When: Sat., Aug. 11, 8 p.m. 2012
The time was the early 1980s, the place was the legendary first-generation Nashville punk club Phrank ’n’ Steins, and the attraction was a young band of Goodlettsville/Madison upstarts called The Ratz. As rock scene pioneer Rick Champion remembers online, they decorated an early gig with dead rats hung from traps, while tall lead singer Les Shields kept scraping his head on the basement club’s low ceiling. They were among the earliest of Music City’s punk-era bands, alongside acts such as The Electric Boys, File 13 and Cloverbottom, and in just a short time they’d send shoots off in all directions: Shields would go on to Raging Fire, while bandmate Joe Blanton would move on to The Enemy and The Royal Court of China. Tonight at The End amounts to a time machine back to the days of Cantrell’s, as Shields, Blanton, bassist Randy Thompson and drummer Lyn “Bone” Brown reunite to show the kids what ground-zero Nashville rock looks like. The bill’s quickly turning into an ’80s reunion: Opening acts are BloodDrive, featuring Skot Nelson and Chuck Allen from Guilt (remember the controversy over their “Satanic” logo?), Warm Dark Pocket’s Mark Pilkinton and Wishcraft’s David Harvard; and RA-6600, whose lineup includes Raging Fire’s awesome Mark Medley. What’s more, we’ve heard tell of appearances by Jason and the Scorchers guitarist Warner Hodges and the Practical Stylists’ Allen Sullivant — and you won’t know who else until you arrive. Please, somebody, film this and get it on tape — it’s pretty much a one-stop documentary there for the making.