Soundtrack to this week's cover story: Oxbow

Bouncer Lit


Bouncers, those stone-faced guardians of the velvet rope, are known for two things: keeping "order" in your favorite nightclubs, and rearranging the faces of those who bring dischord to their (supposedly) orderly worlds.

They are not known, however, for their prose, their sentiments, their innermost feelings.

That is about to change. This week, the Phoenix's James Parker discovers that theres' a rising tide of memoirs by these glitterati gatekeepers, which he has dubbed -- wait for it -- "Bouncer Lit."

Like Chick Lit and Lad Lit before it, Bouncer Lit is a movement certain to arouse the interest of trend watchers, but, unlike Chick Lit, it features demonstrably more pummelings, beat-downs, knife fights, and overall lacerations. Whether in the work of Marc "Animal" MacYoung (A Professional's Guide to Ending Violence Quickly), Peyton Quinn (A Bouncer's Guide to Barroom Brawling) or the recent effort of Rob the Bouncer (Clublife), this is a literary movement that is unlikely to suffer from a critical backlash -- unless, that is, its critics are actually getting physically backlashed.

Among this new breed is one Eugene S. Robinson, whom fans of particularly fucked-up music may recognize as the singer for OXBOW. Eugene is fucking crazy, and he's also extremely articulate. Parker's survey of the current Bouncer Lit includes a preview of Robinson's Fight: Or, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass-Kicking but Were Afraid You’d Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking, which will be published by Harper Collins this fall. First, an anecdote from Eugene. Second: an exclusive empeefree taken from Oxbow's current album, The Narcotic Story (Hydrahead), which we encourage you to listen to while you're reading the story (on newsstands tomorrow, and on the web this afternoon)

Eugene S. Robinson, fighter, author:

"My last night as a bouncer? I used to bounce at a club called Paradise Beach, in San Jose. And one night I get in this little dust-up, and I choke this guy out, and then later he's outside talking at me. So out I go, little knowing that the dude's brother is hiding by the door, and soon as I pass the doorjamb he hits me. Well, anyway, my jaw was a little fucking tender from this donnybrook, and I go and talk to my boss about the possibility of getting some medical attention. The guy goes: 'We can't afford that. Go chew some gum!' So now I'm pissed, and at the end of the night, when all the guys who are getting laid have already left with their women, and the only guys still in play are the ones who aren't getting any, I get in between these two groups who are going at it. 'The evening is done,' I say. 'Go home!' But one of them takes this as a signal to get his last licks in, and tries to get by me with this looping overhand right. Well, I'm still thinking about, 'Go chew some gum!', so now I'm like, 'I've got something I wanna show YOU.' And I beat the shit out of these three guys, just beat the fuck out of them. Then I hear people yelling, 'Eugene! Eugene!' and just as quickly as it started, it stopped and I was completely fucking lucid, and it was eerie and creepy. But I was trying to make a point to the boss, which was, 'If you're not gonna take care of us, this is how I take care of us!' It was lost on him, I think. Anyway, that's how I went out. But bouncing definitely impacted how I see things. When I go into a club now, I'll scope out the fucking exits, acquaint myself with the trouble spots."

DOWNLOAD: Oxbow, "Down a Stair Backward" (mp3)
CONTINUE READING: James Parker, Beyond the Velvet Rope: The Rise of Bouncer Lit

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