The History of Local Rock
[RE: "2004 Spring Crawl Wrap," April 28-May 5]: At first, I looked upon Michael Henningsen's criticism of our band's whining about getting a better time slot at the Spring Crawl as being inconsequential, as only three or so people really ever read what he has to say during any given week. But when not one, but two people mentioned to me that he was ragging on our band for two weeks straight, I had to investigate. It seems that we give Michael no end of trouble! I am not surprised. There is a history here.
I have known Michael Henningsen for almost 20 years. A mere lad of 15, I was playing in his kid brother's band, and Henny was in a kick-ass glam rock group called "Pretty in Pink." I was awed by his "Fuck You" demeanor, as well as his pink VW bug, pink bass, pink amp, pink leg warmers, well, you get it. Even then, he berated me constantly about my substandard musical equipment when we would practice in the garage of his rich parents' house in the foothills. If Henny was home during our practice, I was sure to get a verbal beating about my gear or technique every time. Thinking back to those long-haired-Mike days, it was like being belittled by the lead singer of Stryper, only in a pink jumpsuit instead of a bumblebee one. Now that I really think about it, I'd say he looked more like a stick of gum that someone dropped in a barber shop. Either way, I am not surprised to see that he is still such a negative Nancy today.
In addition to his berating us for our whining for a better time spot, Henny has been quick to draw attention to our sloppy musicianship and unoriginality over the years through his position at the Alibi. To his credit, such reviews were probably better than we deserved! They are also exactly what one would expect to see coming from a communist sympathizer short hair hippie type like Michael Henningsen. He has been actively trying to discourage and silence us for years through write-ups that may be droll and slighting in the minds of Henny and his ilk, but are praise to us. It has also come to my attention that he has been instrumental in getting us inconvenient time slots at the crawls in his discourteous endeavor to shut us up, sometimes at venues with no P.A or soundman, so that there is no set! Liberals like Henny often try to destroy that which they do not understand or approve of. This dilemma is probably not entirely his own fault, as it is common to see the burden of wealthy parents rebel against "the man," especially during their college years. It's just that most of them grow out of it when they mature a little and start making real money. Despite his animus toward us, I have always found Michael to be a likeable sort. He is pleasant to talk to if you like to talk about KISS, and these days, I am happy to say, he keeps his meanness as far as our band is concerned to the printed word, not bringing it up in polite conversation. I like to think of Henny as the giant balding, middle aged, marshmallow man nerd in leather pants in all of us. And I think we all should embrace our inner nerds, and hope that they avoid being kidnapped whilst seeking drugs and are consequently run roughshod inside their own car trunks. So in spite of our rough patches, I have to say that Henny is really a good dude, but I wouldn't accept a drink from him unless the bottle is still capped, and if he starts to rub your shoulders, make sure that you know someone else in the room.