I’ve been in love with The Queers for the last decade. Ever since I was a pimply, lonely little high school student and first heard their album, Love Songs for the Retarded, at a basement party in 1998, I’ve been hooked. So when I heard that they were going to play at the Barbary, I immediately wormed my way into the bouncer’s heart and through the front doors for free. The show was packed. I mean literally, ceiling to floor packed with kids. It was a true punk show – grimy and sweaty and smelly and loud and gross. The two opening bands, The Apers, and The Sheckies, both put on memorable performances, but I decided to sacrifice seeing them for two cold cans of PBR.
As soon as The Queers took the stage, I squeezed my way right up front and center. Joe Queer was wearing his signature “I Love Black People” shirt and sporting a sneer as the trio launched right into their first song, “We’d Have a Riot Doing Heroin.” The entire crowd was undulating to every pulsing rift and drumbeat, as drummer Lurch Nobody picked up speed and Joe Queer led the band into a rendition of “Tulu is a Wimp.” By this point, a pretty fierce mosh pit had started up in the center of the bar, and I had been kicked in the face by two squirrely crowd surfers. Not having the patience I did when I was 17 for such things, I moved to the far right of the stage to avoid any further potential head trauma.
Half-way through the bands performance, I noticed a drunken 70-year-old man hit the stage. In a surprising twist, Joe Queer gave the mic over to this fellow, who I later learned was in fact Wimpy, vocalist and drummer for the band in the early 80’s. Wimpy immediately got the crowd going by singing the lyrics to “Tit Fuck” and then “I’m Pissed.” The Queers also did an amazing cover of Black Flag’s “White Minority,” as well as a couple other older songs, including “Nothing to Do” and “This Place Sucks.” The guys never slowed down during their hour long set, and the crowd fed off of their energy and momentum. For being in their mid 40’s, the band put on quite a performance.