Screeching Weasel Frontman Punches Two Women During SXSW Show, Issues Apology with No Specific Mention of Having Punched Two Women

03/21/2011 9:00 AM |

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This one hasn’t actually been getting quite as much attention as I thought it would, I guess because everyone was too busy talking about how pleased they were that motherfucking P. Diddy showed up at SXSW or whatever, but during legendary punk band Screaching Weasel’s own SXSW performance at the Scoot Inn & Bier Garten on Friday, frontman Ben Weasel was involved in an ugly altercation that started when a woman near the stage reportedly threw an ice cube at him. Weasel, real name Foster, angrily leapt off the stage and unleashed a wild right-hand punch that clearly, frighteningly, landed squarely on her face. A second woman, reportedly the owner of the venue, quickly stepped in, and then Weasel punched her, too—first in the chest, and then in the side. There is video, of course, and it’s incredibly hard to watch.

The details and backstory are meaningless, obviously, but Weasel was apparently in a foul mood before the show even started, carrying on like a juvenile malcontent in an interview with Aux.TV about his distaste for the festival. “I’m embarrassed to be playing it,” he said, “I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into this debacle. It’s a paid vacation for rock critics and industry hacks and we’re the suckers who provide the free entertainment.” He took his dopey schtick to Twitter, too. “I’m about to go play for free for douchey rock critics” was one of my favorites, but there’s plenty of ‘em to sort through.

On Sunday, two days after everything went down, Weasel issued an apology via his website, and he mostly comes off like a disgruntled 8-year-old whose parents made him say he was sorry for, like, tripping his younger sister or something. Crazy thing is, and I don’t know if there are legal concerns here or what, but he makes no specific mention of the fact that he was viciously pounding on two women, saying only that he’s sorry “for [his] actions.” And most frustratingly of all, he still seems somewhat bent on letting everyone know he was provoked, albeit with, you know, a fucking ice cube. “Whatever my feelings are about fans crossing the line like that,” he says, I wish I could have that moment back and deal with it in the same spirit as I did the preceding 60 minutes.”

The band cancelled its scheduled performance in San Antonio on Saturday, and there’s not yet been word about their next show, April 7, in Philadelphia. One hopes this story gets a bit more play from some of the bigger music news outlets, and also that the next generation of kids who might be turned on to the many classic pop-punk records Weasel has admittedly been responsible for will place their allegiance elsewhere. May I suggest the Bouncing Souls?

18 Comment

  • This sounds like a really objective re-telling of events. Should we (the youth) take down the bands website too? Yea!
    Hi, I’m Mike Conklin. I don’t think often. When a situation arises, I simply apply a liberal ideology with a total disregard for circumstance. Details? Backstory? Pah! Meaningless! And, anyway, who has the time what with all of this blogging? A knee-jerk reaction will due.
    Great job Mike.
    ps the bouncing souls are super gay.

  • I’m very tall, and I went to the Creator’s Project event in Manhattan. While listening to the Rapture, a very drunk woman behind me got upset that she couldn’t see the band, so she flicked her drink at my back, continually, until I noticed and turned around. She laughed drunkenly, and I grabbed her arm to tell her to stop.

    And everybody around got mad at ME because I DARED touch a GIRL.

    I’m still bitter and mystified to this day. Sometimes women are serious bitches — in New York, maybe the word “sometimes” doesn’t belong in that sentence. But God forbid you touch them! They’re delicate little flowers, and that’s ABUSE!

    Obviously this Screeching Weasel is a *bit* more serious, and there’s absolutely no justification for violence, but I definitely feel for the lead singer. It’s ridiculous that women can do whatever they want — including throwing drinks and/or ice cubes at you — and men just have to put up with it. I realize it’ll be incredibly unpopular for me to say this, but men HAVE to be allowed some way to — not fight back, but stop them.

  • @ ohhey
    You are a big fucking fuckwad. Let’s fight!

  • @Jonny Diamond

    A big fucking fuckwad? That cuts to the bone. I demand satisfaction, sir!

  • Let’s all step back a minute here. He HIT A WOMAN with his FIST. And then went after ANOTHER ONE. Not just a slap, or a backhand. He went IN FOR IT. If he does that in public, god knows what he does in private. That guy is a whackjob and I hope those women press charges. And that also goes out to you guys commenting on this post who are obviously nursing wounded egos who lack the wit and maturity to deal w/ annoying douchey people, be they women or men out in public.

  • @jinna
    I agree with you (and with Mike). I honestly was mad at ohhey for being a fuckwad and typing stupid, stupid things. And I do honestly want to fight him. Which is probably pretty immature of me.

  • > And that also goes out to you guys commenting on this post
    > who are obviously nursing wounded egos who lack the wit
    > and maturity to deal w/ annoying douchey people

    Okay, Woman With the Wit and Maturity to Deal With Annoying Douchey People, what would you do if a woman threw a drink at you and you couldn’t throw a drink at her (because you didn’t have one) and you couldn’t touch her? I breathlessly await your wisdom.

    Last, if you’re this stupid in public, I hate to see how dumb you get when you’re alone.

  • Congratulations Jonny Diamond. You’ve allowed a stranger on the interwave to upset you to the point of violent desires. Enjoy the benefits of being e-punched in the face.
    ps no one cares who you agree with.

  • Jonny Diamond, the singer punched someone in the face who spit ice at him. That is not a reciprocal action. Yes, people, men and women, can be assholes. However, you can use other methods of dealing with assholes besides punching them in the face. It was a bad decision on his part. Admit it.

  • @Buzz
    “I agree with Jinna (and with Mike).”
    @ohhey
    Someday maybe we’ll get a chance to punch each other in a fair and organized fashion, away from the bright scrutiny of the internet.

  • Well, since the teeming masses are asking for my valued opinion, and having been spit (spat?) on before, I had the wit and maturity to deal with this by…approaching a cop in the vicinity (there was one around) and learning that I had the right to file an assault complaint. Because under most state laws, that is a form of physical assault. True, not nearly as thrilling as punching the douchey person ((R) (T) (c) 2011 Jinna), but I’m pretty sure they’re not spitting anymore. Well, ok, probably because I ripped out the douche’s tongue, but that is neither here nor there.
    Hope that cleared that up. Tootles!

  • I am not seeing evidence of sexism here. Given that it doesn’t seem that he hit his two victims _because_ they were women, how exactly is this any worse than it would be if they were men?

  • If young women want to act like men by assaulting men, then they best be prepared for the consequences.

    And Mike Conklin, stop being such a fucking pussy (“incredibly hard to watch”?). You obviously didn’t see many episodes of COPs while growing up. Probably forced instead to listen to NPR in your parent’s Volvo like all the other white knighting manginas who inhabit SXSW.

  • I’m sorry, but if you throw an ice cube at my face, I am coming at you with both fists. I could care less if you are a chick.

  • If you would respond to a thown ice cube with fists, you are a violent psycho. Seek help.

  • As a woman who has attended numerous punk and hardcore shows and has spent time pogoing in sweaty mosh pits, I would like to say that I am more offended by the guys who try to protect women from any sort of violence with the mistaken belief that they can’t handle themselves than by some trashy dude who swats at someone for throwing a drink in his face. It was refreshing to me that the women were referred to as “audience members” and “business owners” in news articles rather than as two delicate women who swooned under the angry Weasel’s mighty fist.

  • We are continuing to bitch about this and other things at http://savebenweasel.com. Register and write for the site. We are getting a lot of hits!

  • Hahaha. People make me laugh. Who the fuck cares? His band left him, he was probably sued, his “career” is over. He shit his bed and now he’s sleeping in it. The fact that it was a chick only barely holds any water. She was spitting on him. SPITTING ON HIM. I’m not about violence, or do I support violence toward women. But if you spit on me, you’re getting punched in the face.