Unless the Rat was having a special show where a big act had their own people collecting the door (and sometimes not even then), we never paid to get in. None-the-less, often we would all just hang out in the back parking lot beyond the rear emergency door and wander into the club if an interesting band was playing. I don’t know who was tending the back door then (I believe it was before the days of Mitch Cerul) but whoever it was would let us come and go as long as they knew us. I guess the parking lot was kinda the Rat’s version of a VIP room. One particularly hot and steamy night when we all knew the stink of stale beer, sweat and piss would be too overwhelming inside, a larger than usual group was back there. It was me and Lorry Doll with the rest of Tracks and girl friends, plus members of DMZ and other bands who weren’t gigging that night, along with assorted scene makers and hangers on. (There were some strange people who seemed to be at every Tracks gig and always seemed to be hanging out wherever we were – I never knew their names.)
jeff rey's
So Lorry and me were discretely sucking on long necks of Ballentine Ale we had stashed in our car (Heaven help us if Jim Harold found out), getting buzzed and shooting the breeze with various people. The usual bull – upcoming gigs, gossip, ragging on each other – whatever, it was all in good fun. Suddenly the back door crashes open. We hear loud angry voices and two small figures emerge in heated argument. It’s Alpo from the Real Kids and Roger Tripp from La Peste and boy are they pissed at each other. Drunk, too. Now, you probably heard the stories about the Boston bands fighting amongst themselves – member against member. It wasn’t unusual or any big deal. It’s like any close relationship and tempers flare. Lorry and I certainly had our share of violent rip-ups in rehearsal that scared the hell out of our rhythm section. But, I didn’t ever recall any band fighting against another band. And these two looked like they were ready to get to it. It caught our attention, but nobody made a move to break it up.

“So, you want a piece of me, right?” one shouts to the other as they square off.

“Damn right, jerk!” the other responds pulling his fists up in front of his face.

“Yeah, well you’re gonna get what you want!”

“Well, come on then!”

They circle each other. Once. Twice. Three times. Somebody in the crowd giggles. There is something really amusing; almost endearing about the way this scene is playing out.

“You start.”

“You want to fight, right?”


They dance some more. Lorry, slurring words and feigning drunkenness shouts, “Ahhhh! Let me at ‘em! I’ll tear ‘em
both apart!” The absurdity hits us and we all bust up unable to contain ourselves any longer.

"So do you or not?”

you want to fight?”


“Well … come on then, I’ll buy you a beer.”

“Well…okay. But I’ll buy you one.”

Next thing they’ve got their arms around each other’s shoulders and they’re stumbling back inside, smiling ear to ear, like too long lost pals.

A typical Rat moment.

NOTE: Not too long ago, I read that Roger Tripp was killed in a car crash in the mid-nineties. He was a phenomenal player and a very cool guy. R.I.P.
Tracks...the Wild Ones
In this corner, weighing in at .... Alpo from the Real Kids
Photo (detail) - Oedipus
Representing La Peste and wearing  .... Roger Tripp
Photo (detail) - L. Doll