Bass Wolf (U.G) and Drum Wolf (Toru) walk through the crowd gathered in front of Mono's stage that must be 30 cm off the ground. Where the fuck is Guitar Wolf? I ponder this while the rest of the band start playing. Suddenly, Seiji appears, marching through the crowd with his SG, wearing the band uniform of shades and leather trousers and jacket. This is fucking it. Never did I imagine I'd get to see Guitar Wolf live. Thought it was gonna be one of those bands. Seiji looks out at us, takes a can of beer out his pocket and drinks it in one go, crunches the can and fires it into the crowd (which I found and pocketed). The whole band fire into tracks from their new album 'Spaceshipbattlelove', later visiting old classics from 'Jet Generation' and 'Planet of the Wolves'. They even do a version of 'Rumble' that isn't as good as the version my old band done. (I met an old band mate and he made me promise I'd include this)
Guitar Wolf put on one of the funniest, furious, fucking rock n roll shows I have ever seen. Seiji seems determined to kill the entire audience with his SG. Aiming it at the front of the crowd, rat-a-tat-tat-ing them with power chord bullets. Andy Warhol apparently opened up his bullet wounds watching Iggy Pop for the first time, Iggy's raw power and onstage lunacy sending him into a major fit of the giggles. I was the same the night. So many bands take themselves way too seriously; it's great seeing Guitar Wolf act like rock gods and not give a fuck. It was fun. Exactly what rock n roll should be about.
At one point the band pull a guy onto the stage from the front row. Seiji saddles him with his guitar, barks orders at him, then after what seems like forever, the band start playing, the new guy making a racket yet looking the part! (though my mate thought he was a plant) Once they are finished with him, they turf him into the crowd and the dude surfs along right toward us. The pack leave the roasting venue after a flurry of songs covered in sweat. They return and play a couple more then leave for real.
As I'm discussing with my mates what we should do, Seiji marches back onto the stage that's being packed away, plugs his guitar in and performs one last heartfelt song, all by himself before leaving for realz this time. Guitar Wolf have been doing this “Jet Rock and Roll” thing for nearly three decades, carrying the same torch as bands like The Gun Club, Ramones and Cramps. May they hold it aloft for a few decades more!
Photo: Robin Wallace
Posted: Thu 7 June 2012