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Sunshine Flipside Explode CBGB's, Charges Not Filed, 12/27/03


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Sunshine Flipside Explode CBGB's, Charges Not Filed, 12/27/03
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:03 am EST, Dec 29, 2003

Rock and Roll band Sunshine Flipside broke up on CBGB's stage last night after an "incindiary" performance that out-punked some of the more seasoned pros on the bill. For those unfamiliar with the band of four skinny, ragtag and ultra-talented lunatics, their sound conjures all the right spirits of rock and roll, but the group's stage antics include beating the crap out of each other, while cursing, drinking and rocking like hell. When original lead singer Lonnie quit the band, two months ago, guitarist Johnny Larkin, bassist Danny Matthews, and drummer Robert Blake (also the frontman of another excellent band, The Vanities) decided to keep the group together and forge ahead with some new songs and performances. Lacking Lonnie's presence made them all think it was kinda pointless, though. The banned announced Dec. 27 as the date of their final gig, set to take place at CBGB's, on Bowery and Bleeker, in Manhattan.
The set started off with an introduction of the most-current lineup, who tore through "Were I Belong," a grinding grunge anthem that showcases the vocal talents of bassist Matthews. The three-piece then spat out Larkin's "Disclaimer," with its thoroughly heartfelt lyrics about the "finer" points of females. The band seemed intent on delivering a fantastic performance, while Lonnie Rutledge bobbed back and forth in the front row of the dancing spectators. At the conclusion of "Disclaimer," he crawled up to the stage to writhe around a bit and hit the tremolo on Larkin's guitar. With song's last chord, Lon put on a guitar and walked up to the mike.
He announced that it was their last show, unless someone signed them right there, that night. Then they launched into the instrumental "From Another Planet," which drummer Blake turned into an amped up ball of energy shot from the band to the crowd. Lonnie played a Fender guitar with so many stickers on it, that no one seemed to think oddly about the firecrackers that he had apparently taped to the front of it.
Next on tap was a fine version of the rocker "Blue Blocker," and a rendition of "Heartbreak Blues," which probably qualifies as the Flipside song most likely to get a kid laid after the junoir prom. Tonight's performance of that tune ranks among their best ever of that poppy slow tune, with one of the best Larkin solos yet.
After a bit of confusion over how many songs the soundman would allow, Sunshine Flipside launched into their final song, a new one, written by Lonnie and fantastically essayed by his former band. Sadly, at this point, the band began to show some of what might have kept them together in the end, a sense of having fun together...

...Then Lonnie turned to face the drummer, the lights on the stage went down and he held a lighter to his guitar before turning around to face the crowd. Within seconds, firecrackers exploded from the face of his guitar, sending the band out with an proverbial bang. Danny and Johnny ducked for cover from the mini-explosions and the long-haired soundman ran to the stage with a bottle of water. He poured the water all over the remaining firecrackers on Lonnie's guitar and then proceeded to beat the shit out of the erstwhile lead singer. He sent a fist to Lon's face, and then grabbed the guitar from around his neck, very forcibly. At this point, Lonnie fought back, shoving the soundman (who stood much talled than the singer, and weighed significantly more), who fell from the stage and down into the crowd.
"Oh, you are sooo out of here, asshole!" The hippie looking soundman screamed as he violently flung the guitar at Rutledge, who stood up, held out one hand, and caught the instrument in one hand, without even paying attention to it. Upon catching the guitar (and making that soundman piss his baggy jeans), Lonnie smashed the burned, wet axe against the stage and screamed right at the man who assaulted him:
"How do you like THAT shit, motherfucker?"
"Where are you from? Massachusetts?" The soundman screamed cryptically before Lonnie threw the guitar down on the stage and booked through CB's bar and out the door, a run that was filled with numerous kicks and punches from the fatassed bouncers. He didn't care.
When asked by a bouncer "Why?"
"This is CBGB's and that was punk rock! And if you don't think so, then Fuck you!" He screamed at the angry mob as he ran like hell away, into the night, never to be seen at CBGB's again.
God bless you, Sunshine Flipside! You never let us down!

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