Towards the end of Friday night’s Suicidal Tendencies concert at the 9:30 Club, lead singer Mike Muir brought the band’s photographer on stage to share his experiences in DC earlier in the day. The photographer introduced as “Luke from Australia” is in the United States for the first time while video-taping ST’s tour. Their DC tour stop gave Luke the opportunity to do some sight seeing earlier in the day. One of his stops was the White House; where he was briefly detained and questioned by security; for taking pictures while wearing a Suicidal Tendencies t-shirt and having an accent.
During the show, Muir asked Luke to relate his tale to the audience before the band launched into their controversial 80’s hardcore song “I Shot The Devil” better known as “I Shot Reagan”. It was a classic punk rock move and a reminder of a time when the nation had bigger things to worry about than Al-Qaeda; like swear words in music, the failure of New Coke, and mutually assured destruction. Suicidal Tendencies were a regular target of 80’s music paranoia because of their controversial name and the subject matter of their songs. At the height of their notoriety they were banned from performing by the city of Los Angeles for several years. I found it oddly quaint that Suicidal Tendencies still has the ability to stir up a little trouble, after all these years, just for appearing as words on a tourist’s t-shirt.
I spoke with Luke after the show and he related the story to me. He said he was singled out of a crowd of tourists by security because of his t-shirt and camera. Then things escalated to a brief detainment when they discovered he was from another country. The whole thing took about a half hour of his time and he said it will be a story to share with his kids someday. He left me with this, “Even though I traveled all the way from Australia, and was detained at the White House, I still love DC.”