Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jeff Banks on "Street" Regis Guerin

Regis Guerin's high school ID, Courtesy of: Jeff Banks

California legend and one of our favorite DCXX contributors, Jeff Banks, returns with a little ditty about Chorus bassist, Regis...Street Regis to you. -Gordo DCXX

So I’m at this Uniform Choice show. It’s sometime in 1986 at Fender’s in Long Beach. Steve Winders and I are watching the bands (Winders and I were in a Straight Edge band called Denial, which would later merge into the 2nd incarnation of Visual Discrimination). “Who is that guy?,” says Winders. We watch as this big, ridiculously strong, defensive lineman-looking guy is throwing people at will off the stage, cold-cocking anyone who gets in his path, and glaring at everyone and no one in the building. “Stay clear of that dude,” is about all I say.

“There he is again,” says Winders. This time we are at a 7 Seconds show. I couldn’t figure it out. The Sons of Samoa seemed to defer to him. The LADS didn’t fuck with him and all the UC guys seemed to love him. And he was everywhere.

I go up to some guy who I sort of knew who was talking to this fellow earlier in the evening. I point. “Who is THAT guy?” “Regis. Street Regis. From the Sloth Crew. He’s a Huntington Beach guy.”

I don’t know what the hell Sloth Crew is. I never went to Huntington Beach because of the HB Skins (who never seemed to fuck with Regis either by the way). Winders and I were from Cerritos. We were essentially 501-wearing, wino shoe-having, JC Penney plain white T-shirt sporting, gold Harrington when it’s cold out, honorary Mexican in certain circles, basketball playing 4 to 6 times a week punks who were straight edge.

But I had to get to know this guy. I started asking around.

The stories about him were legendary. From knocking the teeth out of a Calvin Klein model guy to Burt Reynolds bar room brawls where guys get dragged down the bar and thrown into the wall, shattering glass and smashing all the alcohol bottles.

Regis and Ike with Chorus Of Disapproval at JayBob's, June 1990, Photo: Dave Sine

When I saw him wearing green high top Nike basketball shoes I knew I had an in. I was wearing the same shoes. I of course invade his personal space. “Let me see those big boy.” He looked at me like I was coming on to him. I pointed to my sneakers. This dude breaks into the most genuine kid-like smile imaginable and shakes my hand. We talk. He plays bass. More importantly he plays basketball.

We set up games. I get to know Joe Nelson. Sawyer, Winders and I are running and gunning in dunk ball games in Orange County with the likes of Pat Dubar. It was awesome.

Years later Ike Golub and I were considering actually putting a band together. “I think I might know the perfect guy.”

Too many great Wild West stories. In the years to come he would single-handedly take on a group of skinheads in DC, fight a crowd of knuckleheads at Club DV8. One time when I was at Berkeley, Regis, Sabatini, Helmet and I played as the band XProhibitionX at the Kloyne Co-op with Green Day. Sabatini got loud and next thing I know we are confronted by about 10 guys. A dude in a leather vest steps to Regis and Regis yells, “Venice Beach motherfucker,” and it was on. It was like the restaurant scene when the Black Widows are looking for Philo Beddoe and take on the locals from the coffee shop. We were the locals.

But this may be the best Street Regis story ever. For me at least.

It was at an Angel game. Regis, Shep, Lepak and me. We are leaving. On the freeway an egg is thrown and breaks on our windshield. “Follow that piece of shit,” says Regis. We go miles on I-5 at high speeds. Weaving. Honking. Screaming. Regis is saying the license plate number over and over like a mantra. They lose us. We go to Del to decompress. A year later Regis and Shep see the car and confirm the plate. They follow and the car goes to a house party with about 100 people. The driver gets out and walks in. Regis follows. “Motherfucker. You threw an egg on my car.” He has the guy by the collar. The guy has no clue. “Angels Mariners motherfucker. You egged my car.” The guy actually starts shaking and says he has a twin brother who has access to the car a year ago and swears it was not him. “Regis open hand (and very audibly), slaps the guy across the face. “Bitch.” And walks out.

If I knew that story the night of the green Nikes, I just might have come on to him.

Street Regis with The Chorus in Arizona, 1994, Photo: Hornberger


Simón said...

Hot damn! That dude is intense. That story left me slackjawed. Sounds like he'd be a fascinating guy to meet. Isn't it funny how some of the hardest guys are fiercely nice when you're pals?

ERIC SXE said...

Regis is my hero. Awesome stories! As a person of color, it was pretty rare (and still is) to see other people of color in this scene. I'm glad he took no shit from anyone and kicked ass when necessary. Including on bass!

trupray said...

i saw him knock out the skinhead starting trouble at a dc show in the early 90's. The skinhead hits franklin from 108 with a bottle. All of the sudden out of nowhere Regis hits him and the skinhead does a 180 on the floor. pretty intense

Jake Jacobs said...

The few months during the summer of '93 that I hung out quite a bit with Regis, Shepard, Banks, Isaac and Sabbatini were some of the greatest of my life. Great guys, especially Regis.

Jake Jacobs said...

Great piece of writing too, Banks.

A few fond memories of mine from that JayBob's show - Regis jumping into the crowd with his bass, my brother grabbing the mic in between bands and doing an ICE song a capella and Whiskey Biscuit (one of the most underrated bands of all time).

Ben Edge said...

"knocking the teeth out of a Calvin Klein model guy"

Poor Joe Foster.

HB Chris said...

and he's a lawyer now?? anyone know what his brother Mike is up to?

drew said...

He's good at the Del Mar pick four too.