Long before mall punk bands like Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory were all the panic at the disco, there was a time in the '80s when punk fans were often called "fags" and targeted for ass-kickings by jocks and good ol' boys. So it made sense in 1982 when Joe King, a.k.a. Joe Queer, started one of the most in-your-face punk bands to date and dubbed it The Queers. Throughout the past two decades, The Queers have kept a distance from the fashion show the punk scene has become. The band's turned down some huge shows, including a prime slot on the Vans Warped Tour, and never pined for high-profile contracts, highfalutin publicity, and making the beaucoup bucks. Instead, The Queers built a grassroots following playing sardonic, take-no-prisoners aggro punk on their own terms, releasing albums with titles like Love Songs for the Retarded and Beat Off. The band's got a rep that borders on legendary within the punk underground, a new live CD (Weekend at Bernie's) out now, and a studio LP expected this winter, so Joe Queer couldn't be busier or happier, as he recently said in an interview with Westword. "We've got our own little corner of the world, and if this is as good as it gets, then this is better than I ever dreamt it would be."
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