There's nothing I could possibly say about Miami's the Eat that is not going to come across like some dribbly fanboy slosh. But I'll say it now as I've said it a thousand times and will continue to say it till my dying days: I fucking love the Eat! Seriously, I started when I moved to Miami in '91 and traded for a beat-up tape which held half of the band's Scattered Wahoo Action album. And I've followed them all the way up through last year's Alternative Tentacles double-CD reissue.
The Eat's mythos stems from a rock 'n' roll timing that helped bridge (and eventually galvanize) the glamorous '70s and the lawless seediness of '80s Miami. And they did that with what local legend Charlie Pickett has in the past described as "Eddie O'Brien's black Irish sense of humor." With the Communist Radio/Catholic Love and God Punishes The Eat EPs, the Eat set the tone for raucous punk-rock garage hardcore for many bands to come. By switching the creative ante for a rockier, poppier sound with the full-length Scattered... they proved their versatility and adaptability. While the local press might've considered them a bunch of snots, Eddie and Michael O'Brien, Chris Cottie, and Kenny Lindahl were intelligent musicians and all around nice guys who always performed to their fullest and delivered the very best set they could.
Cottie's passing on June 6, 2004, dealt a heavy blow to the South Florida music scene. Not only had he anchored the Eat and the Drug Czars but he had also forced every member of the Eagles to purchase Eat seven-inchers. Not to mention that he had made his bones touring with David Allen Coe. My favorite rock 'n' roll moment was not meeting Iggy Pop at Churchill's or sitting next to Carlos Santana on a one-hour flight to the Dominican Republic. No. My favorite rock 'n' roll moment was catching the Eat on my birthday, September 21, 1996, at Churchill's. A couple of the tracks from that gig are on the live disc of the discography. Thirty years later, those guys still rock around town balancing their day lives while showing the youths how it's done.
The Eat performs Saturday, February 2, at Churchill's, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Doors open at 9 p.m., and tickets cost $10. Those 18 and older are welcome with ID. Call 305-757-1807, or visit www.churchillspub.com.
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Do yourself a favor. Do your community a favor. Get the AT discography (59 songs that'll make the rest of your CDs commit suicide) and get your ass on down to Churchill's on Saturday to see rock 'n' roll played right. I'll be there because I fucking love the Eat!!!