I will admit, I was 16 when this riot occurred, and though I’d been in Tompkins Square Park shortly before things erupted, I was not part of it. At the time I was stuck in Phoenix, Arizona and even with the breadth and width of the Sonoran Desert, I was still completely stir-crazy there. This was the first night back for our annual stipulated summer visit with our Dad and I bounded from the plane eager to run amok in New York City. So what would any good father do with a bird’s-nest-head acid baby bohemian unduly wound up from six hours on a plane? That’s right. He took me (and my brother, who really didn’t care so long as we got McDonald’s first) to Tompkins Square Park. It was the most alive place I’d ever been at that point in my life. It was a parade that didn’t seem to end. It was drummers on everything and this would take on more significance later in my life.
And abruptly he said “Your little brother looks tired. We should get to the subway.” Maybe he’d overheard something. Maybe he noticed the gathering cops, the ones who would later be known for putting duct tape over their badge numbers. Maybe he just had a sense for these things, or maybe I’m overimaginative and he really just thought Kris needed to get to bed. Either way, my pleas to take Kris home and leave me a token–yeah, a token–went unheeded and I was led away. And thus ends my unceremonious TSP Riot story.
And anyway, if you remember, or don’t and just want to come down and see what it was all about, this is at MoRUS, it’s free, Eric and Andy (both also of Doll Hospital/Urchestra) are making noise on drums and sax respectively, and the past comes around to link to the present.