Paw came to Smart studios to do some demos in 1992. I had just finished recording the Dwarves “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” the day before, and they were playing a show at the sadly defunct Club DeWash in Madison that night. So Mark Hennessy, Grant Fitch, Pete Fitch, Charles Bryan and I went to see them after we finished getting set up.
I had heard about the Dwarves live show, but I wasn’t really prepared for what happened. He Who Cannot Be Named came out wearing a nylon over his head, and nothing else. The little plastic bud on his guitar’s pickup selector switch had come off, so there was just a little metal piece sticking out. He jumped up on stage and started doing windmills, and almost immediately gashed his thumb - there was blood all over the place. I was pretty shocked, because during the prior week of recording, he had been the sweetest, most mellow guy you could imagine. On stage, it was like he was possessed. Not that the rest of the band were passive - far from it.
The show was loud, raw, menacing and really intense, and things got out of hand pretty much instantly - huge glass ashtrays and barstools were flying through the air, tables getting knocked over, people were fighting, screaming, running for cover - it was insane. Exciting, too, and also really dangerous. I’m still surprised no one was hurt. Anyway, it couldn’t have been more than ten minutes before the club owners pulled the plug.
The Dwarves had a reputation for borrowing the opening band’s gear and then trashing it at the end of their set, but somehow they were able to convince the band that was playing before them to let them use their stuff. Needless to say, by the end of the show, everything was knocked over - drums, cymbals, amps, everything. The band made a quick exit, and I doubt they even got paid. Things quieted down pretty fast, except for the loud cursing of the drummer for the opening band, when he saw what had happened to his band’s gear. He was really pissed off. All in all, a pretty rock n’ roll evening, and an auspicious start for Paw’s demo sessions.