There's nothing I could say about local band The Eat that is not going to come across like some dribbly fanboy slosh. But I'll say it now, as I've said it a thousand times and will continue to say till my dying day: I fucking love The Eat! Seriously, I started loving the group when I moved to Miami in '91 and acquired a beat-up tape that held half the band's Scattered Wahoo Action album. And I've followed them all the way up through last year's Alternative Tentacles double-CD reissue.
The Eat's mythos stems from a rock and roll timing that helped bridge (and eventually galvanize) the glamorous Seventies and the lawless seediness of Eighties Miami. And they did that with what local legend Charlie Pickett has in the past described as "Eddie O'Brien's black Irish sense of humor." With the Communist Radio/Catholic Love and God Punishes The Eat EPs, The Eat set the tone of raucous punk rock garage hardcore for many bands to come. By switching up the creative ante for a more rocking and pop-sensible sound with the full-length Scattered ..., they proved their versatility and adaptability. Although the local press might've considered them a bunch of snots, Eddie and Michael O'Brien, Chris Cottie, and Kenny Lindahl were intelligent musicians and all-around nice guys who always performed to their fullest and delivered the very best set they could.
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Cottie's passing on June 6, 2004, dealt a heavy blow to the South Florida music scene. Not only had he anchored The Eat and the Drug Czars, but also he had forced every member of the Eagles to purchase Eat 7"ers. Plus he had made his bones while touring with David Allan Coe. My favorite rock and roll moment was not meeting Iggy Pop at Churchill's or sitting next to Carlos Santana on a one-hour flight to the Dominican Republic. No. My favorite rock and roll moment was catching The Eat on my birthday, September 21, 1996, at Churchill's. A couple of the tracks from that gig are on the live disc of the discography. Thirty years after their band's first incarnation, those guys still rock around town, balancing their day lives while showing the youth how it's done.
The Eat performs Saturday, February 2, at Churchill's, 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami. Doors open at 9 p.m., and tickets cost $10. Those 18 and older are welcome with ID. Call 305-757-1807, or visit www.churchillspub.com.
Do yourself a favor. Do your community a favor. Get the AT discography (59 songs that'll make the rest of your CDs commit suicide) and get your ass down to Churchill's this Saturday to see rock and roll played right. I'll be there, because I fucking love The Eat!