In 1995 I lived with my parents in a small town called Sierra Vista, AZ. We were about 2 hours south of Tucson, and about 30-40 minutes off of the 10 freeway. Bands typically travelled between Las Cruces and Tucson directly, without making the hour long detour to come play for us.
But not every band. We got the likes of Plow United, Scared of Chaka, The Potatomen, Squirtgun, Pinhead Circus, visited our little whistlestop. Rail and Ifarm even came out from New York to play for us on separate tours.
The band featured below rolled into town one summer day to bring their noise to the Fab Avenue Recrestion Center, a DIY venue by night, a troubled-youth teen center hangout cum amateur boxing training ground by day. The stage was an actual regulation sized boxing ring. The ropes would be removed for bands to play. The couple who ran the place, Shirley and Rat, were older, but really wanted to do something “for the kids”, and this was it. Rat was rumored to be an ex-pro boxer, and there were some nights when a literal last minute show would come together, and we’d head over to see if we could set up and have bands play there, and the place would be closed up, with Rat and the boxing team out of town to Vegas or some other place where some boxing match was taking place.
Galaxian hailed from San Antonio. Their brand of emo/noise/punk was pretty new to us at the time, but to say they did anything less than bring the rock would be so so wrong.
They loaded in and set up in front of the stage, on the floor. In my memory, it was the first time I had ever seen a band do that. Not that big a deal in retrospect, as I’ve seen countless bands do this at places with a stage and been to numerous venues and house shoes with no stage at all or a 8″ stage or whatever. But at the time it seemed huge.
About 2/3 of the way through their set, there was a particularly noisy, feedbacky guitar and bass part that went on for a minute or two with no drums. The drummer was kind of sitting there watching the other two guys wail on their instruments, not drumming. Then he bolted up out of his stool, ran outside. A few seconds later, he came running back inside with a huge cymbal in his hands. He ran down in between where the guitar player and bass player were doing their thing, raised the cymbal above his head, and from the looks of it, threw the cymbal at the concrete floor as hard as he could. Then sat back down and continued drumming to finish out the song. I’ve always wondered if that was something they did at every show,or just that one, or if it was a cymbal that broke at the previous tour stop or what. Not knowing is probably better.
Bonus points to the band for having a song called Hutch and having BMX bike kids on the labels for Side 1 AND Side 2.
I offer you Galaxian’s self-titled 7″ on Sleep King records.
Post-Script: Flash forward 8 years, to Thanksgiving 2004. I was alone in a city I had lived in for about 2 months. I had very few friends. I was invited to a new friends’ house for a potluck dinner, along with a bunch of his friends. I packed up my dish in an old punky backpack I made in high school and walked over to the potluck house. There were friends of my friend, as well as some visiting folks from across the country. After dinner, I was chatting with some of these out of towners, and found out some of them were from San Antonio. I said “We had a band play from San Antonio in my old home town in high school. Have you heard of Galaxian?” not imagining that they would have. The jaw of the guy I was talking to hit the floor and said “I was in Galaxian. That was my band.”
I reached under the table, grabbed my backpack, and showed him the Galaxian patch (the one HE GAVE ME in my parents’ driveway) sewn on it from 8 years ago. Minds were blown, thanks were given, the night was made.