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Hellyeah at the Whisky-A-Go-Go Photo by Kriss Perras

My first experience at the iconic Whisky-A-Go-Go was with my eldest son, David Perras, this year. We decided to go together to see a band he enjoys, Hellyeah. I’d never been to the Whisky-A-Go-Go, ever, in all my years as an Angeleno. I wondered what it was all about. While waiting in line, the crowd grew with people dressed in black, wearing all kinds of body piercings, nose rings, large lobe rings, eyebrow piercings, studded belts, altogether a pretty rough looking group. But hey, who am I to talk? I wear black all the time too. We walked inside the place. All the rock gods suddenly started singing. Slash was on the wall! Cool, cool already.

The crowd gathered around the stage to hear Hellyeah. Everybody maneuvered around to find their spot. I ended up next to a very buff looking man about 6’5” tall. I looked up and thought, whoa dude! I was a little intimidated by his appearance. He was so much taller than me, by about 11 inches. Plus he was wearing all black, had many body piercings and long hair. I was about to find another vantage point to shoot my photos, when he started speaking. From this rough looking guy comes this soft spoken and well-mannered voice. I thought, OK, you’re cool. I decided to stay put.

The band really heated up the crowd. My son joined in a mosh pit that formed. I’d never before seen a mosh pit in action. At first I thought, hey quit pushing my son around you big bully. This big guy was shoving my son around and thinking it was funny.

I observed awhile not wanting to intervene in my son’s experience, he now a man at 26. I soon realized the mosh pit is an egotistical thing. Men shove each other around for the pure sport of it, and do so as hard as they possibly can. It becomes an ego match. And sometimes egos get bruised.

I kept taking photos, and was very involved in what I was doing. The subject, Chad Gray the lead singer of Helleyah, was great. He was artistic and had a lot of bravado. Plus he connected with the crowd so well, it created this really great atmosphere for photography. The light show was fantastic. At this point I’m all pumped up on my art and not looking about me as to what was happening. I’m looking at the band then down at my photos. This goes on for quite awhile as the mosh pit scene grows more heated. One time I look down at my camera, critiquing my photograph to see if I want more in that vein, and suddenly the ground starts moving. I’m being lifted up off the ground and into the air. I look up to find the 6’5” man is lifting me off the ground and carting me off out of the way of a huge crowd suddenly pummeling my way. If he had not lifted me out of the way, I would have been mowed down.

Apparently an older drunk man entered the mosh pit and was offended by the shoving matches. He got into a fist fight with one of the younger males. And, the cock fight ensued. As security escorted the drunkard out the door, he kept asking if anyone had seen his shoe? I looked down. He was shoeless on one foot. After the crowd rearranged itself once more, I looked up at the 6’5” man and hugged him.

“You’re my new best friend!” I said to him.

He laughed. I stood next to him the rest of the night.

The concert got even more heated for the crowd, but in a good way. Everyone was waving double horns. The mosh pit turned to brotherhood. Three guys, my son included, lined up, arm in arm and started head banging in a way I’ve never seen in my day. Head banging to me means you bob your head up and down. To these gentleman, head banging meant they moved their head and bowed toward the band unison arm in arm. This went on for perhaps an half hour.

As the crowd dispersed, I headed toward what was once the mosh pit, and my son. I stumbled on something. I looked down. Oh, I found your shoe, I thought about that drunkard who got kicked out.


Author Bio
Kriss Perras
Author: Kriss PerrasWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Publisher & Editor
Kriss Perras owns Ruptured Media where she publishes Malibu Arts Journal. Ruptured Media is also a story development company. Kriss has been tenacious and fought authority from the very start of her career in journalism. Kriss' first story as a journalist was for her college newspaper covering George W. Bush and Steve Forbes in the Iowa Caucuses during the 2000 election. She showed up at the hotel where Bush was to speak with her editor's letter of assignment in hand. She credentialed at the press desk like every other press person. She had questions in hand she had prepared to ask the Presidential candidate. She walked into the speaking room to find the press was roped off from the candidate. Being new to election coverage, and journalism, she was disappointed. She stood next to a seasoned AP photographer on the press platform. She asked the AP photographer if she could get out from behind the ropes and ask Bush her questions. The AP photographer said, "Well, you can try." So she did. She stepped out from behind the ropes and waited in line behind the people seeking the candidate's autograph. When it was her turn, she introduced herself to Bush as a college journalist and started to ask her questions. Bush said, " Wait, are you a journalist?" She said, "Yes." Bush nodded to his Secret Service team. They promptly came over on each side of her. She was 5'6" tall and weighed 127 pounds. The Secret Service men were well over a foot taller than her and obviously guys who worked out often. They could pick her up with their pinky fingers. They quickly picked her up by her arms, carried her over the ropes and plopped her back down on the press platform as she was still asking Bush her questions. Bush to his credit said, "Please give her one of my books. The answers to her questions are in my book." So she had to read his entire book, but she indeed found the answers to her questions. She also drew political cartoons for her college newspaper and still does today. Her next big break came in 2002, still as a student, with an interview with former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski. Kriss went on in 2006 to found PCH Press, Malibu's daily newspaper. With PCH Press, she had extensive coverage of the battle against LNG and the fight against the placement of an LNG port being placed off the coast of Malibu and Oxnard, among other local news. She has covered Olara Otunnu, former United Nations Undersecretary General and Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict when he spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She covered Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman when she spoke in Los Angeles in 2006. She has interviewed Progressive David Swanson and numerous Malibu Mayors. In 2007, She founded Malibu Arts Journal magazine. Kriss built Malibu Arts Journal from the ground up. She has taken the magazine from an unknown dot com to a respected title. She earned the magazine digital distribution through Magzter and the iTunes App Store where it now enjoys broad based readership across the globe. She is a member of the national honor society Who's Who In American Universities And Colleges. Her photogrpahy has aired on CMTV channel 14 Spokane, Washington. *Photo Copyright 2017: Alan Weissman
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