COPS RAID "BUZZ PIT" SHOW

By: John Woods


We first heard about the "Buzz Pit" show on March 25, when Environmental Hazzard played at our benefit show in New Philadelphia. They told us about this great new venue in Cleveland where the show was to take place. A huge old warehouse converted into a music hall.

After talking with EH, we were just as excited about this show as they were, so when they invited us to set up our ROC Information/Merchandise booth at it, we didn't hesitate in accepting.

On April 26, I was manning our ROC booth at the Anthrax/Fight show at the Agora, when Adam Waler and one of the dudes from Screwtractor came up and wanted to know if we (ROC) were going to be at the "Buzz Pit" show. I assured them that we wouldn't miss it for anything. They gave me directions to the Central Laser Productions warehouse at 3996 Hamilton. I couldn't wait for Saturday to come.

I got to Cleveland on, the 30th at around 4:30 p.m. I had brought with me Chad White and his wife, Heather. Chad is the former guitarist for the New Philadelphia band Masdecay. We were very impressed with the place, it was huge, it was great! And all these laser lights and mirrors mounted on the wall. We were all in a state of excited anticipation of what the night had in store. We met Mike Wiles and Vic Lewis of Monkey Paw Productions, who were the promoters of the show. Mike told us, how an art show held here the night before was shut down by the police. Being worried about tonight's event, he'd spent all morning talking with city officials, who assured him that all permits were in order.

We mingled around talking with folks, and later we began setting up the ROC booth. I ran into Mike again and he said someone from the city had called, and there was some problem. The bands, who were there for soundchecks were held up due to intense negotiations via phone with city officials. The bands never got to do soundcheck, and the negotiations went on, right up to door time. Then came 9:00 p.m., time for the first band, Glock, to play. It didn't happen, on the phone talks were still being held with the city. The place was really beginning to fill up, since the show was hyped to the max for weeks. My best guess was 500-600. I could sense a bit of restlessness in the crowd as 9:00 p.m. became 10:00 p.m., and still no bands could take the stage. Around 10:30 or so, it became quite apparent that this show was not gonna happen. All of a sudden the huge sliding door at the end of the building opened and in rushed at least two dozen uniformed and plainclothed cops. The uniformed cops had their batons drawn and were holding them against their legs. Now, I've been around demonstrations and such enough in my days that I can sense when cops are itching for a reason to start swinging, and I assure you, these cops were itching for a reason. One old cop pushed his way to the stage, grabbed a mike and said, "You are hereby ordered to turn around and head for the nearest exit, this show is cancelled." A roar of boos erupted from the crowd, and a huge slammin' mosh pit broke out in the middle of the floor, but the cops moved in and broke it up. For the next 15 minutes or so, the cops yelled., pushed and herded folks out the door. Outside, were a dozen or more firemen and a hook and ladder unit? I guess if people didn't leave "orderly", they were ready, to turn the hoses on us.

After all of the crowd had been driven from the building, one cop came up to the stage and started screaming at the band members, who were tearing down their equipment "if you're going to take all goddamn night to get that stuff out of here, we'll just lock it up." Yeah, right, like tearing down can be done in a flash. After a while he left with all his buddies, and the firemen, and only one lone patrol car was outside when I left about an hour later.

What the hell happened here? The city said "all was in order." Then WHO gave the order to send in the cops. WHO in Cleveland didn't want to see this show happen? WHO doesn't want to see The Warehouse establish itself as a new music venue in Cleveland?

Only questions, and more questions! Who has some answers? Folks in Cleveland should really try to get some answers from some city officials, and soon!

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