"Chris Austin single-handedly tried to wreck my business, vandalized my warehouse, [and] stole over $1500 in band equipment," says promoter Willie Carter (a.k.a. Tuckerson) via e-mail. "He pulled a knife.... He slashed my car. I have a witness to that."
Chris Austin, meanwhile, who had established a partnership with Carter in a recording/practice studio in an industrial warehouse in San Marcos, says his former partner "...hit me with his car in front of my house. I had $8000 in hospital bills. He threatened to kill me."
Austin says the business relationship began to unravel a year ago, following his return from an out-of-town funeral.
"I was gone for two and a half weeks," says Austin. "When I came back, he [had] thrashed my equipment and trashed my vehicle and my trailer. He decided to have a drunken paint party. There was paint on my truck and my equipment. Beer and glass was embedded in my beer-soaked speakers. He had no regard for my property, which I gave him use of for his bands' rehearsal and to make money while I was gone. When I came back, he tried to pin it on me to get me to take responsibility for the damage done to the property. At the end, the landlord came to my defense in court."
Earlier this month, Austin asked a Vista judge for $7500 in damages (the small-claims court maximum) from Carter. On the day of the trial, May 4, Carter didn't show. The judge determined that Carter must now pay Austin $4750 in damages plus court costs.
"I got that judgment vacated," says Carter. "There is a new court date June 4."
Austin and Carter say neither one of them has been arrested or cited by the police.
The two have a long history of promoting shows separately. Carter, who plays bass in two bands (the Drapes and Willie Psycho), has organized punk shows at the Masonic Hall in La Mesa, Theater X in Escondido, the Jumping Turtle, and the now-defunct Hindquarters. Austin used to host bands at his now-closed Escondido coffeehouse called the Library and at Joltin' Joe's, Pounders, and the bar formerly known as Takilyaz.