Tomorrow sees the release of Architects of Self-Destruction: The Oral History of Leftover Crack. The book was written by LoC guitarist Brad Logan and Punknews’ John Gentile. The pair interviewed nearly 100 people, including every member of LoC, and tell the band’s entire history.
You can pre-order the book at Rare Bird Lit. FYI, today is the last day to get the zine and t-shirt.
Today, we are psyched to debut a chapter from the book. In this segment, the band gets threatened by a gang in Florida and their van gets smashed… check it out below.
Brad Logan (Guitar – Leftover Crack): At some point during the Fuck World Trade tours, we developed a beef with a punk gang down in Florida. We started getting anonymous threats through the grapevine.
We were warned that the next time we came to town, some shit was gonna go down. One night we were playing this place in West Palm Beach. I didn’t see anything sketchy going on before or during the bands before us. It was a strip mall show. It might even have been a coffeehouse, but it was packed with a few hundred people.
At some point during the middle of our set, this kid runs up to the stage and yells, “They’re smashing your van outside!” The van was parked in the alley behind the venue. So, we get on the mic, “We hear that someone is smashing our van up, so we’re going to go check it out.” The crowd parts like the Red Sea and the backdoor flies open. We go running outside and there’s a gang of goons smashing our windows. They’re trying to slash the tires. They throw smoke bombs inside and were trying to torch the van. We immediately charged at them, and they all started running off in opposite directions. I’m chasing after one guy and he goes one way and Alec is chasing after another guy and he goes another way. So we’re running after all these guys and punches are being thrown.
We come back to our van and every window had been smashed out except the front ones. Also, while I ran out, someone else grabbed my guitar offstage and ran out the front door. But when I was walking back into the club a kid comes up to me and hands me my guitar, “Here you go! I grabbed this from someone who was running down the street with it.”
Sturgeon (Vocals/Guitar – Leftover Crack): The reason that I got out of them that they attacked our van was, when I saw Brad running toward the van and I turned to the last people that were there and said, “Why are you doing this?!” The guy starts crying and says, “Because you’re called Leftover Crack and my brother smokes crack!” That’s the most that I could get out of them.
Brad Logan: It was a love message to the band: “Fuck you, don’t come back!” We taped up the windows with gaffer tape and plastic trash bags, and did the rest of the Florida tour. We had rented the van from a van rental place in Brooklyn. At the end of the tour, Ezra just drove it back to the rental place, cigarette dangling from his lips, trash bags flapping in the wind. With a straight face, he went up to the counter, dropped off the keys, and said, “Alright, thanks guys…” and left.
The following week we got another message from Florida. “The next time you guys come down here, you’re fuckin’ dead!” So we took that as an open invitation to come down.
At the time, in the early to mid-2000s it wasn’t so popular for a cisgender band to be singing songs that championed gay rights, and it was equally less popular to be singing anti-fascist anthems in the Deep South. It sounds ridiculous now, but things were different then.
So, on the next tour, on our way down to Florida, right after we crossed the state lines, we stopped at a Home Depot. We bought five or six garden machetes to take to the clubs with us—the thinking being, “If we’re gonna get rat-packed, I’m gonna at least have a machete in my hand.”
Sturgeon: The machetes were…just in case. I always thought machetes were a great idea. You just jump over to Home Depot and get ’em for six bucks a piece. Ara’s not going to sport one, but me and Nick would. They’re not really that dangerous because they’re not that sharp, so you can swing them around without really cutting yourself or someone else. Plus, they look dangerous.
Brad Logan: We were expecting trouble, but I didn’t even think about it. I just went about my business. “If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen.” It’s the same way I approached shows as a kid in LA. There wasn’t security everywhere. It wasn’t a nice, safe environment. People did get stabbed and shot and had the shit knocked out of them. It was dangerous, but that never stopped us from going to shows.
In Tampa, the leader of the gang that wanted our asses showed up to the gig with a bunch of his boys. We thought for sure that shit was going to go down. We had our machetes on us. I remember things getting tense while we were playing.
But then, the next thing I know, the leader guy is onstage and him and Sturg are hugging it out. He said something like, “You guys have heart, you have guts, we’re squashin’ the beef, everything’s cool.” Or some shit like that. Meaning they weren’t going to try to attack us and kill us next time we went to Florida…I guess? At least there wasn’t an open death threat against us anymore…at least in Central Florida.
Then, the crowd started cheering. The next thing I know, the dude stage dives back into the crowd and we just start playing again.
Sturgeon: The machetes did the job.