Second Offense

Second Offense

What a lineup Emo's is having this weekend! There's the Dictators on Saturday and a reunion of Austin's hardcore legends the Offenders the night before, Friday. For those unfamiliar, the Offenders started in Killeen in 1978 and for a while had a young Mick Buck on vocals before musical differences set in. The "permanent" lineup of Tony Johnson, JJ Offender, Mikey Donaldson, and Pat Doyle cut a swath through Austin clubs for a time until the inevitable burnout and a final show at Woodshock '86. In the early Nineties, threats began flying when a partial Offenders reunion didn't meet the approval of the other members, but unlike the Dead Kennedys, that didn't cause this reunion to feature a new frontman culled from the world of Sixties sitcoms. "That would've been J.J., who was playing," recalls Doyle, "and I think I threatened him." It turned out J.J. wasn't using the name Offenders after all, he was going under the name Better Off Dead, and so things settled down. "We were still pretty bitter back then, but a lot of water has gone under the bridge," says Doyle, explaining that it's the return of Mikey Donaldson from San Francisco (he moved there to play with MDC in '86) that cemented the reunion. "Mikey has been the catalyst," he explains, and his return to Austin made an Offenders regrouping inevitable. With the teenage Snobs (and the Punkaroos) opening, Doyle is expecting a unique mix of young and "geriatric" punks in the audience. "From what I've heard, the Snobs' shows are pretty wild," says Doyle, "and their fans listen to the Offenders and make homemade Offenders shirts and stuff, so it should be great." Meanwhile, he's been hard at work convincing lazy old friends to stay up long enough to come to the show. Coming up, a SXSW gig, and after that, who knows? "We're not making any plans to stay together," says Doyle, "but we're not making any plans not to stay together either."

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