THE MOST FUCKED UP THING I’VE EVER SEEN: Brian Baker of Bad Religion

Bad Religion

You’re about to enter a world of pain. Since BLURT launched in 2008 we’ve asked musicians, comedians and authors to write about their most outrageous stories. They’ve really delivered the gross-eries – we have sex, scat, puke, violence and heart-wrenching tragedy among almost three dozen columns at BlurtOnline.com and in the print magazine. What follows another true story of seriously fucked-up events: it might make you laugh; it might make you cringe; it might even make you puke. Grab a bucket; it’s about to get weird. —As told to Senior Editor Randy Harward

HEY, THERE’S FUCKIN’ ARTIMUS PYLE!

 By Brian Baker of Bad Religion

When I was with Junkyard, we opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd. That tour has enough stories for an entire novel in itself. One show was at an amusement park in Canada, I think. My memory sucks. The Internet would know this.

Do you remember when Lynyrd Skynyrd had their famous plane crash? Artimus Pyle was the guy that pulled the survivors out of the plane. He had a broken leg and he still walked a few miles to a farmhouse to find help.

So on the tour we were doin’, Skynyrd had two drummers: Pyle and Kurt Custer. And you know, in Southern rock, two drummers is not that weird. Anyway, Pyle decided to climb the lighting rig during the show. He was maybe 100 feet above the fuckin’ stage, and everyone’s pointing at him. “Hey, there’s fuckin’ Artimus Pyle!”

He wasn’t supposed to drink on that tour. But earlier he’d gone into our dressing room and drank all of [Junkyard singer] David Roach’s whiskey. So when Skynyrd came onstage, Artimus Pyle wasn’t there, or at least ready to go. That’s basically when they fired him. We watched him get fired from the band he saved from a burning plane.

Ed note: The ostensibly official accounts of the plane crash make no mention of Pyle’s monkey business as the reason for his dismissal. That said, we prefer Baker’s account. Punk legends Bad Religion released their sixteenth album, True North, last year via Epitaph Records.

Leave a Reply