Skinheads Can't Read

No San Diego bands played the British Invasion concert in San Bernardino on March 4. Veteran SD punker Mike Virus (of the band Cheap Sex) was in the audience at around 7:30 when the music stopped and the mayhem began.

"The outdoor stage had the American bands. The British bands played on the indoor stage.... The Nazis started chanting white-power chants outside. A fight broke out, and one of the skinheads got stabbed. I saw cop cars get hit with rocks. They teargassed outside, then they teargassed inside. There were thousands of people inside, which led to people rushing out of the building. Some kids got trampled. That's when the helicopters started circling the premises and dropping teargas bombs.

"That's when the full-scale riot broke out and people spread throughout the city. Certain kids took it upon themselves to destroy businesses and private property.... I saw restaurants and stores get completely trashed and Dumpsters lit on fire.... Everyone is to blame, including the venue. They had a private parking area you paid $10 to park in. The venue instructed the cops to barricade off the parking area. I asked if I could just get my car and leave, and the cops just pushed me away....

"I couldn't get to [my girlfriend] for five hours. She kept calling me hysterically, saying they were shooting people with pellet guns. I told her to find a place to hide. She's standing there in a mini-skirt, tube top, and fishnet stockings in the middle of a riot, and it's freezing. While I was trying to get to my girlfriend, a cop pointed a gun at me and told me to get back."

Once Virus found his girlfriend, they couldn't drive away.

"The venue had all the cars towed away. It cost me $200 to get my car back and 48 hours to track it down. The whole night put me out $500....

"Certain bands [at the show] attract skinheads. Last Resort draws a Nazi crowd even though they themselves are not Nazis. The Adicts draw skinheads because they dress up like Clockwork Orange. The skinheads are attracted to Red Alert, who certainly don't write Nazi songs. But these skinheads can't read. All they see is the skinhead, and that gets them going."

Two serious injuries were reported, and the mayor of San Bernardino said live rock shows would be suspended at the Orange Show Pavilion.

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