TURBONEGRO Frontman Addresses New York Bottle Incident

TURBONEGRO frontman Hank Von Helvete has issued a statement addressing the March 30 incident in New York when he was bottled off stage, leaving him hospitalized.

Von Helvete's statement reads as follows:

"Dear Fans, Friends and Turbojugends.

"As you surely know, the US tour is now over, and I'm back home in Oslo Norway. Four weeks of crusading the states have surely given me some experiences for better and worse. Well it turned out to be more for the better than worse. This tour has in fact been the best one I've ever done. All shows were great, and that is exceptional.

"There is of course this one little incident containing a bottle, a cancelled show and some stitches. I'm talking about the Mercury Lounge show in New York. I have registered that this small incident has been noticed by a great number of fans and it has been written lots about it. I feel I should give you all my own version of how I myself saw things as they happened and my impression of the aftermath:

"First I want to underline the fact that we'd never played a show in NY before and I was extremely exited about the two shows we were going to play at the Mercury Lounge. They were both sold out, and we were all thinking that it would have been better to play a larger venue. But two shows in this rather small club was OK too. No one were complaining. And when I entered the stage that evening, I felt real good and randy-ready to give the NY crowd another kick-ass TURBO rock shock. And the crowd were really ready to receive my darkness and my denim magick. We opened the usual way, with 'Pamparius', and everybody sang along. In short: A great crowd and a great night. I think we were playing 'Back to Dungaree High' — the second song, when I felt the first bottle hitting me in the chest and on my chin. It was an empty bottle, and the chest took off the hardest impact. I wasn't hurt, but I got a bit pissed. I was also a bit stunned, since the vibes in the crowd were so good. I remember thinking 'Hey! Who would go trough a hassle to get tickets to a sold out show if they like me so little that they would bottle me...?' It really puzzled me, and I asked myself how I could give a signal to the audience that I'm not into that violence-punk shit. I also went over to Happy Tom and made him aware of that there was an asshole in the audience, and that he should keep his eyes open.

"The best thing to do in a situation like this, is to go on with the show and not start a fight with the crowd, It's only one guy who acts stupid. 99.99% of the audience were just into the show and were totally innocent. So I announced the next song with a small comment that I don't like to be used as a target - and that throwing shit at me would surely be 'A Selfdestructo Bust'.

"It felt just like someone had hit me really light and friendly in the back of my head. First I thought that Happy Tom was trying to cheer me up with a buddy-slap but then I saw A FULL CORCKED BEER BOTTLE lying on the stage in front of my feet, and I realized that I was lucky to be standing up even. Had it hit my face or another vulnerable place, I would be hurt bad. I got really angry, and went over to Dean, my tour manager, and said 'That's it. If you can't get the security to do their job after one bottle hit, so I have to take a second, I'll stop playing. I want the thrower taken, and I don't wanna be hit a third time. He fucking hit me with a full bottle!' I said, and rubbed the head where I was hit. It was starting to ache like hell, and it felt warm and wet. I looked at my hand, and then I saw the blood. It was bleeding real bad, so it was simply impossible to keep playing.

"I really felt bummed out that the New York show that I had been looking so much forward to had to be stopped like this, and the crowd were really bummed out too. Some of them had travelled more than 20 hours to see us play. Now it was over - after 3 songs. What a welcome.... But HEY! It was just one guy who embarrassed a city of 11 million people. And the bottle thrower were in for a shit load of punishment from a city that had got their honor and hospitality image hurt. Some of the many Turbojugends that were there started a campaign of gathering intelligence that singled out the guy who threw the bottles. It turned out to be this mohawk wearing jock punk who had done it, and after having been asked why he did it he stupidly replied 'Hey! Isn't this a punk show?'. It turned out he didn't even know what band he had come to see. He just came to see a punk show.... Probably his first, after having read about GG ALLIN and violent punk shows in the late seventies. And this guy didn't see anything wrong in throwing a full beer bottle at a person, so I guess the guys who beat him up were actually teaching this guy a lesson he needed, even though I personally think it was a bit harsh to systematically knock ALL his teeth out of his mouth. But all in all I can't feel sorry for him. I'm just proud of my fan club. This was a perfect example for all TJ's to follow. To stand up for each other is paramount - not only for us in the band but for all TJ members.

"To shorten this whole story - I went to hospital and got five metal staples in my head, and was sent back to my hotel. The day after we played in a bigger and better venue - The Bowery Ballroom. Everyone who had gotten their night messed up by mister 'I lost My Teeth Cause I acted Real Stupid' could use their tickets for this show. And I think New York made up for the embarrassing first welcome of TURBONEGRO.

"When I disregard the bottle incident, I feel that the US tour this spring is one of the best I've ever done. There were no bad shows and the crowds were amazingly into our stuff. Even people who saw us for the first time were turned into our shows, and it was extremely cool to see how many fans came a long way to see us. Some even came all the way from Argentina.

"The most awesome thing I experienced during the tour, was the friendship and support we got from the guys in QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. Those guys made us feel really welcome on the road, and even though we were the support band, Nick, Josh, Troy, Joey and Mark made us feel we were part in delivering a total rock'n'roll package. Thank you brothers. I love you all.

"So dear people - I have given you my own version of things as I saw them. Now I'm building up for the Europe tour in May.

"I bid you all farewell."


Posted in: News


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