Dec 242020

Flunk Punks “Guitar Tech” Paul Shields, with THE INFAMOUS YAMAHA DT 175 IN THE BACKGROUND!

Happy holidays, Rock Town Hall members and hangers-on!

As has become a bit of a tradition ’round these parts, on this festive day of the year, I present you with the annual telling of my greatest moment of rock embarrassment — namely, the story of The Day I Rode My Motorcycle On-stage at School Assembly and Proceeded to Suck Mightily. This year, however…there’s more!

First of all, there are pictures to share, culled from dusty old photo albums–including, as you’ll see above, a picture of the actual motorcycle! I wish I had pictures of all the members of the “band,” but there seem to be just a few in my possession. Perhaps more illuminating, I’ve managed to gather a few recollections of the event from other members of the Flunk Punks! This year, I managed to track down two: David “Bertie” Bertram and Peter Horn. Peter was characteristically taciturn about the whole affair, but Bertie remembered something I’d long since forgotten: the Flunk Punks “groupies!”

Anyway, the story proceeds below, followed by our star witnesses’ commentary. Enjoy, and–best wishes for the season, RTH!



  22 Responses to “The Rock Town Hall Christmas Story Is Retold”

  1. THIS captures the true meaning of Christmas, or rock ‘n roll, or…something. Thanks for sharing during this special time of the year, HVB, and thanks to Peter and David for chiming in with their recollections. The part about the groupies rallying the audience and covering for many of your Rock Sins is a most-important lesson for future generations.

  2. thevandalstookmyhandle

    Growing up in the 70’s is often overshadowed by the Peace Love and Flowers of the 60’s, (which I tried to hang onto but was difficult when AC/DC ruled the airwaves) but, we rocked the decade as best we could, and this story sums it up perfectly. THANKS for sharing!……….


  3. Goddamn I love that story.

  4. And to think that I came to know you only a few years after this spectacle/debacle, when you had matured into a complex, sensitive singer and guitarist who would go on to… much greater heights? Is that how to put it?

  5. This is a classic on par with It’s A Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown’s Christmas Special. Thanks for sharing with us, it always brings a smile to my face.


  6. hrrundivbakshi

    BTW, Mod — you’ll notice I was rockin’ the Rory Gallagher Look with casual ease. That was no coincidence. Rolling my sleeves up to the elbows allowed me to hide my incredibly scrawny, girl-frightening biceps. Now you know why RG means so much to me!

  7. Greatest story ever told. And truest to the real history of rock.

  8. P.S.: I can’t believe that it didn’t occur to the rest of the band to start playing BEFORE you wobbled onto the stage.

    Wait, actually, yes I can.

  9. BigSteve

    I always get all misty-eyed when I read this.

  10. machinery

    Wow, Bakshi looks like a young Nick Lowe there. Great story.

  11. Awesome!

    I played for 26 years in a band called “The Spontanes” featuring “Harley Hogg and the Rockers” (our alter ego). We always opened with “Born to be Wild” while Bill (sax player) rode his Harley onto the dance floor but not onto the stage (except for Dollywood). Sometimes others would join with their Harleys. I don’t know how people didn’t asphyxiate from the exhaust. It all ended after the tragic “Great White” fire in Rhode Island.

    If you’re interested, the Harleys come in at about :50.

  12. cliff sovinsanity

    That’s quite the endorsement from Percy Sledge. Bravo! I’ve always said, if you’re not having fun with what your playing then what’s the point.

  13. cliff sovinsanity

    Great story. I’m sure many of us have great war stories to share like that of a guitarists ill-fated decision to stand on a bar table during a climactic solo or 6’5 bassist accidentally putting a hole in the ceiling with his Gibson Thunderbird. Good times…

  14. tonyola

    I played sax briefly in a 1950s revival band during the 1970s. Though we didn’t use motorcycles, our gimmick at the beginning of the show was to roll the lead singer onstage astride a piano.

  15. That’s a good one.

    And here’s a little something for you -one of my recent finds -shit hot garage from the Enfields :

    E. Pluribus

  16. ladymisskirroyale

    Your motorcycle showed up in a dream of mine last night. Further evidence of the great archetypes that your story portrays.

  17. alexmagic

    I hope I’m not the only one who wants Pubes’ brother Martin to be nicknamed Merkin.

  18. A true RTH Holiday Classic! Thanks for re-telling it HVB

  19. Suburban kid

    Master yarnspinner

  20. I like that guitar – has a nice homespun ‘Wonderboy’ quality to it…

  21. 2000 Man

    This always puts a big smile on my face. Merry Xmas, RTH!

  22. Man, can you write! Thanks for reposting the story!

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