning Point demo entry is a classic story brought to you directly from Turning Point axeman, Jay Laughlin. We'll continue to bring random memories from people regarding the best shows they remember playing/attending. Jay's piece couldn't have landed in our inbox at a better time, and while we are usually down to mix things up a little bit here with the content, DOUBLE CROSS couldn't argue with a double dose of Turning Point this week. Great stuff if we might say so. -DCXX

So this is an easy question and it was actually two shows in one day.
I really did give this some thought, and about then different shows popped into my head right off the bat: opening for Swiz in nowhereville, Pennsylvania; any show at the Anthrax in CT; opening for Quicksand at City Gardens...all were great highlights while playing in TP. But somehow, we lucked into playing with Gorilla Biscuits at a CBGB's matinee one afternoon and then playing a show with Vision at City Gardens later in that same evening. We were all really huge GB fans so getting to play with them at CB's was just fucking awesome, and then to top it off we got to play our first show at City Gardens, the club I attended so many times to see some of the best shows/bands for the past few years prior. We played plenty of great shows but this was easily the best day for the band. Yet it wasn't just the actual shows, but the whole day's experience.

It kicks off with us doing the CB's show, and it was great. We stuck
around for GB's set and they killed it. We pack up the van with what we thought was plenty of time to get to City Gardens, at least a three hour cushion for sure. I was the guy in the band that owned the van and did most of the driving and also the guy that drove the piece of shit everyday and knew it wasn't the most reliable vehicle on the planet. Something was always wrong with it, but I was young and very lazy with the standard up-keep that any automobile needs to stay a viable means of transportation.

So we start our trek out of NYC and on the way to the Holland Tunnel
while still feeling the adrenalin high of a great show at CB's. To add to it, we were pumped and ready to do it again for our debut at City Gardens. Just then, we hit some really crazy traffic. Not to be unexpected to anybody that has ever driven in NYC, but this was really, really bad. Just sitting in the same spot for minutes on end. It was like a fucking parking lot, man. Turns out it was the day of the Gay Pride Parade and we happened to drive right into the middle of it. It was the middle of summer too, so it was just blazingly hot out and the van didn't have any AC. There were just hundreds of half dressed guys/girls spilling into the streets causing a total clusterfuck of a traffic jam, and guess what? The damn van starts to over heat. Shit.

I look at the temperature gauge and my heart drops, the needle is
almost in the red. We had a few friends along for the ride so we have all the gear and seven guys in the van. Somebody tells me to turn on the heat as it will help keep the engine temperature down. I fire up the heat full blast and the inside of the van went from really uncomfortable to "I think I could pass out and/or die" hot. It was so bad that most of the van's occupants stripped down to their boxers to try and stay cool/alive. So here we are running late for the City Gardens show, sitting in our underwear in the middle of the Gay Pride Parade. Unreal. Turning the heat on did help keep the van going, and once we made it to the Jersey side of the tunnel and could actually drive over 5 mph the van cooled down and we were on our way.

We get to City Gardens and are informed we are way late and would have
to go on right away or not play at all. We had to use the opening bands gear to make our set time so we literally had to grab our guitars out of the van and hit the stage. We were burnt from the heat, the earlier show and extra long drive, but got up a did our thing.

Now here's the kicker for me...City Gardens had a decent sized drum
riser. I guess it was a two to three feet off the stage. I can't remember if it was the first, second or third song of our set, but I did a patented straight edge jump with my guitar in hand and didn't realize I was a bit to close to the drum riser, and ended up catching my feet on it on my way down. "BAM!" I went straight down with only my face to catch my fall. Fuck! I bounced right back up totally embarrassed in front of pretty big crowd and kept playing like nothing happened. Luckily I was OK and the rest of the show went off without a hitch.

The worst part (or best part for anybody but myself) is that a friend
had been video taping the show, and a few days later had brought it over to Skip's house. Once the guys caught a glimpse of me smashing my face on the stage floor they proceeded to play that 5 seconds of video over and over and over while laughing themselves to tears. An amazing day of two great shows reduced to five seconds of me looking like an idiot. Perfect.

Lastly, I know that video exists and would pay money to see it again
all these years later. So if any of you old hardcore heads has it, please YouTube it or get in touch with me. To see that tape one more time would make my day.

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