Pit Stories: Mortician In A Pit By The Wrecking Yard
Band Photo: Mortician (?)
The mid-nineties saw Mortician getting heavy airplay for their "House By the Cemetery" EP, so by the time their classic full-length "Hacked Up for Barbecue" was released, there was keen interest in them coming and doing a live gig in Vegas. These Yonkers, NY natives had a reputation as brutal as the Son of Sam infested streets they were from and certainly were about to live up to it with the twisted free for all that was about to follow.
This would be the first ever tour for this two-piece combo of Will Rahmer and Roger Beaujard and whoever would sit in as their session drummer. (They had never bothered recruiting anyone new after their original drummer Matt lost his battle with demonizing luxuries) They figured they could get a gig lined up in our city, but someone had forgotten to tell them that the roof had collapsed on the main concert venue. Most bands would have been deterred, but not Mortician. They had just gotten on the road to tour, hooking up with fans in different cities and improvising where to play. Nothing was stopping them, and they even had t-shirts printed up with all the "tour dates" and cities on them.
Since no venue was available, one of our listeners lined up a show for them at a junkyard next to Nevada Pic-A-Part. This was way out on north I-15 where the noise factor was nil. Will and Roger had just set up their equipment and ran several extension cords all the way out to their dirt stage. If you've ever been to an auto salvage yard, you'll know it's loaded with junked vehicles that customers buy parts off of during the day - and they close at night. Despite the last minute nature of their show, at least fifty people showed up and started moshing up a tornado of dirt. The amps were cranked so loud that the cars on the freeway could hear the distorted guitars and growls. As everybody was slamming around, a couple of junkyard dogs got in the pit and circled with all the metalheads. Some of the really drunk showgoers were throwing radiator hoses and door regulators at the dogs in a game of go-fetch.
As these raconteurs of the repulsive cranked out song after twisted song to massive feedback, dirt and barking dogs - they hadn't been warned about what happens at wrecking yards at night. Those car carcasses get crushed when they are stripped of all saleable parts. An employee who had a trailer in the yard, who looked more lit up than a pair of highbeams, came out of the dwelling and jumped on a forklift. He then brought car after car to the crusher, right between Mortician and the moshpit. The greatest thing about this was that Mortician barely missed a beat throughout all of this, since they were louder than the deafening noise of the car crusher. Their drumset did fall over once due to all the vibration, though. At the end of the show, Mortician gave all their fans a free "Hacked Up for Barbecue" t-shirt.
Mortician last released "Animated Dead Flesh" back in 2004, and have quite a bit of new material that they have yet to release on a new one. They made headlines back in 2005 when Will Rahmer jacked a taxicab in Poland, doing time for that stint. They still play live and last week did a gig with DRI and several others in NY state. Roger Beaujard also plays in Primitive Brutality, the band he was in before Mortician. Join us again next week when we share another pit story with you.
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