"Blood, Bottles and Chicken Wire" by John Taglieri

I was playing drums and singing in a band named Dr. Max and we were touring the US doing the fair and festival circuit. At the end of the summer we started doing some clubs to keep the schedule full. We got a gig in a club in Duncan, Oklahoma...I don't remember the name of the club anymore. Anyway, we pull up and it looked like most of the little clubs we'd been playing in that area. Your standard roadhouse gig.

We had just gotten finished playing the Iowa State Fair for about 25,000 or so people the week before, so that was fresh in our minds. The place held maybe 200 or so, but it looked cool on the outside. We were set to play this place for four days. So we go in to check the place out before set up and we notice that the stage is wrapped from end to end in chicken wire. Our first thought was, "HUH??" The manager comes over and we asked what was with the chicken wire around the stage. He said it was for our own good and trust him, we'd be glad it was there, but he wouldn't tell us any more! All he would say was that no matter what, just keep playing.

So we set up and go back to our hotel to get ready. When we get back to the club, it's already pretty crowded. We start playing and sure enough, within the first 20 minutes of our show, a fight breaks out in the club. No biggie we thought, we'd seen a lot of fights...until the bottles started flying! Apparently this club had brawls on a frequent basis and more then one per night!! Well, before we knew it, we were soaking wet with beer, but thank god the chicken wire was up to stop the bottles and mugs from hitting us. We definitely would have been hit a few times, no question about it! At one point, a chair even went flying, though not at the stage. We laughed it off and kept playing. They cleared the fights out and the nights resumed as if nothing had happened....just good old boys having some redneck fun!

This happened the first two nights we played, but the third night was the funniest. The usual fight broke out and we just kept playing. But this time the guys fighting wound up near the stage. One guy grabbed the other and raked his face across the front of the stage...right across the chicken wire!! What a site! We stood there, still playing, watching this poor guy get his face dragged across the wire!! He got all cut up, and then got his ass totally kicked! We were all wincing and feeling the pain for him! As sad as it was, it was funny to see...it was like watching a movie in real life! You just don't get to see that everyday!

When we were done with the 4th night, the manager came up to us, said he loved the band and asked if we were glad the wire was up! We told him that we were completely happy that it was there! Outside of getting very wet, we didn't get hurt and none of our equipment got trashed. It's the one and only time I've ever experienced that kind of place. Too funny! I left the band before they ever played there again!

John Taglieri

Hey Tagster, it wasn't too wise to share this story with the Aerosmith management. They stole the concept for the "What It Takes" video... :-)