Review: Rev Horton Heat with Nashville Pussy
at The Usual in downtown San Jose 7/2001
by Lannie Rose

This was a lot more hard core than I had anticipated. My first clue was the number of Harleys parked outside The Usual when I arrived a little after 9. It was full, and getting fuller as the night went on. While it never got uncomfortably packed, I think it's safe call it a sold out show. The crowd was the whitest I have ever seen, not a single black, brown or asian face among them (except for one poor security guard). Way less than the usual per centage of software engineers, too! I had been afraid to wear my jeans in case there was a dress code, so I wore a gray skirt and a white tee shirt .. ha! 80% of the people were in jeans!

I knew immediately that I was in for some real rock'n'roll, just from the stacks of Fender and Marshall amps on stage--you know, the kind with tubes, baby. No pussy PeeVee equipment here! No pussy keyboards either, just guitars and drums, thank you!

Nashville Pussy hit the stage at 9:40, and OH MY GOD! Think Molly Hatchet meets Spinal Tap. Think southern punk AC/DC. Think LOUD and NASTY! Nashville Pussy does indeed have some pussy--a cute brunette bass player and a foxy nasty blonde guitar heroine. This is a two Les Paul attack, the other guitar and lead vocals being a guy who could be David Crosby's crack-head uncle. The drummer completed the quartet, but I couldn't see him. They rocked, to put it mildly. No breaks, no ballads, just BIG GUITARS. Half-way through the 50 minute set the blonde guitarist Ruyter stripped down to her read silk bra, and .. well, here are a couple of pix, and you can see more at Nashville Pussy if you like.

After Nashville Pussy left the stage, the roadies changed over the equipment in about a half hour, but it was still another 20 minutes before the Reverend Horton Heat hit the stage at 11:20, looking for all the world like Notch Johnson from Son of the Beach. It's just the Rev on a BIG GUITAR, a hollow body something or other with a whammy bar, Jimbo on a big red stand-up bass, and the drum kit. But this was no whimpy rockabilly stuff, it was hard-core surf nazi LOUD NASTY rock! The crowd loved it, and they played to the crowd. A mosh pit formed, but Lannie don't do mosh, I just cowered over at the side. They played 'till 1:15, including many wonderful tunes you may know and love, like Pshychobilly Freakout, The Devil's Chasin' Me, Wiggle Stick, and Nurture My Pig.

I was probably the only trannie in the place. I half expected to be hassled, but the closest thing to a hassle was one guy who complimented me, "You're lookin' good tonight," but followed it up with, "Do you take it the hard way?" Otherwise a few girls complimented me on my shoes and hair, and one girl talked to me about the Savoy. One guy high-fived me .. he had on a tee shirt that said, "Smoke Crack and Worship the Devil." I thought that summed up the crowd's attitude pretty well.

So I had a good but exhausting time. (No seating, just standing or moshing on the dance floor, and try to avoid the beer bottles on the floor and the beer flying through the air.) I wonder how many days it will be before my hearing returns to normal. If you get a chance I would recommend catching these bands, but only if you are a bold trannie who rocks hard-core .. rock on, trannie nation!
Here's Notch Johnson, do you think he and the Reverend were separated at birth?

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