My Head Is My Only Home # 2 – September 3, 2021
Pro wrestling took a toll on the body, but the damage done as the vocalist for the Hated Uncles cannot be underestimated!
The Injuries of a Hated Uncle (prior to Pro Wrestling)
Injury #1: Grapes ‘n Things (1986-1987)
A long, narrow bar, a few tables near the back, most people standing at long, tall wooden partitions facing the small stage. The first, but not last, show I partook of “friendlies” before playing. I don’t think I smoked enough to penetrate through the 6-8 beers I had beforehand and the continual drinking on stage…or maybe I was affected?
The show’s going well (but what do I know? I’m drunk, possibly high)…I’m into it, dropping to my knees, rolling around – the usual ritual. Near the end of the show, I’m on the small dance floor, twirling and spinning, a whirling dervish losing control of the body as it speeds up, nearing the ground, tilting sideways, feet leaving the ground as head approaches…
* thunk! *
…the wooden partition. The brain dances like jell-O after ingesting Bill Cosby drugs…
A firm grip on the microphone as I wait for the brain to return and start functioning and remind me what I’m doing lying on the ground. Music seeps into my inner being, I pull myself to my feet, shake my head and act as if it’s all part of the show…a part of the ouch.
Injury #2: Chuggies (Corktown) (1989)
This injury occurred during the duo phase of JK and yours truly. These shows were drunk, very drunk. This particular show was not our drunkest – that would be a show in Toronto on a Monday night involving free beer, with neither of us remembering any songs…drunken-garde improvisation.
I’m not sure what part of the set the injury occurred, but I recall having one foot on the top of one chair and the other foot on a different chair and losing balance…failing this improvisatory sobriety test, I found myself laying on a concrete dance floor with someone on a stage asking: “are you OK, Harv?” A moment later I recalled what I was doing and the show staggered on with the fog in my brain remaining for a couple of days.
There’s a vague, distorted memory of being at a house party that night (Dik Van Dykes? Sinister Dude Ranch?) & watching a video of the show. I wasn’t impressed with my performance, but I’d like to see the bump I took!
Injury #3: Zak’s (is that the right name?) (Main & Hess S.) (1991)
There were many mornings my knees were bruised up after Hated Uncles shows, the worst being a record release party for a still-unreleased record.
A decent-sized crowd showed up (for us anyway), the bar was nice, the sound good, everyone in an upbeat mood & not too drunk. The band had a funk break during the set & I shouted “James Brown” (the title of the song), “take me to the bridge!” & other random cliches. During this song (& many others), I would drop to my knees with varying degrees of recklessness. This time, adrenalin running rampant, I jumped as high as I could, adding more velocity to my landing. The pain shot through my entire body. There was no fucking give! This stage wasn’t made of wood – it was solid concrete with a thin covering as decoration. In my prayerful pose, I am immobile, unable to stand up. The knees are fucked. I shout another line through clenched teeth & (eventually) make my way to an upright position. The bruises on both knees were quite impressive the next day!
Bonus Injury: PRM @ Wentworth House (1985-1986)
The first injury at a Hated Uncles show was to PRM (our painter). He made the mistake of sitting in the front row when we played at Wentworth House. I’m not sure of all the details except it involved me somersaulting on top of PRM. I’m not sure of the extent of his injuries. At the end of the show, I almost took his head off with a beautiful skull I made out with during the “Name on a Gravestone” finale. Ironically, PRM is the one who made the skull.
It was safer for him to be on stage painting!
The Hated Uncles got back together from 1995-1999 and I continued
rolling on the ground
with the sound,
but after 4 years in pro wrestling, I had become smarter in my recklessness ha-ha.