Friday, July 31, 2009

KATHERINE POINDEXTER INTERVIEW.



As some of you know, I like to interview people from my neck of the woods, or people that did time playing music in bands in Raleigh North Carolina. I was very happy with my interview of Kip Larson ex member of Regraped. He really gave me some great stuff. Thinking that I might be on to something, I bothered another Facebook Friend, Kathy Poindexter for a interview. What she returned to me exceeded my wildest dreams..okay, I didn't dream of anything but Kathy gave me the best interview that I have ever done. I don't even know what to say about it other then except for a little editing this is still one of the most honest and interesting things I have ever read.

Reading this is pretty amazing. Kathy is pretty happy these days, and in the end that is all you can really ask for in life, right?





1. Lets have a background on your upbringing: where were you born, how the heck did you end up here and what made you gravitate towards music and all of that punk rock stuff?

I was born at UNC's hospital 2/2/73 while my dad was in graduate school and living with my mom in a modified garage in Carborro. We moved to Raleigh and my dad started teaching at NC State when I was still an infant. My parents divorced when I was 5 and I went to live with my mother in Atlantic Beach, NC. My brother stayed with my Dad in Raleigh, so we both kind of grew up in totally different worlds. I went to several years of elementary school and middle school in Morehead City. We lived in an airstream trailer at the Triple S Pier when I first moved there, but then later moved to a townhouse right of the "circle" or main drag of Atlantic Beach shortly thereafter. My mother was a school teacher at White Oak School in Swansboro, NC for about a year before she was fired. Not sure why, but hearing phone calls, it was either for her drinking or for cursing at a student. She then started bartending, working for Peppertree selling time share, cleaning houses on the side, doing whatever to make $. I was a typical latch key kid, was mostly ignored by my mother, and raised myself. She was drunk a lot and not at home much. When I would get up in the morning, she was asleep and when I got home, she was leaving for work or to "party." I ate a lot of peanut butter and dorito sandwiches, saltine and ketchup snacks, and other interesting concoctions just to feed myself. I spent a lot of time being mad.

Musically, at that point in my life, I really loved country music. I guess that's b/c that was what I was exposed to. That... and beach music, which .... dare I say... was good beach music. It wasn't the lame ass Clarence Carter "strokin'" kinda beach music... it was like Clyde McPhatter Drifters kind of beach music. The country music was of course.. 50's, 60's and 70's versions, which I also loved. We had a hi-fi in my house and it had a microphone that you could plug in and sing along to songs on the radio. I knew all the words of the songs that would come on and entertain myself singing and pretending there was an audience and I was Tammy Wynette and would one day have hair and dresses like Tammy Wynette, etc.... I used to tie my t-shirts around my non-existent boobs and wanted to emulate the girls that were on Hee Haw. That kind of stuff. I still LOVE country music and never stopped despite being made fun of incessantly by my peers later.... just don't like the new stuff, obviously.

BUT, something happened when I was in 6th grade. I think it must have started with the fact that I used to sit up late to watch t.v. b/c there was no one around to tell me to go the fuck to bed. NIGHT FLIGHT. It was the greatest show ever. It was like MTV before MTV was available. They aired rock shows, short documentaries, explanations of who was up and coming and where they came from, etc. Now, understand, when you live in Carteret County, there are 2 kinds of people: White rednecks and Blacks.. ..(which unfortunately they described with a less savory name). THere is NO diversity there and if there is... it comes in the form of a surfer or skateboarder and they were very mild deviations of a norm for that area. There were no "punk rockers" or "hippies" or people who lived alternative lifestyles or dressed alternatively or listened to 'weird' music. And if there were, they would most definitely be thought of as Gay.

In 6th grade, I distinctly remember watching night flight and seeing Blue Cheer doing their version of Summertime BLues and thinking that guitar sounds was insane! And the guys looked so crazy! I just loved it. And in that same episode there was this scrawny, black haired cracy bitch with a striped t-shirt and wearing ghostly white make up and bright red lipstick smeared accross her face singing this song "Christine... the strawberry girl..." and I thought, "Oh my god... I want to be just like her." That of course ended up being Siouxsie Sioux who to this day.... I think is one of the coolest singers in alternative rock history. Maybe she's a close second to Polly Styrene... I dunno... ANyway, from that year forward, I was on a quest. At first it was very hard to satisfy my urge for this music b/c it simply didn't exist where I lived. FOr chrissake, the first record I bought was a 45" single from the pac-n-sac grocery in Morehead City, Foreigner "Hot Blooded." Far from punk rock.

There was a girl in my school, can't remember her name, but she must have moved from somewhere else b/c she had weird shoes and a short haircut with a very long rat tail. I know now that is so cheezy, but at the time, it was so daring. And I wanted to look like her. I had permed and feathered hair like everyone else and my mother wouldn't let me go to the hairdresser ... it cost money. So I cut my own rat tail. Now, I though... "this is punk." Hahahahhahaha... meanwhile, I am at home singing along to Conway Twitty's "Lay Me Down" and Juice Newton's version of "Call me Angel" on the hi-fi on the weekends.

So, the shit hit the fan in Atlantic Beach by the time I was in 7th grade and I was forced to live with my dad in Raleigh. In retrospect, it was perfect timing. I had already started drinking and smoking and was most assuredly going to wind up pregnant at 16 and living in a trailer in Smyrna if I didn't get out of there. MOving to Raleigh was equal parts exciting and difficult. I was sort of a redneck (more than sort of), was very behind in school and didn't fit in with anyone. I didn't come from money and didn't have the cool clothes Raleigh kids had and I had a funny "down east accent" (Karen Mason and Karen Mann know what I 'm talking about), I was skinny... I had a stupid fucking rat tail... and had already seen and done way more than most of the kids I was around. So, I started naturally gravitating towards people that I guess were considered "rejects" so to speak, in that they were not the popular kids, or the rich kids or the top 40 well dressed kids. I tried to do some of that stuff... was a cheerleader for 2 years (all along with a funny skateboarder girl haircut and an affiinity for the CIrcle Jerks), but truth is, I never shared any similarities with the people onthe team.

BY the time I was in 8th grade, I was at Ligon MIddle School and was introduced to lots of bands like Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Violent Femmes, Adolescents, Exploited, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Siouxie & the Banshees, Cure, Smiths, etc. some of the more "accesible" punk rock and alternative bands....and I started to hang out with skater types, a few skin head types (they were unavoidable), and eventually, people that I would consider "true" punk rockers. Through their influences, I learned much more.

By the time I was in 9th grade, I was spending most of my weekends in School KIds records, and elsewhere, thumbing through records and picking out any and all records that had ANYTHING on it that looked "punk rock" and made a list of the stuff I wanted to buy. I mean, I had criteria...I wasn't going in completely blind.... the record at least had to have a skull on it, or pictures of people with mohawks, or some cursing on it, or something! If it did, I wanted to buy it, or get it somehow. That's how I learned about punk rock music and how I got to know people.... that and going to shows locally. I was young, sometimes too young, but I had a lot of older friends that sort of took me under their "punk rock wing" so to speak (Karen Mason, John Fletcher, Reed Mullin, etc.) that looked after me early on, helped me get into shows, and treated me well.

I loved the music. And I can't lie... I loved the fashion just as much. I was skinny and always had a hard time finding clothes that fit, so I learned how to sew. I made good friends. And I loved being part of a 2nd or perhaps even a 3rd generation of punk rock. I loved the community of it all and feeling like I belonged to something...after years of feeling like I belonged to nothing and nothing belonged to me.

I still love country music. Stop laughing.



2. What was the first local show that you were able to go to? Who was it? What did you think?

I cannot remember. I remember in close proximity going to a Circle Jerks matinee show at the Brewery, but also to a Social Distortion Show at the Brewery. I also saw JFA a number of times at some house where a bunch of skin heads lived. Come to think of it, why did they come to Raleigh so much Brian? I also saw the Butthole Surfers when I was 17 years old in Richmond. I was with Susie Grinstead and a girl named Carey that was from D.C. and always wore striped stockings. I used Susie's ID to get in. There is NO WAY they could have believed I was old enough to be there. It was at Rock'its. It was fucking mind-BLOWING. They still had the naked dancing girl back then and GIbby looked like Satan and they had videos of chickens getting their heads cut off and breast implant surgeries etc. I was so high. It was so exciting. When I went back to school that Monday, I felt cooler than any mother fucker in that place b/c of what I saw. I remember telling Kurt Midness about it and he was basically like, "who the fuck cares?" Really????


3. I am not sure if I remember if you were in any bands before Picasso Trigger. Were you? And if not, please explain how and why the band got together.

I was in no real bands before Picasso Trigger... it was my first.

4. I remembered you went through a lot of drummers before sticking with Jon McClain, who is a fucking great drummer. Who played before him, and why did you go through so many before Jon?

The way I got into the band was through Tom White essentially. I was at a party at "Pine Haus" (REmember MIke Pilmer, Skip Elseimer and that crew?)... Sam Mauney and LIsa Cooper were standing around with Tom White and talking about their new band which was originally started as a joke. They needed a singer. I volunteered, thinking it would be fun and maybe funny too (hearing what they were saying) and Tom urged them to take me on b/c I was loud. (I kind of hate that being the outstanding characterisitc that got me signed on, but oh well).

Tom White played drums for us for about 1 year before LIsa fired him. She hated hom lots... thought he was a jerk and lazy and a shitty drummer. He showed up high all the time, late, if at all, etc. Usually, it was me and/or Sam trying to calm her down, but eventually Sam joined in and wanted him fired too. He was fired. To this day, I think Tom thinks it's my fault for getting him fired. And I thikn he may still hate me? Wow.

THen we tried out MANY drummers that we didn't know (and didn't like) and finally settled on Steve Brian (who played with Jade, remember?) who just wanted to do it. I thought he was a great drummer and a good friend and super funny too. But then he had a young mid-life mental crisis and joined the Navy. He's still in the Navy and doing well. Probably better than if he stayed in Raleigh. He was melting.

Who was next? Chris Jones I think? Also a teriffic drummer and great friend. So talented. But I think streched too thin. I can't remember exactly what happened, but I think he was playing with Vanilla Trainwreck and MayEven at the time? Too much stuf and we were too serious at this point (we were no longer a "joke" we wanted to travel more, etc.) Not sure...

Then, I think we tried out Crow from Flat Duo Jets who, for some reason, was a big P. Trigger fan. He really wanted to do it at the time b/c I think he and Dexter had some falling out... but then they kissed andmade up and he was not in it....

THen, Jon McClain. Fucking awesome. So fun. Amazing drummer. Killer personality. A great back up when I got myself into fights (He called me "big tiny" which also became my CB handle on tour).


5. Looking back, you guys did a lot, put out some records and toured. How was that experience for you? I remember it was during the whole Chapel Hill explosion, which had some advantages for the Raleigh bands, at least that is what I think now! I am sure I didnt feel that way then. Do you agree? Why or why not?

We did do a lot and toured a lot, though I don’t think folks in Raleigh realized it, or cared. We didn’t play in Raleigh a whole lot because people just didn’t come see us there. Maybe it’s because everyone knew us, or knew us to the people we were, or didn’t “get it” or maybe we just plain sucked and we didn’t realize it. But they sure loved us in Chapel Hill. I have always thought that “Raleigh Rocks” way more than Chapel Hill and if you wanted to catch some lite f.m. post-punk alterna-crap, and do some pogo-dancing, or if you wanted to hear some washed up Athens-esque jangle pop, then Chapel Hill is your town! But in the same token I liked a lot of stuff from Chapel Hill that was sort of off beat, Pipe, Polvo, some Zen Frisbee, I always loved Flat Duo Jets, Southern Culture is/was fun…. but it’s interesting that such a different scene can exist just 30 miles away from one another. The truth is, a lot of the Raleigh bands had a buzz about them prior to the attention that Chapel Hill got during the big record stardom convention. Finger, Vanilla Trainwreck, P. Trigger, … etc. everyone was starting to edge onto the cusp of something ‘bigger’ before any of that Chapel Hill Stuff. HOWEVER, I agree 100% that the attention Chapel Hill got had a direct impact on greater attention being paid on Raleigh bands and may have resulted in bands from Raleigh being signed to the labels they did get signed to. We got signed to Alias, along with Archers of Loaf and Small b/c they happened to be at that shin-dig in Chapel Hill. Had we not played that show, we might not have been signed with them. We did get approached by SONY previously (gee, why didn’t we take that 1 million dollar offer again? Punk Rock Cred? WTF?), we had been targeted by Thurston & Kim as a fresh up and coming act (yawn), we did play with lots of riot girrrrrl bands that were all the rage (gag)… but yeah… seriously… the attention that Chapel Hill got, certainly helped Raleigh get on the map.

6. Why did the band disband?

This is a tough question to answer and I think everyone would answer a bit differently. I remember the night we broke up and what happened that night. I also remember exactly what had transpired the couple of nights before and what had been happening that tour… and while what happened over those few days and nights might have been the catalyst for the breakup, it was a long time coming.

My impression is this: We had just put out what I think was the best record yet. There was a significant buzz about the band. We were playing better shows, in better venues, with better bands, at good time slots, with reasonably good guarantees. And yet, shit was not going well. For example, we’d show up in Austin, where we had a great draw, and b/c one of the larger bands on the bill decides to add a band to the bill, we get shoved down to the 9:00 slot when no one is there. It didn’t matter what our contract said. There were nights that we would only get $200 of our $400 guarantee or something b/c not enough people showed up. We showed up at places where the bar had closed and our label or our booking agent hadn’t alerted us (e.g. – Wichita, Kansas). We had van trouble and the label wouldn’t bail us out. We argued with each other a lot. The label wouldn’t ship us shirts and CD’s when we ran out. They fucked up the artwork on our record and refused to fix it. They put us on the back burner for distribution, etc. So, all of these things made for angry people.

We argued a lot. Lisa, rest in peace and I loved her so much, could be very, very, mean. Sam was the consummate diplomat, but often felt like the mediator and/or parent of the bunch. And it was true. We had a pow-wow about mid-tour where we decided that we were no longer going to take the shit from the scabby club owners and if they refused to pay us our contracted amount, we would steal a mic stand, or speaker cable, or something. We agreed that no matter how many people were there, we would put on the best, craziest show, people had ever seen, and sort of… take the “Dwarves” approach of playing loud, fast and for no longer than 30 minutes no matter what. We agreed that we were through with being the nice guys and being understanding of the “do you all mind starting a little earlier/later…”

But even that came at a cost b/c I took that as carte blanche reason to act like a total fucking lunatic. So, now I have to tell you what my part in all of it was… embarrassingly …

I drank A LOT. I acted really crazy A LOT. And the truth is, that is what Lisa and Sam always wanted in a front person.. but they didn’t want to have to ride around in a van with that person. Sure, I was funny and jovial most of the time… but I also became a total pain in the ass, I am afraid. From the moment I stepped in the van to go on tour until the day I came back (30+ days at a time) I acted a fool. At shows, I would throw shit, jump on bars, spill drinks, ruin microphones, piss on the floor, kick in amps, break lights, wear diapers, take my clothes off, challenge people to fights (that I couldn’t win alone), shout obscenities at people, etc. OF course, this was part of the show at times… but at other times, it was a great way to get killed. (hence the nick-name “big tiny”). I was blessed, I guess, with the gift that I could talk my way into fights really well, but also was pretty good at talking my way out of them too.

The night before we broke up, we had played a show at some ivy league school in the north east. We were touring with Lazy from Cincinnati, OH and the Leaving Trains and a few shows with the Cows and Unsane. That night, I got really drunk and hopped up on the bar where a bunch of frat boys were sitting and kicked a bunch of drinks in their laps all the while making fun of their fratty ways, etc. They club owner turned us off, didn’t pay us, insisting that we pay the dry cleaning bills of the people that were there and the cost of the glass ware. Sam went to the van without saying a word to anyone. Lisa screamed at me back stage about how I needed to go talk to Sam about what had happened and apologize or he’s taking us all home the next day. I refused, pridefully, b/c I had done exactly what we talked about doing, as a band… at least so I thought. I was left to try to collect money from the owner. He basically chased us out and threatened to call the police practically. When I went to talk to Sam, he (who never gets mad) was so extremely upset he was almost despondent. Johnny was sitting in the back and Lisa was in the driver’s seat. They were pulling an intervention on me, of sorts… but of the kind that was, “Kathy, do you give a shit about this band, b/c if you do, you will apologize and stop this fucking craziness.” I didn’t apologize and Sam called the band off. Johnny started to cry. Lisa punched him in the gut and said, “man up you fucking pussy.” Just kidding about that part. Same summed it up by saying, and this is an exact quote…. “I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t be the dad anymore. This band is like being in a sick fucking relationship with a girlfriend that you just can’t leave.”

The next night, we played the Cyber Pass in Philly with Lazy. It was a packed house and the show was phenomenal. After we announced that it was to be our last show, we sold almost every piece of merchandise we had. I called my dad and told him that we were coming home a few weeks early, that we were not going to Europe as planned, and that I was really bummed. His response was, “sounds great hon, when are you going back to school?”

Driving back to NC, not ONE WORD was spoken other than to say, “does anyone need to use the bathroom.?”

Once we got home and the air cleared 2-3 months later. WE booked a last local show in Chapel Hill of COURSE… and we played a sold out show. I had written a long and apologetic letter to Sam in the hopes that we could reconcile, but he, at that point, didn’t want to do it anymore… period.

7. I remember that when i joined Polvo, it was when you were dating Steve. Joining Polvo was a great thing for me so let's get that straight, but it seemed really odd, the way that they worked at the time. I remember talking with you once about how maddening it was for you to watch these guys be so "whatever" about everything, which you know..they sort of were. Of course you don't have to answer this but Polvo was the only band in Chapel Hil that I really liked. Why was it frustrating?

Hmmmmmm. I'll try to answer this one. I have a hard time understanding why people don’t try to fulfill their potential. Anyway, …. I loved Polvo musically too (and of course, loved Steve), but it was frustrating for me to watch them have SO MUCH attention and not take advantage of that. Perhaps some jealousy? I am not sure. Perhaps it’s not the goal of every band to get signed, tour 8 months out of the year and make millions of dollars… but maybe touring some, playing out some, laying off the bong occasionally and taking charge…. marketing yourself… maybe that would have allowed you to at least make more money than you did? I just never understood the stoner mentality, though I have loved the weed myself occasionally…. “Fucking get up and do something” is kind of how I felt. “Strike while the iron is hot”… was my general emotion about that band…. And they (like All Night from Greensboro, for that matter) just never would take the plunge and get big when it was so at their finger tips!

8. You came back into music again as a bassist for I bleieve it was Bucks Deluxe. How was that? Was it fun? Liberating to play bass? How long was the band around for, and why did it disband?

I started playing in Bucks DeLuxe when I was introduced to Todd Sandvik by a girl I waited tables with at CafĂ© Luna. I had played bass since I was 18, but not in a band, or very well. I had written a few songs for P. Trigger but by far, wouldn’t have considered myself a “bassist” by any means when I joined B.DL. And I told Todd this, but it was okay. I learned as I went along and it was fine. I love playing bass and have played in a couple of bands up here in Richmond as a “bassist”. I guess I can finally call myself that now. I can play scales after all… ahahaha. It was super fun playing bass w/Bucks Deluxe b/c I really loved playing with those folks, Practice was fun, not hard work, which is how it became in P. Trigger. We’d drink and practice for hours… talk shit about our loved ones, etc. It was like a lodge meeting. What was super awesome about it was Christie Eames. She had been P. Trigger’s ride-along merch gal on many tours and was a dear friend. Being in a band with her was fun. Chris Niellson (sp?) and Todd were both really nice people. We were together for hmmmm…. Maybe 2 years as the members I just described? I left them and moved to NYC with Jeff Stewart (huge mistake). I went there to go to grad school, but instead ended up working at Citibank and drinking every night at Greenpoint Tavern, which is kind of like Bourbon Street used to be, but with Polish speaking people. (Also a huge mistake). They kept playing and got a new bass player, but I am not sure how long they were together thereafter.

9. When Double Negative went on tour awhile back we ran into Lisa Cooper. Rather then dwelling on what she was going through, we simply had a good time. Is there anything you would care to say about the passing of Lisa? She is one of a few ghosts hovering around, like Jere.

I am having a hard time with her having passed away. I actually went to see her back in the earlier days of her illness when I first found out b/c I knew that when she was diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 cancer that she would be short-timer. I know other folks were more positive about the possible treatment options for her, but I just knew I needed to go see her. I was 7.5 months pregnant when I got out there to see her and of course, she had lots of funny things to say about that. She, by all appearances at the time, was well. She looked a little puffy from the radiation and was markedly low-key and depressed, which was unlike her. We did the same thing, in terms of trying to keep it light and have fun. She was 100% convinced that she was going to survive it and that she would be cured. I didn’t share that sentiment and felt that it might the last time I saw her, but tried really hard not to cry or to talk about ‘treatment plans’ or ‘length or %rate of survival’ kind of stuff… but I really wanted to know. And over the following months when I would talk to her (or try to talk to her, she avoided a lot of her old friends more as she got worse off), I would ask more questions about her well being. When I had heard at the end of 2008 that she had taken a downward turn, I knew that it was the end. Sam Mauney and I arranged a trip together to go see her. We were going to leave on a Friday and come back on a Monday. I was going to drive to Raleigh and we’d take a plane together and have a chance to talk on the plane, which we hadn’t done for many years. I was really excited to go with Sam and to see Lisa and I knew that she would be so very excited. We told her good friend Tommie (from St. Louis) that we were coming and Dianna Mayo knew, but they didn’t tell Lisa we were coming until a couple of days before we were to board. Her response was luke warm with a “I’m not sure if I’m up to seeing anyone.” She was so very sick and in so much pain at that point. I was sorry we had waited so long cause we’d talked about it so many times…. Planning that trip…. Anyway, she died on that Wednesday before we were to leave. So we were about 2 days late getting there. I was despondent for days after that, wondering if she had anyone at her bedside when the lights went out. Wondering if anyone had visited her that day. Wondering if she wondered… if anyone in the world gave a shit about her. She came from such shitty family. Her family sucked so fucking hard. As their daughter lay dying in some hospital in St. Louis, they are back in Clayton probably complaining about the cost of cigarettes these days or some shit.

Lisa was hard-boiled. But she was witty, a musically gifted person, an incredible writer, a great friend to others, and just generally, very fun. She was like a big sister, to be really clichĂ©, I guess. She shared a lot of dark stuff with me that formed a trust between us that doesn’t happen often, even with girls. I think of her now and sometimes laugh out loud at how she would react about something I’ve seen, or what she would say if she was there….. she was so sarcastic!

Her passing away, of course, has made me realize my own mortality to some degree. I knew, simply b/c I know so many smokers, drug doers, hard-livers, etc., that sooner or later, I would have some friends or I myself, would get the cancer and perhaps die prematurely. I just didn’t think it would be Lisa… I didn’t think it would be so soon… I didn’t think it would hit me so hard.

Incidentally, I just received a 3 part box-package from St. Louis from Tommie Uptagraph, her friend from St. Louis. He was probably her closest friend. He was in charge of emptying her house, taking things to goodwill, etc. He found 3 boxes labeled “P.Trigger” which has many, many, many tid-bits of articles, news clippings, tapes, videos, mags, pictures, etc. in it. I got through box one Wednesday and sobbed. Decided to stop and try again this weekend. So, tomorrow, I’m going to try again.

It’s not that I saw her often, … it’s that she existed and I could see her, or call her… that made her alive. I missed her before… but now I miss her in a way that can’t be treated… And I’m not handling that too well to date.

10. What is your life like now? What are you doing these days? And when you look back on your time involved in music in Raleigh in the eighties, are you proud of it? Why or why not?

What is my life like now….. Whew… I’m lame.. I’m old… I’m washed up and no one really knows who I am, or who I was, or what I’ve done before. I live in Richmond, VA. Seriously…

I am pleased with the decisions I’ve made in the last 3-4 years. I hit a rough patch that I was not sure I was going to make it out of that lasted a couple of years. When I came to Richmond in 2000 to go to lawschool, it was my hope to quickly get in and out, come back to NC, take the bar exam and resume my life with Steve, at Octavia Street (of all places), maybe open a restaurant, practice law, get married, have a kid, help run Kings, whatevs…… I just knew I didn’t want to live in Richmond for sure. But 2003 came….. I stayed in Richmond to take the Virginia Bar Exam instead (at my dad’s urging… another mistake)…I failed the bar exam, Steve broke up with me after 11 years, my mother died, I had no friends in Richmond and I lived in a shitty fan apartment with nothing and nobody. As a result of the break up with Steve, I lost my dogs, the house that I had lived in off and on for years with Steve, all the furniture and pictures and memories and shit we built, all of my friends that ran in that little circle. I felt so betrayed and abandoned. It was the loneliest I had ever felt in my life and I really frankly, didn’t want to live it anymore. I guess I had always been defined by something, which maybe sounds ridiculous, but I was always, “Kathy Poindexter from P. Trigger” or “Kathy Poindexter that works at the Sting Ray” or “Kathy Poindexter, Steve Popson’s girlfriend” or “Kathy Poindexter that drives that ridiculous big car.” Or something like that….. Now, I found myself just being Kathy Poindexter, who wasn’t really all that special after all. I thought about moving to West Virginia where I had a close friend and help to run their storefront for a log cabin business. I thought about moving into a trailer I inherited down near Harker’s Island in Carteret County and just working on a boat for a while. I was so sad, I didn’t know what to do.

After about 2 years of nearly killing myself with PBR and makers mark, I managed to get my shit together, finally pass the bar exam on round 2, make some friends and start playing in 3 bands: Wiseacre – Played bass in a band with ex-member of dismemberment plan and unrest; The Celebs – A poppy punk band with local legend Nikki Price; and my own concoction, Death & Taxes – which was a traditional country/blue grass band. It seemed the busier I was, the less time I had to waller and I started to feel better. I was singled for 3 years and kind of liked it. I also waited tables… a good social job… and finally landed my first law job, which sucked, but paid really well. I ended up buying a house and resolving myself to just living in Richmond.

Death & Taxes started taking off and we were traveling a lot on weekends… there was a little buzz about us… we are playing in New York and Baltimore and… and blammo…. I started dating Mark Waterman! I hadn’t seen him for years, but we played a show down in NC (Oak Island) and Mark came there. We started talking over the phone and rekindling our friendship, etc. Then we started to get serious. We got married and now we have an awesome 2 year old named Abe and another baby on the way that is due in December. Death & Taxes played its last show when I was 7 months pregnant… I got kicked out more or less, from Wiseacre for not being able to practice enough. And the celebs drummer moved on to greener pastures. I now play in no bands, which I miss, but anticipate changing in the near future. I have been writing songs with Eric Johnson from Archers of Loaf and finishing them over email audio files. Odd?

I suppose I am happier in my life now than I have been in so many years.

It’s not what I had envisioned for myself. But, it might be better. I have never really been able to shed that Carteret County trailer park film that sort of covers my skin and haunts me at times. Sometimes I just have to sit back and be thankful for everything that has happened to me and the decisions that I’ve made… even the bad ones… b/c it all really has ended up having a good purpose.

(1) I’m glad my mom was a gutter drunk, b/c if she hadn’t been, perhaps her nagging ass would have been at home forcing me to turn off Night Flight. I might have never seen the Ramones or Blue Cheer or anything edgy. I might have not ever been drawn to the punk rock music and still singing along to Juice Newton songs on the hi-fi. Egads.

(2) I’m glad that I got a rat tail. I know it was totally fucking dorky, but at the time, it made me stand out just enough (that along with my fake vans) to not be accepted by the popular kids so that I could gravitate to and be accepted by the punk rockers!

(3) I’m glad that I drunkenly volunteered to sing for P. Trigger, not having any idea that what was intended to be a short lived joke band, would eventually be a very influential factor in my life and believe it or not, the lives of others!

(4) If I hadn’t joined Picasso Trigger, I might not have met Steve and had the experiences I had with him. I might not have had my heart broken for the first real time in my life. I might not have been humbled as I was… and so needed to be… so that I could be accepting of who I was alone as just plain old’ Kathy Poindexter…

(5) If I hadn’t moved to Richmond, I might have wound up living in some trailer park in Carteret County with 8 kids and a wife-beating husband…. Instead, I snared me up a good North Caroliner boy via long distance love affair and that has worked out quite well. Who the fuck knows… what I can say is this. I am 37. I am a lawyer and not just any lawyer, but a public defender. I am – and have always gravitated toward – the underdog. I am punk rock and have been since the 6th grade. I don’t care what anyone says! I may look really lame now, but the punk rock constitution is attached hereto. I married someone that has known me for many years, rather than marrying a stranger and with him, I have begun to build a life that has meaning beyond anything else. Luckily, he is from the same “culture” and our lives together make sense.

Playing in a band from Raleigh in the 80’s (and 90’s) was one of the greatest experiences of my life and one of my greatest accomplishments to boot. You shove any 4-5 people in a van with no A.C. for a month and half, playing shows for $5 a head and a free pizza, and if you can come back in one piece…. That’s a hell of an accomplishment! I am very proud of any part I or we may have had in fostering a healthy music community back then. I truly felt that I belonged to a community of musical superheros. They were friends and I guess… still are, even though I don’t live in Raleigh anymore… and I miss them and Raleigh, or at least what Raleigh used to be. I really, really, loved us.

If Lisa were here, she’d punch me in the pussy and call me a hippy for sure.

So, did you get more than you bargained for? This has actually been very cathartic for me actually.

9 comments:

mattack said...

Thanks for this. Kathy and I knew each other back in the P-Trigger days. I lived in Greensboro and worked at the Miracle House. My old bands played with P-Trigger a few times. Good to know that she's doing well.
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Awesome read. Truly. I am friends with her friend from WV, who sent this to me. Glad she did. And I remember Picasso Trigger fondly, Vanilla Trainwreck, etc. Us WV boys loved heading to NC to see the scene back in the day. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kathy,
Glad to hear you are doing well. O'Rocks shows were always great. I remember making you fix the hole in the wall you made before paying the band! John made sure you did a good job! I still listen to "falling off the planet" when driving to work! Rest in peace Lisa!

Anonymous said...

Any advice on if or where I could purchase some Death and Taxes music? (I stay in NC) Until recently, I always got my fix on the old Death and Taxes MySpace page, but it seems that Justin Tiberlake hath fucked that avenue up. Vinyl, cassette, cd, digital, it does not matter. I really want this music; it has some sentimental value to me. Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated.

J HO said...
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J HO said...
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J HO said...

Fascinating interview. I am so happy Kathy found happiness, is a successful public defender, and still subscribes to the Punk Rock ethos. Graduating from law school, passing the bar, and embarking on such a career is no easy feat. When I was in NC State engineering school, I got much joy from Picasso Trigger’s music and antics. They were my favorite. After reading this I could not resist buying some Picasso Trigger downloads and they brought back those memories.

Brandi R. said...

I liked Picasso Trigger, has been a long time since I've heard "bipolar cowboy". That was a great and interesting read. Here's to your happiness, Kathy, in wherever your music path leads you :)...

Anonymous said...

Also best fckn defense attorney ever. Light years smarter than most