The preview I got when Murder Pinchers (Murder Ranks + K.C. K-Sum) took the stage at 3 Kings Tavern during The UMS reassured me that K.C. and King Scratchie still have the punk rock/hip-hop/dancehall energy that made them such compelling performers in their heyday.
But even in my excitement, there’s a bit of apprehension. You see, the last time I saw Warlock Pinchers at the Gothic — which was probably 1990 or so — I got punched by a skinhead.
Growing up in the tiny rural community of Berthoud, I wasn’t really aware of the Pinchers at first. I might’ve caught a glimpse of them on KBDI’s Teletunes, but it wasn’t until I went to college in upstate New York that I became a fan. A friend of mine there — a wealthy Texan with a penchant for the Smiths (ironically), Sisters of Mercy and N.W.A. — first turned me on to the band’s classic “Deadly Kung Fu Action” while hosting his show on the college radio station.
Songs like “Where the Hell is Crispin Glover,” “Back in Black” and, of course, “Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse” appealed to my snotty attitude and teenaged sense of humor (and still do). And when I found out Scratchie, K.C., Mark 3KSK, EERok and DDRok were from my home state, my fanhood was confirmed.
As luck would have it, a trip home shortly afterward corresponded with a Warlock Pinchers show at the decrepit, pre-renovation Gothic Theatre. I excitedly trekked down to South Broadway, dragging along a tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed high school friend.
When we walked into the unimpressive venue, we were shocked to find a large group of tough-looking kids of about our age. Some had swastika tattoos. Some wore blue baseball caps emblazoned with “Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” Most had their heads shaved.
“There were always a lot of skinheads at our shows at the Gothic Theatre,” says King Scratchie, a.k.a. Daniel Wanush, today. ” I don’t recall having many skinheads at shows at other locations, so it must have been an Englewood/ southern suburbs thing.”
“We have some songs about the idiocy of racism and skinheads,” adds K.C. K-Sum, a.k.a. Andrew Novick. “They like to go where they’re not wanted, which is most places.”
It should probably be noted that the KKK makes a pretty big distinction between its members — refined and cultured as they are — and the younger, rougher skinheads. For the purposes of this story, however, let’s not split non-existent hairs.