Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tales of Rock and Roll Glory

A disclaimer: as with many of the stories here, I can not 100 percent verify the following tale's accuracy. I'm almost positive one of the band members told it to me right after the tour, but my age-ravaged memory could be making that up as well. I don't want to submit it to my usual thorough, hard-hitting investigative reporting, because I really like this story, and want to believe it is true.

Let's proceed.

Panthro United UK 13 were a Gainesville punk rock band in the late '90s/early '00s with a long name. They were awesome.

Jimmy the bass player had been growing a beard on one of their tours. One day out of boredom or funniness, he shaved it all off except for a mustache. The band pulled up to play a show at some little bar in the middle of nowhere. While the opening bands were playing, Jimmy sat silently alone at the bar with his mustache and some aviator glasses, drinking, and occasionally blurting out, "Don't look at me. I'm an undercover cop."

Now I might be a simple country lawyer, but I'm pretty sure most undercover cops don't usually yell out their status in bars.
Here's Jimmy in some snazzy blue pants. Picture by
Most of the people at the bar/show were younger than the band, and they were starting to get seriously weirded out by this older mustache guy. They were pretty sure he wasn't really an undercover cop, but he was still being a big ol' mustached weirdo down there at the end of the bar.

Meanwhile, the rest of Panthro is getting ready to play. The kids are still eying Jimmy, wondering if they're gonna have to do something about this guy before the band starts. Finally, Jimmy finishes his drink, runs up to the stage, puts on his bass, turns around to face the bar, hits a chord, and the kids start gong nuts. Crazy undercover cop guy was a rocker!

I'd like to think that those kids learned a lesson that night. That maybe even the quiet square (or weirdo calling attention to him/herself) might be an undercover star, ready to rock faces off at a moment's notice.

Even if they didn't learn a lesson, they still got to see an undercover cop play bass.


Since I can't completely verify that story, here's another Jimmy story from an earlier tour with Don's Ex-Girlfriend and Highway 66 that is 100% true:

This tour was so long ago we used covered wagons to cross the country, and once we got to Chicago Jimmy was running out of money. We were in Chinatown and he's counting his remaining funds, and says, "Alright, I can't buy any more stupid stuff." Ten minutes later he bought a $15 T-shirt with a big smiling face of Andy Lau, with huge letters saying ANDY. Of course, the largest shirt they had was designed for a Chinese girl, so you could see his lungs working through the thing. He wore that shirt for years, and it was always awesome.

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