I first saw "Sioux City Pete" fronting for a gritty little band called Kidd Death in the dark and musty basement of an old abandoned school house in 1990. Kidd Death stole my musical innocence by audaciously and unapologetically crooning about such taboo topics as rape, addiction and the evils of capitalism. Pete had another-worldly talent for dragging his audience kicking and screaming about 5 miles beyond their comfort zone into the realm of absolute human corruption…and the audience loved him for it! Pete taught us the truth of rock and roll…music should be hard, fast and dangerous…it’s about sex and death and the darkest, basest desires of humanity. Music should grab your soul and whip it around like a cat by the tail…and sent you free-falling into the universe without a parachute! In short, Sioux City Pete ruined music for me. I would never again be content with Top 40 drivel. I would never be able to tolerate bands that simply stand and play a nice, polite, orderly set. Anything short of complete oblivion would forever be considered a complete and utter failure.
Over the years, I would watch Pete move from band to band, pushing the boundaries of all things safe and sacred. Kidd Death morphed in to Syphilis…a band so raw and out of control that they managed to intimidate the infamous GG Allin so bad that Mr. Allin refused to take the stage. After Syphilis came the Sioux City Sheiks, Fur and The Chickenhawks. Throughout all of these incarnations, one thing has remained the same…loud, dangerous, beastly, and sexual…always pushing the limits.
Sioux City Pete and the Beggars is by far my favorite embodiment of Pete’s bands. The Beggars are always in your face, forcing you to admit that human beings are disgusting, vile animals. Crooning about our most appalling practices (addiction, pedophilia, murder, mayhem), the Beggars preside over the ancient practice of catharsis through theatre. Often walking a thin line between music and a Theatre of the Absurd performance, the band members are absolute geniuses at raising of energy and summoning of our own darkest demons, the writhing panic and uninhibited frenzy…and finally the purging release of all the darkness. Sioux City Pete and the Beggars isn’t just another band…it is syrup of ipecac for your soul!