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Belinda Coward

Stubbs Barbeque/Austin Texas, August 11th, 2000.

Cheers, friends! Yours truly checking in. Emily and I were included lucky few who got the opportunity to witness, experience and survive the Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts show in Austin, Texas at Stubbs Barbeque.

Grunts you say? Dear readers, where have you been? Tofog is the band of our one and only Gladiator himself fronts, Russell Crowe. And, did I emphasize the word survive earlier? Between the heat, crowds, and over zealous security (thank you Stubbs), Belinda is quite happy to be back in LA LA land safe and snug amongst the phonies of Hollywood. In fact the whole scene sent Emily, on full scale bitch-tiraid, and we came close to canning the whole shindig to hit Sixth Street and go drinking...heavily.

First, we'll discuss the show.

Well, unlike some other celebrity bands that I have seen ( Dogstar or, shudder, Bruce Willis), Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts actually has some talent. The biggest draw back, I think, is the fact that they only get together about once a year these days since that lead singer of theirs "day job" took off. Keeping that information firmly in mind is how I approached the show. I knew this was a "pub" band. I was already very familiar with their songs.

The lyrics on most of the new songs seem to suffer from some of the same problems that the old material suffers from. These just are not lyrics. Russell Crowe writes poetry and then forces the prose into music (or rather Dean Cochran, lead guitarist does). I really wish he would edit is writing some, but then again I really don't think he cares what I think. Hey, Russ, publish a book of poetry!

All members of the band are very enthusiastic and very committed to what they are doing. They get 10 points from me for that. Are they great musicians? No. Sorry to say they are not. Is Russell a great singer? No. Again, he is not. But they do make up for it in passion and I can tell you one thing, I would rather hear a band that was less than perfect, but full of passion any day of the week then some picture perfect, cord hitting, note carrying group of a**holes who couldn't care less about what they were playing. The Grunts love what they are doing, have a golly good time and entertain like hell.

Bottom line, the band and the fans bonded and enjoyed the themselves. That is what counts. Are they ready to open for the Rolling Stones? No, and probably never will be. But to the predominately female audience -I think they may as well have been the Stones.

Check out their web site at to order CD's and other goodies. By the way, all of the shows the money went straight to charity. I think that is COOL! This band did NOT play for $$$, they played for the love of playing.

Now, with the review aside, onto what happened AFTER the music stopped playing and yours truly got caught up in the ugly side of celebrity. After the show, I experienced a phenomena I will call lovingly Celebrity Nazi Hell. This occurs when you have a.) a celebrity, b.) overly committed security and c.) an innocent bystander.

In this case, your beloved, (hopefully) Ms Coward herself, was the innocent bystander. Normally, I watch this occur to others. But for once got the entire experience myself! After the show had concluded I then took the opportunity to use the "facilities' and then grab a quick bottle of refreshment. While downing the cool liquid, I was barked at to vacate the premises. Being the understanding soul that I am, I quickly gulped down the last of my brewski and headed for the exit. Then, to my right, I saw Mr. Gladiator himself, sitting having a beer and cig with four other guys. I thought, innocently, I'll just walk over and say, "hey, good show". Just as I made a step in his direction, the overly committed security went into action. Evidently all 5ft 3 of me was considered a severe threat to the man who takes on Bangle Tigers. I was grabbed, shoved and everything in my hands knocked to the ground. I then made the mistake of bending over to pick up my possessions. Emily had eyed some six foot Keith Moon look alike, and was off without a care- she missed the whole bloody thing. But at least the whining had ceased...

Anyway, evidently that sudden movement was considered even more of a threat! So, they proceeded to stand on my T-shirts and my purse- so I couldn't attack Mr. Crowe- presumably. One security nazi stood on my possessions, keeping them safely on the ground and away from Mr. Crowe while the other one grabbed my arm and tried to pull me up. Unfortunately, I was ATTACHED to my purse by the strap. I could just see the headlines now, girl strangled to death by her own purse at Grunts show! No amount of reasoning with these Neanderthals would get them to move their feet so I could retrieve my possessions and open my quickly closing airways. Finally, the one with the big feet took a step back, freeing me and I was able to rise and quickly make my exit. Of course, three security nazis made sure I no longer posed a threat to anyone! I was shown the exit the way you show a bag of garbage the curb.

OK security people, I know you have a hard job and there are real threats to your clients BUT your job does not in tale treating innocent people like garbage. Since when does the well being of the others cease to exist! I know that celebrities have stalkers and persons who do pose a threat to them, but come on, it's time to get reasonable people! When I am trapped on the ground because you are standing on my purse and refuse to acknowledge what I am saying or what is really happening, then it is time for everyone to go to their corners and take a deep breathe and CHILL OUT!

I have seen this sort of behavior in the past and it has always bothered me. I remember at a tennis match a young woman in a cast up to her thigh was knocked out of the way by Andre Agassi's security people so he could have a safe path to the courts. Give me a break! You know dear readers, those of us, and may I say that is the majority of us, pose no threat to anyone. I think it is time we retaliated.

That's right, let's all go out and rent our very own Security Nazis' to protect us from the ones protecting the celebrities! What do you say! We could all pool our money and get a group discount Can't you just see the next Barbara Streisand show, the audiences security force would out number hers 1,000 to 1. Now that would be something to see.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear.

I do NOT hold Russell Crowe or Andre Agassi and any other celebrity that I have encountered responsible for the actions of their over zealous body guards. I realize that most of the time they don't even know what has occurred or don't know how to handle the situation. I do hold responsible those who abuse their position meant to protect. So come on with me dear readers and let's head on out to the store and order our own Neanderthals! Hmmm, think I could get one that looks like Vince Vaughn?

OK Stubbs, did you hear me? Next time, have a long talk and I mean a very long talk with your security force. And remember, this is a concert and NOT a battlefield. Let's not forget to respect everyone's dignity

You know, I have had conversations with celebrities about how hard it is to get people to act "normal" around them. Well, guess what, it's impossible to act normal when you are being faced with a wall of security morons who see you as a place to exercise all those Kung Fu moves they've been practicing.

Belinda Coward
-signing off for now and heading for the chiropractor to get her neck snapped back in place!


Russell Crowe- By Emily
Maximum Crowe - The Ultimate Crowe's nest



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