Though it was painful, I knew that I had received something beneficent. In 1981, when Berry socked Keith Richards in New York, he bestowed upon the Rolling Stone the gift of unfeasible longevity, including the ability to survive falls from towering coconut trees. I collected myself and went into the bar.
Inside, I was walloped again this time by the furious sound of Whiskey Boots. The two-piece is composed of Heather Lofflin on guitar and lead vocals and Amy Farrand on drums and backing vocals and boys, they will make you their bitch. Lofflin runs her devilish SG through a bass and guitar amp, channeling a sound that would rip Jack White's underwear right through his fly. As for Farrand, well, to quote the Stone Roses, she bangs the drums, baby.
Next up was Chicago's Miss Alex White and the Red Orchestra, who played on laughably small amps but pushed such volume through the PA that I had to retreat to the bar for safety. Miss Alex wore tight jeans and shook her bushy mane of curly red hair as she led her band through a busted-tailpipe set of classic garage rock.
But it was the headliner that made me realize Berry's ding-a-ling jab had caused my rock-and-roll balls to drop, rendering me immune to jadedness.
The Pink Socks' rollicking performance was a triumph. The Socks were born just three weeks ago, when the Litigators split up. When that happened, singer and harmonica abuser Jeremiah Kidwell, guitarist Jason Conkright and drummer Steve Gianello said "fuck it," spray-painted cute pink socks onto white T-shirts and wrote up a whole new batch of garage-burning tunes.
The Socks' debut was as thrilling as any Litigators show, with Kidwell cutting a Monty Pythonesque figure in white pants rolled up to reveal pink-and-black-striped stockings. As the similarly attired Conkright bashed out blues-punk riffs on his hollow-body axes and Gianello muscled the drums from under his Italian 'fro, Kidwell tore across the stage, singing his ass off and reducing the mic stand to scrap metal.
I cruised home, ears ringing, smashed a few bottles in the kitchen and passed out with my jeans and socks still on. When I awoke, I staggered into the bathroom, and there, beside the sink, lay a golden comb.