Grave Matter

There used to be a problem with punk rockers not respecting their elders. But for one of the finest punker outfits in the state, it's no problem--they don't have any elders.

One Foot in the Grave surely must be the greatest punk band ever to emerge from a retirement community. Songwriter Gavan Weiser cranks out frenetic, catchy tunes with lyrics concerning such standard punk themes as menopause, soft stools, the thrill of golfcart driving and--naturally--life in the 'hood: Sun City.

Here are some sample lyrics, to the song "Menopause":
Say hello to life's frustration
Say goodbye to my menstruation
I never had an education
Like menopuase, menopause, menopause. . . .
Hit my son during my hot flash
For pointing out my new moustache
The house is a wreck and I don't care
I just sit around in men's underwear. . . .

Vocalist JoDina, who composed this verse in collaboration with Joey Scazzola (her son) and Ron Morey, sings the lyrics perfectly in her flat, obnoxious bray, when she's not busy stage-diving. But the geriatric band members and the subject matter of the songs make it easy to overlook one factor: One Foot in the Grave is a great punk band, and should never be written off as a novelty.

Despite two albums and a loyal audience in Europe, they've been pretty much ignored locally. This might be partly their own doing; they rarely perform live in Arizona. A welcome exception is Sunday, November 15, when, as a warm-up for their latest European tour, they play Joe's Grotto.

Bring your grandma, and start a mosh pit when One Foot in the Grave plays its anthem "Sun City Rocks."

--Barry Graham

One Foot in the Grave is scheduled to perform at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, November 15, at Joe's Grotto, 13825 North 32nd Street. 992-1007.

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Barry Graham