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"It was primarily over drugs, but it was mostly over being called a liar. I was dealing speed, and this guy was strung out. This guy would loan me his car, and I would hook him up with drugs. He loaned me his car one night thinking that I would give him drugs, when there was no drugs to get that night. He accused me of holding out and called me a liar. I don't like being called a liar. We got in the fight in the car, and he kicked me out of his car. I grabbed the keys from the ignition and threw the keys in the bushes."

Then Squire kicked out a car window, and his friend called the police.

"I got surrounded by the police within a couple of minutes," Squire said, "and they found the gun on me."

The charge cost him only a couple of days in jail.

"The courts were too clogged up, and I didn't get in front of a judge within my rights as a citizen. But the loophole of habeas corpus is that if you get in any more trouble, they can bring this charge up again. When I got busted again for some petty stuff -- I got picked up for driving on a suspended-license warrant a couple of months later -- they found drugs on me, and I got a possession charge. I went before a judge and was released and was supposed to go to some sort of probationary drug program."

He never showed up. In his absence, the district attorney's office added the gun charge to his arrest warrant.

D'ya Hear About Squire and the Mexican Drug Gang?

At this point, Squire disappeared from his usual hangouts, and it wasn't long before rumors started.

Of all the rumors going around town, the most action-packed was that he'd moved to an apartment in Tijuana, complained to a gang of drug dealers downstairs about the noise they were making cooking meth and filming pornos, and had to flee for his life.

Surprisingly, two parts of the rumor were true: Squire did live in Tijuana for a few weeks and he did have to flee for his life, but it had nothing to do with meth-cooking pornographers.

Squire moved to Tijuana for the cheap rent. In early June 2005, a customer at Pokéz mentioned that one of his Tijuana apartments had become available and the rent was $100 a week. The place was nice and spacious, a ten-minute bike ride from the border.

"Everybody that lived in his apartments were Americans that were running away or hiding from something," Squire said.

His place had been formerly inhabited by a "speed-freak prostitute" who stiffed the landlord for 75 bucks. When she moved out, she left her computer behind, and the landlord kept it as collateral but never bothered to take it out of the apartment.

"Instead of just doing the right thing and paying her debt, she went to these Tijuana gangsters," Squire said, "and I don't know what her pull was with these guys, but she got them to go over to the house and try to rob us.

"She actually warned the landlord, 'Carlos and his boys are coming over to get my computer, so you better give it to them.' The landlord had warned me, 'Look, these guys might come by. Don't answer the door if they do come by, and if you do unfortunately run into them, just give them the computer. It's not worth you getting into any trouble over.' Sure enough they did come around that day" -- June 30 -- "and I didn't answer the door."

Squire hid behind drawn shades until nightfall. One of his favorite bands, Sweden's Backyard Babies, was playing at the Casbah, and he wasn't going to miss them. He grabbed his bike, ran out the door, and took off for the border.

As he pedaled down the street, he realized he'd left his ID back at his place. He turned around and raced home, hoping the gangsters hadn't returned.

"Just as I was walking out of the door of my apartment, those guys were on my porch," he said. "They basically forced their way into my apartment. Trying not to show that I was scared, I said, 'Oh, you must be here for the computer. Here you go, here's the computer.'

"They said, 'No. Sit down,' and one of them tried to grab me, and the other one pulled a filed-down screwdriver out of his jacket and a roll of duct tape. I don't know what the fuck they thought they were gonna do with that shit, but I grabbed a cast-iron pan and fuckin' clocked one of them upside the head with it as hard as I could.

"It scared the shit out of the other guy, and I just powered past him, knocked him out of my way, and ran out of the apartment, leaving all of my possessions, including my recording equipment and drum set, behind. I ran as fast as I could to America, just assuming those guys were cleaning me out and I was losing everything I owned."

The apartment was full of musical gear: amps, speaker cabinets, mixers, and more.

"They actually left the house wide open with all of my stuff in it and went to get a truck," Squire said. "By the time they got back, my landlord was on the porch with his gun. They didn't get any of my shit. It still scared the fucking hell out of me, and I never did go back to TJ after that, except when I went back to get my stuff, but even that was months later."

Too Much of a Loose Cannon

In July 2005, Squire left town, heading for Oakland to fill in on bass with Verbal Abuse, which was about to go on tour with Fang. The two Bay Area bands had made their name in the '80s hardcore and punk scenes.

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Comments

Clive July 28, 2008 @ 10:31 a.m.

"By Various Authors" ??? I have the original printed issue that clearly says "By Larry Harmon" Why was he so eager to take his name off of the story?

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Russ Lewis July 28, 2008 @ 10:43 a.m.

I'm not sure where you see "Various Authors," Clive. Larry Harmon's name appears at the top and the bottom of this file.

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