Hey gang today we have a great guest post from our favorite wild rocker Rick Ruiner! You would know that when we discussed him writing a story about this show I thought he would write about the Ruiners' experience. Not the ever generous Rick. He wrote about the Trash Brats. It is so informative as I have never seen them play. I have followed them on You Tube over the past few years and loved their style! So without further ado here is my pal Rick on playing with the Trash Brats!
From Rick Ruiner:
When The Trash Brats invited The Ruiners to open for their reunion show, we were excited and honored! We have long admired this band and remembered our last opening slot for them over a decade ago, when we were a new band. In those days, having both bands on the same bill may have given attendees cause to note where the emergency e
xits were in the room... Needless to say, that night was memorable and history was about to repeat itself!
The Trash Brats
The party music history of The Trash Brats, and their impact on the local fashion conscious crowd is indisputable! If you were lucky enough to have experienced a Trash Brats show a decade ago, you know exactly what I am talking about!
These shows were off the hook, fun, unpredictable EVENTS! There was a fashion friendly genre surrounding the Trash Brats cult. This was a time when girls dressed to the nines and freaks let their flags fly! Those less stylish who attended enjoyed some exceptional people watching and fun to say the least!
Trash Brats and The Ruiners at Smalls
Unfortunately, the press, as they often do, unfairly keyed in on single elements of antics or reputation of the band, instead of simply letting themselves enjoy the experience of the event and appreciate the colorful characters waiting to entertain them. They became resistant to celebrate the resident party machine they were blessed to have in their midst. I remember reading digs in the leading rag of the day, questioning why the boys were still even bothering to play? Stupid question. So, if you were not some over hyped band that has lasted more than 5 minutes, it is somehow a sin to keep a band together?
No big surprise, it happens time and time again with all great bands built on hard knocks, not favors. Just as eagerly as people raced in to exploit the hype (they never had a hand in building), they unfairly set out to tear the band to pieces with equal enthusiasm after a period of time. This band marched on for quite a while regardless. Anyone who has been in a band longer than a year knows attendance can go up and down, but you never want to punish the people who do show up to see you--they never did. The Trash were never press darlings or egotistical, Nor did they have any delusions of grandeur, but the band’s willingness to play almost any venue, gig, with any other band, or any location (traveling nationwide) was admirable.
They played small shows and quite sizable ones as well. The Trash Brats did not write songs to change the world, they wrote about the glitzy gutter lifestyle they lived and loved. For this reason, they were never fairly credited with being the amazing musicians they truly are.
They worked tirelessly touring and scraping. They deserved better recognition and rewards, if hard work actually counted. While it is true the boys had a good run as fashionable, gender bending delinquents, their ability to write and (quite skillfully) play great rock-n-roll was unfortunately overlooked by some. The band ground to a halt as music trends became less glamorous and depressing at best. Members joined other bands or went into the shadows.
People seemed to have forgotten how to party and have fun for a time. When shoe gazers, jaded hipster writers and wallflowers lined the venues, the dancing stopped. They unknowingly denied themselves the fun the Trash Brats brought to each party. It usually takes a half a dozen years for people to realize what they have lost—it was no different with The Stooges, The MC5 or The New York Dolls in their day.…until people came back to reclaim them.
Fast forward to Saturday night September 4th 2010 at Smalls, when the party returned for the much anticipated (yearly) Trash Brats reunion! The crowd was a ready for fun and the night would be no disappointment! The room was packed and clichéd as it may sound, there really WAS an excitement in the air! The Ruiners enjoyed the built-in Brats crowd and we were treated with an enthusiastic reception by the Trash Brats and their fans, during our set. The party had started! I was the recipient of a kind embrace by Tony as I emerged from backstage. In fact, each member of the band sought me out personally to say hello and thank us for playing.
This band believes in camaraderie—there is a lesson to be learned here by other bands. The room was getting a lot smaller as the Trash Brats got ready to make their entrance. The Trash Brats who are no longer in their 20’s, did not bother to dig out the costumes of the past, or to try to portray themselves as kids, but looked fashionable nonetheless! Brian was dapper in a suit and derby, Ricky was stylish (as always) and perfectly coiffed, T.T was slick and cool, and lovable Tony (who had probably just gotten out of bed) put the trash in Trash Brats.
The all ages crowd, a mix of misfits, mohawks, bikers and beauties, piled to the front of the stage, battling for prime dancing space. The Brats delivered one exceptionally tight sing along after another, leaving fans with sore feet, scuffed heels and hoarse voices. Ricky Rat delivered some tricky bluesy solos, with all the rock moves--never missing a chord. The band was polished and solid enough to satisfy the music snobs, but with just enough grit to appease the fans who enthusiastically grabbed the mics and took turns singing the choruses—knowing every word! The delightful Motorcity Rah Rahs joined the band for a handful of hits. Brian asked them to stay on stage song after song, modestly proclaiming the band “need all the beauty help they could get these days”.
The set was not just dominated by fashion, stage moves, or posturing, it was old friends having a chance to sing and dance with each other again to a fab soundtrack! I hope the Trash Brats continue to give us more magical nights—even if just once a year! ---Rick Ruiner