Rob Ruzicka, singer of local hardcore band Cardiac Arrest and a frequent booker of local shows for touring underground bands, seems to have booked the punk show of the decade (and maybe the last decade as well) for his 30th birthday.
Ruzicka is flying in the Abused from New York City, Career Suicide and Mad Men from Toronto, and the Formaldehyde Junkies from Minneapolis, for an April 10 show at Fubar (3108 Locust Street). The show will act as a reunion gig for the Abused and the Formaldehyde Junkies, who are both broken up.
Ruzicka assures A to Z the show will happen, despite his age.
While line-ups with bands from far-flung locales are the norm for punk festivals, it's new for St. Louis, says Ruzicka.
"Even though this is my birthday, the show is sort of my gift to St. Louis," he writes by e-mail. "St. Louis has always suffered from an inferiority complex. Shows like this never happen here. We're always forced to drive to a city like Chicago. I wanted people to see that things like this could happen here if they just stopped complaining and did something about it."
Ruzicka (who says his birthday is actually March 7) bought fourteen round-trip plane tickets for the weekend's events. (There's another gig the next day on April 11, see bottom of post for details.)
So how much has this show cost Ruzicka, weeks before the bands even plug in their amps? "More money than I've ever spent at one time before," he says. Admission to the all-ages show is $15.
There were various rumors about bands on the bill (Detroit's legendary Negative Approach
, and the short-lived Chicago act Wound Up
were possibilities), but Ruzicka settled on the below line-up for the show, which he notes is being sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon, perhaps ironic for a gig whose headliner's best-known song was "Drug Free Youth."
We asked Ruzicka for his reasons about the show's line-up.
The Abused's 1983 EP, Loud and Clear, limited to just 500 copies before a repress brought it to more ears.
, arguably the first real New York hardcore band, released a demo tape and seven-inch EP, Loud and Clear
, in 1983, while its members were still teenagers
. The band played its first show in 25 years
in December 2008 in New York (Watch the video of the band's set here.
Says Ruzicka: "Besides the Loud and Clear
seven-inch being one of my top five U.S. hardcore seven-inches of all time, there were a couple of reasons: Unlike most 'reunion' bands, the Abused are still playing with all original members and in their 25-plus years they have never played anywhere near the Midwest."
Says Ruzicka: "Formaldehyde Junkies and Career Suicide are two of my favorite bands of the past ten years. I've become good friends with band members of each band and really wanted to celebrate my milestone birthday surrounded good friends from all over. Plus, I knew having these bands play would entice other friends from around the country to make the trek to St. Louis."
, Ruzicka's own hardcore band that doesn't tour much themselves, round out the show.
On Sunday, an all-ages matinee show will be held at Lemmons (5800 Gravois Avenue) with the following bands:
No Class (Kansas City)
Run Down (members of St. Louis' the Breaks, Formaldehyde Junkies)
Sweet Tooth (Metro East)
Doom Town (St. Louis)
(Full disclosure, the author of the this post is personal friends with Ruzicka and is looking for The Abused's
Loud and Clear EP. Please get in touch if you want to sell it.)