I was probably only one of two or three people delivering food from Hunan Palace in Atlanta who wasn't a skinhead. They weren’t Nazis or anything, in fact one of them was black and one was from somewhere in South America. Of course one of the big white power skins in Tampa/St. Pete was Puerto Rican, so who knows? I got along with them alright, we liked some of the same bands, but the whole worshiping this magical time in England from before they were born was a little strange, as was their habit of beating the shit out of people every weekend.
This made for some interesting weekend recaps. I'd get blow-by-blow stories about putting some dude in the hospital, while I'd come out with something like, "I saw The Crow at the dollar theater with my roommate. It kinda sucked."
It was weird running into them outside of work. I remember a Buzzcocks show where I was drinking with them before the band started where you could just feel the tension. Somehow, somebody was going to get their ass kicked that night.
Of course, it wasn't gonna be me, so screw it.
So I get invited to this party at a warehouse. A bunch of bands used to practice there til they got kicked out, so they figure they’ll have a big party and trash the place. I think I got a ride with someone after work. It soon becomes clear that everyone there is a skinhead, except for like 2 or 3 other people and me. Even though I had a pretty good idea nothing would happen to me, I had heard those guys tell enough stories about how they looked for an excuse to beat some outsider’s ass that I was pretty nervous. To take the edge off, I had a couple beers. A couple bands played while the rest of the skinheads destroyed the warehouse. After a few more beers, I figured I’d help ‘em out. Somebody handed me a crowbar so I started banging away on some drywall. “Oh shit! Hey, that’s a Jam song! I know that song!” I threw my crowbar to the ground and pushed past a bunch of skinheads and ran up to the band. Like I had many times in Gainesville when a band played a song I knew, I figured I’d help them out. I snatch the mic from the singing skinhead and give the crowd my rendition of "Boy About Town." About ¾ through the song, a reminder fought its way through all the beer in my brain. “Hey. You’re not at the Hardback. You’re at a skinhead party where you know a handful of these bald people. Do you think they appreciate you taking the microphone from their bald brother?” I sort of mumbled the rest of the song and tried to inconspicuously slink back to the corner.
However, the skins seemed to be impressed that I sang and was helping destroy the place, even though I had hair. They kept giving me drinks all night and I felt sort of like the nerdy waterboy hanging out with the football team. After a while I got paranoid that they were getting me drunk to surprise me with a stomping, so I took off on foot through a pretty sketchy neighborhood and walked about 2 miles home.
The next day at work I didn't hear that anyone got their ass beat, so I guess the whole thing worked out for everyone.