“We were Beach Slang. Thank you. Natalie, give them their money back.”
These were the last words Beach Slang vocalist/guitarist James Alex spoke before walking off stage at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City at what Spin reported may have been the Philadelphia punk band’s final show. This news was nothing short of shocking for attendees of the concert who took to Twitter to describe the awkward tension among band members and the guitars that took a beating as a result of all the commotion.
— Tricep Meat (@matthewqnanes) April 29, 2016
Following a cancelled show in Boise and a day when just about everything seemed up in the air, James Alex posted this lengthy status on the band’s Facebook page:
Westerberg was playing his favorite guitar […]. Suddenly, he grabbed it by the body and slammed the neck down on the amplifier and splintered it completely. Afterwards, soundman Brendan McCabe approached him in shock: ‘Paul what the hell did you do that for. How could you wreck that guitar? You loved that thing.’ ‘Well that’s the difference between me and you Brendan,’ he told him. ‘You cherish things you love. Me? I destroy them.’”
The first time I read this part of Trouble Boys, I thought, ‘Fuck, maybe there’s really something to that. Maybe there’s romanticism in destroying the things you love.’ Or maybe I’m just a messed up kid who thinks he never deserved any of this. I don’t know. After I left the stage in Salt Lake, thinking I was ending Beach Slang, I was walking down the street, back to the hotel, when a girl from the show ran up to me, hugged me so sincerely, and said, ‘Don’t do this. We need you.’ Straight away, I realized I was wrong. There is nothing sweet, there is no light, and there is nothing romantic when the thing you love is broken.
Salt Lake, for the car crash last night and Boise, for fumbling on you, I am gigantically sorry—even bigger than that. I am going to make good on making it up to you. Cross my heart.
This, and all of you, mean too much to me. I love you with thunder. I love you all the way.
So, yeah, Seattle, we are still coming to your good city, wild-eyed and ready, our hearts bashed back into shape.
If you’re still in, we are.
For us—all of us,
Turns out that Beach Slang didn’t break up after all, at least not permanently. As one dedicated fan Steven Hyden put it, “Maybe tonight will be an amazing, cathartic, ‘make-up sex’ style show.” …Fingers crossed for that. Tonight Beach Slang will perform at the Vera Project in Seattle. Following the gig, Beach Slang has scheduled nearly four months worth of shows in North America and Europe. On May 13th, the band will play Shaky Knees in Atlanta and on May 19th, they will make their way to the Sinclair in Boston.
All of us at LIKEYOUSAID are happy to hear that Beach Slang is staying together. Don’t scare us like that again, you guys.
Stay tuned for more news and updates on Beach Slang on the LIKEYOUSAID Facebook Page.
Photo by Jessica Flynn.