The Glass Heroes Celebrate 20 Years of Street Rock

They say "old punks never die," and though the statement lacks some factual validity, it bears repeating in regard to The Glass Heroes, who celebrate 20 years of punk and roll this Saturday at the George and Dragon Pub.

"We have this joke that the last punk standing wins," laughs guitarist and singer Keith Jackson says. "We're all trying to outlive each other at this point."

Along the way, the band has played with punk legends like The Sex Pistols,TSOL, Motorhead, MC5, and more. Jackson's always down to spin a yarn or two, and it seems natural that in recent years he's devoted almost as much time to acting as he has rocking. He appeared in Queens of Country (playing a young Maynard James Keenan's father) and is slated to appear in an upcoming film about Hells Angel founder and Cave Creek resident Sonny Barger.

But movies aren't all that Jackson's been up to. He and the rest of the Heroes -- Steve Shelton, Steve Davis, and A.D. Adams -- are gearing up for a new record, which Jackson says features a mix of dark material and plenty of melodic, power-pop inspired hooks.

"We're just a rock 'n' roll band," Jackson says. "I was inspired by The Clash: three chords and the truth. It's always worked for us."

He regrets that the show falls on the same night as a benefit for Ross Wincek, the loyal and much-loved bartender at Hollywood Alley, who recently suffered a stroke. "I've spent a lot of time at Hollywood Alley. In fact, I dated a cocktail waitress there," he chuckles. "Ross is such a good guy. It sucks, because I want to be part of that, but I'm going to make sure I do something later on."

He credits the Heroes' longevity to a lack of infighting and ego, as well as the band's sound, which crosses genre lines without much thought.

"Metal heads, punks, two-tones, skins . . . we kind of draw a diverse crowd," Jackson laughs. In many ways, it goes back to his introduction to punk at a young age.

"In the late '70s, there were no lines," he says. "You'd go see Elvis Costello and there'd be a guy with an afro, a red jacket, and white dress shoes right there in the audience with someone wearing leather, you know?"

The Glass Heroes are scheduled to perform on Saturday, April 28, at The George and Dragon Pub.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.