A teen rocker from upstate earned his faux-hawk the old-fashioned way last weekend when cops in Red Hook decided to teach him a lesson about being a punk in the city.
Police officers arrested a 16-year-old drummer from upstate Woodstock who was in Red Hook for a gig, picking him up on June 2 for allegedly scrawling a microphone-sized black tag.
It was the first time sirens had interrupted a rock show at the Liberty Heights Tap Room, the Van Dyke Street club that is the epicenter of the kidcore scene, the cola-fueled, punk-influenced, power-youth movement.
One de rigeur kid rock band, Care Bears on Fire, includes Lucien Buscemi, 16, the son of actor and Park Slope resident Steve Buscemi. Another hot band, the Tangents, boasts Miles Robbins, 12, the son of Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, on bass guitar.
The graffiti-writing drummer — the son of a British journalist not a movie star — allegedly “tagged up” at the corner of Dwight and Beard streets, one block from the bar. Cops from the 76th Precinct searched him and a 15-year-old companion before booking the drummer — though charges were dropped a few hours later and he was released, still dressed in his gig-day CBGB T-shirt. (The Brooklyn Paper is withholding his name because he was not charged with a crime.)
The young drummer expressed regret for, well, being such a punk.
His father, Charles Laurence, described the arrest as a lesson in the “distinction between art and reality. And learning crossing the line can bring painful consequences.”
And painful it was.
“They had him against this brick wall in a place he doesn’t know, and basically scared the daylights out of him,” said Paul Mones, a witness to the arrest and the father of two members of the arrested rocker’s band, the Defenestrators.
A lesser band would have been defeated by losing a drummer minutes before a gig, but the Defenestrators’ Saturday afternoon show did go on.
“We were going to play electric, but our drummer ran into trouble and so we’re going acoustic,” announced the band’s lead singer, Wyatt Mones.
The first song played by the Defenestrators was an ironically prophetic pop-punk ditty called “Curiosity Killed Me” that had Mones crooning, “I just found out crime doesn’t pay.”
In the end, Mones and the band’s seemingly requisite faux-hawk to the show, said the arrest had its own silver lining.
“It was interesting,” he said. “Without the drums so loud, we could hear more clearly what’s wrong with our songs.” Fans said they were more bothered by the prospect of a drum-less rock band than the drummer’s inky addition to the neighborhood’s industrial landscape.
“It’s Red Hook. There’s graffiti everywhere. Me being a teenager, I’m not bothered. Maybe a 40-year-old would be,” said St. Anne’s eighth grader Parker Ash, the cherub-faced former lead singer for the band Pony, which recently broke up because of “ego issues.”
Ash said that he had seen worse.