4/21/2016: Washington DC @ The Black Cat - TICKETS HERE
4/23/2016: Bellusco, Italy @ Bloom - TICKETS HERE
4/24/2016: Ljubljana, Slovenia @ Orto Bar - TICKETS HERE
4/26/2016: Bezirk Landstrasse, Austria @ Arena Wien - TICKETS HERE
4/21/2016: Munchen, Germany @ Backstage - TICKETS HERE
4/28/2016: Berlin, Germany @ SO36 - SOLD OUT!
4/29/2016: Hanover, Germany @ Kulturzentrum Faust - TICKETS HERE
4/30/2016: Meerhout, Belgium @ GROEZROCK Festival - TICKETS HERE
5/30/2016: Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling - TICKETS HERE
6/11/2016: Asbury Park, NJ @ Punk Rock Bowling - TICKETS HERE
Here's some videos pulled from YouTube, click on one to play. If you have any and would like to submit them, please contact me.
"Under Your Influence" - CC Community Center - March 1986.
"Fall" - Columbus, Ohio - November 1987.
"Safe" - Long Beach, CT - 1987.
Dag Nasty's first show. - Wust Hall, DC - 1985.
"I've Heard" with Peter. - Club 288, Albany - 1987.
"Can I Say" - 9:30 Club - Date?
Gilman Street, Berkeley, CA - June 10, 1988.
Fender's Ballroom - March 27, 1987.
"The Godfather" - Location? - Date?
The following is a reprint of Peter Cortner's tour diary, taken from Mike Gitter's XXX fanzine #17, January 1987. Revised by Peter in 1999.
On the evening of July 5th, 1986, I lay on an old, musty mattress in the upstairs dressing room of the Starplex club in Atlanta, Georgia. The Descendants were on the stage downstairs, and everyone in the club was watching them but me. I was on an old, musty mattress. In Atlanta. Did I already mention that?
I was asking myself (out loud, I think), "What am I doing here?" This was the first night of Dag Nasty's "Can I Say" tour, and this was the first time I'd sung for them in front of an audience. Actually, to say I did any singing is stretching the truth a bit. In fact, it's an out-and-out lie. I had yelled my head off. Howled like an old hound dog. The band was tight and energetic, and I had howled like a dog and paced around the stage as if I was waiting impatiently for a bus.
If a bus had actually shown up there and then I would have been glad, because I sure wanted to get off of that stage. I felt like a fool. I was having no fun. And so when the set ended, I made straight for that musty old mattress to think things over. It looked as if I would have to yell myself silly every night for the next month or so, and at that moment I knew that was something I didn't want to do. What I would rather do was sneak out of there and catch a bus home to D.C.
Yet to run out on the band would have been a pretty rotten thing to do. Perhaps they might get mad. Things had been bad enough for them already. They'd just released "Can I Say," their first album, had planned out a nice long tour with the Descendents, and everything seemed wonderful in Dag land. Then their singer, Dave Smalley (of Boston's DYS), decided to leave the band to finish school. Smalley had taken the band's original shout 'n' holler vocal style and added the harmonies and just plain singing that made their new sound something special. With him gone, the band needed someone new at the microphone. And with the tour just a few weeks away, they had to settle for someone who was willing to hit the road on short notice, whether that person could sing or not.
I fell into the "or not" category. But the band adopted the attitude that they would try to have a good time playing shows and not worry about my voice - just so long as I didn't tell any stupid jokes on stage. They were willing to forgive my howling, but if I chose to suddenly disappear . . . well, they might have taken that personally. So I decided to stick around.
The thought of our next show gave me nightmares. We were going to Memphis, Tennessee, and we were going to play two sets. Two sets? I could barely keep my voice though two songs. We'd already stopped playing "Values Here," the album's hottest song, because it was so far out of my voice range. Two sets . . . I was petrified.
I did everything I could think of to help strengthen my voice. I gargled for hours with salt water. I drank gallons of tea. I gagged on many a spoonful of honey. And yet when we arrived in Memphis I was so preoccupied with worry that I walked around the club with my pants around my ankles, asking for toilet paper. Just before we went on stage, I sucked on a nice big lemon. That was fun.
But as it turned out, this wasn't as bad as Atlanta. A band called Distemper played before us, and they were great. They put me in a mood for jumping around and yelling, so the first set was more visually interesting than usual, even though the vocals were somewhat worse. No one seemed to mind. That was when I figured out that as long as I jumped around like a monkey, I could get away with sounding like one. Doing two sets wasn't so tough. Although the first set was all-ages and crowded, the second one was adults-only, and since there were only about five people there we just relaxed and played around. This was the one and only night we played "Savage Circle" by The Ruts. I thought it sounded great, and I wish that we'd played it more often.
During the next week we played in Knoxville, Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa and Miami. Tampa was the first really big show we played, and once again I was petrified; but this time I was worried for a different reason. In front of the stage there stood rather a large gaggle of Florida skinheads who distinguished themselves by shouting "sieg heil," giving us the Nazi salute and generally being somewhat intimidating. Since I'm prone to paranoia, I figured that a green-haired geek such as myself would make quite a meal for these gentlemen, and I expected I would be grabbed, dragged away from the stage and soundly pummeled. Yet to my great relief we went over quite well with our hairless friends. Of course, having bald-headed Roger on bass added to our popularity with the crowd. But shame on me for stereotyping.
Leaving Florida marked the end of what was becoming a tour tradition: running out of gas. Our van had no fuel gauge, so a very careful eye had to be kept on the mileage. But neither of road manager John Reardon's eyes could be called careful. He (and he alone) left us stuck on the side of the road no less than four times before we left the South.
Keeping our tank full of gas wasn't our only logistical problem. After Florida, we headed for Columbia, South Carolina. On our arrival, we discovered that our gig for that night was in Gainsville, a town we had passed through three hours earlier. This type of confusion soon became a trend.
With a few more shows under my belt, I was starting to relax and feel more confident about what I was doing. In fact, I was really starting to have fun. But soon we would play in D.C., and that had me very nervous again. Dag Nasty hadn't played D.C. in three or four months, and this would be the first show there with me singing. I figured that the band's harshest critics would be right at home.
Well, let me tell you: the D.C. show was insane. We played at the Complex, which is a really large place, and it was packed to the rafters. From the moment "One to Two" started, everyone went nuts. Nuts! Even mild-mannered Brian went nuts, and at one point his guitar flew off of him and landed right on the floor. It was so hot in there from the bodies smashing into each other that by the time the show ended, everyone was soaked from head to toe. The shirt I was wearing that night still stinks.
It was pretty obvious that night that the hometown crowd still liked their Dag just fine, but for me the real test was passed when Shawn Brown, Dag's first singer, slammed his way up front to sing along. Shawn may not have had Smalley's voice, but to me he was and always will be the Dag Nasty singer. Anyone who saw him at those first few shows can tell you that he was incredible. To have his blessing, such as it was, meant more to me than anything else before or since.
After the show, I wondered if part of the reason I was accepted so readily by the D.C. crowd was simply because I was perceived as a local kid. Smalley had that great voice, but he was identified with Boston. I think that some of the D.C. crowd were bothered that Shawn was replaced by someone from out of town, whether that someone could sing or not. Maybe folks in D.C. would have been happy with anybody from D.C. And if that was true, what would Boston be like for Smalley's replacement?
I had my answer a few days later, when we drove to Boston for a Sunday matinee at the Rat. For me, this was another crucial show. If D.C. identified with Shawn Brown, I figured Boston would definitely consider Smalley one of their own. How would people react to a Dave-less Dag? As I had expected, a lot of people were more than a little disappointed. Nowhere was being in Dave's shadow more depressingly apparent than at the Rat. Still, I didn't spend too much time dwelling on this, because the time we spent off-stage in Boston was a blast. To list all the fun things that we did would probably take more space than old Mike will allow, but a couple of items will give you the general idea.
First there was the fire. After having done a joint interview with the Descendents at WHRB, we returned to the Gitter Arms Apartments to enjoy some pillage and debauchery. After many of us found ourselves somewhat lacking control of our faculties, the building's fire alarm went off. Those of us on the top floor sent Roger out to investigate. Roger promptly tried to knock the alarm down with a stick. It was while restraining Roger that someone noticed the atmosphere was getting rather thick with smoke. Putting two and two together - no easy task for the Dag crew - we concluded that the fire alarm went off because the building was on fire. And sure enough, the basement was in flames. Everyone evacuated the building until about four in the morning, when the fire department finally let us back in.
Then, there was the roadie. As the fire raged, Dave Mellon, a clean-shaven lad I'd met at the Rat show, was asked to join us on the road. Dave hauled amps and pushed merch for us up until we played New York City, and though I can tell you little about him pending official investigations, for us his name will live on in infamy. Many are the rumors circulating about our one-time roadie. Some say he is now playing bass for Metallica; others insist he is on death row. There are even those who claim he played bass for us for the rest of the tour. And maybe he did . . . I could never tell bald people apart. The big news! Dag Nasty is back together as of early January with Descendents/Doggy Rock bassist Doug Carrion pluckin' like a madman. Expect a new LP out by summer plus loads of touring. Way cool.