A local musician recently suffered a life-threatening railroad accident, and once again, Tucson's music community got together to throw a benefit to cover medical costs. This time, it was for the seemingly indestructible rockabilly upright bass player Texas Terry Trash, the ultimate tattooed, pompadoured, downtown bad boy.
Club Congress--which coincidentally hosted a panel discussion about setting up a local musicians' health-care system at the HoCo festival last week--hosted the event, and the eclectic lineup reflected the cross section of people that have come to know and love Terry, as wild as he may get.
The Stripper Killers, a local punk band that harkens back to the '80s Los Angeles punk scene, started the night off with a bang, leading into Al Perry's sarcastic surf-cowpunk. Meanwhile, haircuts were being provided next door by Patti from Dapper Grooming Lounge, with all proceeds going to Terry.
I missed the newly formed Fort Worth, but did catch another local super-group, Found Dead on the Phone. They're keyboard-free these days and sounding much darker, though they've still got that Thin Lizzy/Iron Maiden doubled-up lead-guitar thing going on, sounding less and less like the Twilight Singers and more like a sinister version of U2.
Changing gears again, Tom Walbank brought the Delta blues to the proceedings, setting up Terry's biggest fans of the night, Al Foul and the Shakes, a band Terry played with on and off. In between serving up a steaming plate of retro rockabilly (while answering the question: What would have happened to Elvis had he never been introduced to the Colonel, his pharmacist and deep-fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches?), Al treated us to many tall Terry tales. For instance, the first thing Terry did when he woke up at the hospital was cop a feel of the female nurse. Nice.
Great American Tragedy closed out the night with a surprisingly tight set of Motorhead-inspired rock, no doubt thanks to hell-raising lead singer Miguel Carter taking things easy for the evening.
Throughout the night, a video loop of Terry on a stage at Foul's Mammoth, Ariz., residence played overhead, showing Trash stumbling around, trying to play his rubber-band stick bass, his hands electric-taped up during the performance. It was classic Terry--though it was bittersweet to think he'd probably never play the homemade instrument again.