90s in 90 Days #27: Loud Lucy and the, um, N*** (an oral history storytelling)

90s in 90 Days #27:  Loud Lucy and the, um, N**** (an oral history storytelling)

In the mid-90s, Loud Lucy got to travel the country in support of their Geffen album “Breathe.”  Their touring van wasn’t quite the urban assault roadster most bands envision when they first dream of going on tour.  Drummer Mark Doyle and singer/guitarist Christian Lane explained:

Mark Doyle:
(The person who gave us a van) was a friend of Christian’s family.  He had a flower shop in Lasalle Illinois, or wherever that small town is they’re from.  He gave him the van to use for touring.

Christian Lane:
It was little black van, but it had little white flowers and white letters, and it said “Jerry’s Flower Barn” on it.  It was such a little sissy van—Jerry’s Flower Barn.

This is our first trip to New York, (we’ve) never been to New York before.  We had a map, but it wasn’t a street map—it was a map of the country.  We go across, I think it was the Washington Bridge—our friend Franz lives on 1st Avenue and Kent, and we’re going to stay at his place.  So we go across the bridge and I see 1st Avenue.  I’m like, “Oh, perfect.  Take a right here.  1st Avenue, we’ll just go down until we hit 10th Street, and we’re done.”  Well, 1st Avenue obviously runs the length of Manhattan.  So it’s like saying “Take a right on the Kennedy Expressway.”  We had no idea, so we start driving.  All of a sudden, we notice we’re driving through Harlem.  We hear gunshots, and everyone is shitting in their pants.  Everyone that can is hunkered down and hiding.  I’m just thinking, “This is bad, this is bad.  We’re not going to make it, this is bad.” We finally find Franz’s house, and we get out of the van.  Everyone’s still pretty scared.  And on the side of the van was spraypainted “THE NIGS.”  

So we got tagged somewhere, while driving, in Harlem.  Must’ve been at a stop sign or something. Somebody just ran up to the van and spraypainted the side of it.

So on front of the van, it’s got this little flower sign in all this (feminine) type of writing, and on the side you now have “THE NIGS.”

Mark goes, “Jerry’s Flower Barn.  If you’re the Nigs, and you saw Jerry’s Flower Barn, why would you be offended?  Why would you be threatened by Jerry’s Flower Barn?”  That was Loud Lucy for you.


90s in 90 Days

Over the course of 90 days (not consecutive, though I’ll try), I’ll be offering up a capsule look at something about Chicago music from the 90s.  It could be a radio memory.  Thoughts on a song, show, band, or album.  Maybe a review aided by hindsight.  Whatever it is, it’ll be original content just for this site, and not found in my book.  

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