Rebo's Remembered: Chapter One
Above is what remains of REBO’S. Everyone who is passionate about music has a place where they cut their proverbial teeth, and for me, REBO’S was that place. Sure impromptu REC dances after football games (I never watched) headbanging to Metallica’s “One” or giving it my best New Jack Swing to Bobby Brown were a touchstone, and the occasional VFW show (which were always something of a joke) were perhaps my first taste of unadulterated decadence, but weekend nights at REBO’S were the stuff you could later use for the coming-of-age scenes in your Richard Linklater/Cameron Crowe-directed biopic. Growing up in Troy, Ohio, there was certainly a dearth of places to see live music. The aforementioned venues were more or less, contained and sterile, no alleyways and baseball diamonds to sneak away and indulge (whatever that means at 14). REBO’S, as I can remember (fill in the blanks), was started as a SOBER (spell REBO’S backwards) place for an aging rocker and recovering alcoholic to keep his dreams alive – without imbibing. It was a mere 7 blocks, only three if I was spending the night on Crawford St. (where Kentucky Fried Monkey was birthed), so you could say the access was ideal for a curious teenager.
Three things taken away from me before the end of 10th Grade:
A bloodied white Jane’s Addiction T-shirt, worn at a GWAR show and signed (with multiple obscenities – “I sucked Sleazy till cum came out my nose”) by the band.
Deicide T-shirt purchased at Headquarters in New Carlisle, Ohio. The back read – “The End of God, The Way it Must Be.”
A cassette copy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magick – my mother embarrassingly made me return it to Tape Town in the Piqua Mall after being confronted with the album’s Parental Advisory sticker in the J.C. Penny’s women’s section.
REBO’S regrettably didn’t stay SOBER for long. Union St. was usually lined with cars by 10 PM, the crowd mix was high school degenerates and post-high-school degenerates – those hanger-ons who shouldn’t be mingling with pre-pubescent, but then again, what the hell was going on in Troy, Ohio at the time. This was a SOBER club, so no booze, no foul. Those cars were the havens, as was the small park out on that “other side of the tracks” suburban neighborhood. REBO’S was on the edge geographically, the spit off whatever class a town like Troy, Ohio had established. There was a reason the shack sat cornered to a gravel pit. I suppose that’s where the romanticism of the place stems from. It was a Lil’s Rascals-boys-club right-of-passage gate -- a place where fake acid was dealt, cheap alternatives like butane and nitrous were commonplace, and the dirtiest of weed was smoked through soda cans. Those “highs” though, were secondary to the music. That’s why you were there. Right?
Somehow I managed to keep my G.G. Allin tapes and my Carcass videos under wraps.
Only in old age am I trying to get a nostalgic totality to the surrounding environment. Asking questions like – Who was the family that maintained a functioning (and always lo-fi frightening) cardboard Haunted House on or near Crawford? Whatever happened to “Crazy Mary” (the townie colliqual for the sweet old woman, who would pay for her paper in silver quarters, who hung children’s toys in her trees)? What the hell was really going on back there on Union St.? – is futile now. I’d need to spend months in Troy, as a modern archeologist, uncovering through stories. Because now, the ‘hood is sparingly there in this history I’m trying to remember. REBO’S was failed experiement but full of good vibes. Here I plan to try my best to remember it. Further chapters will try to fill in the blanks. So – if you were a member of Malediction or Liquid Legbone or Gallow’s Humor or Your Flesh or Throttle or Shift or Scorched Earth Policy or Cigarhead – please get a hold of me through this outlet (with stories, music, pictures, baubles and trinkets). There’s certainly more to tell – and we’re not even close to the point where REBO’S moved to a desolate outpost leaps from Medway and a desperate drive-in.
E-mail me or post here. Indulge me. I want to believe.
Never did receive those GWAR swords Chris ordered through the mail.