"They were showing off their Nazi tattoos and they were picking fights before they even got inside," says one attendee of Twerp's Battle of the Bands that kicked off at 4pm on Saturday, August 18 at the Tower Bar, with around a dozen groups. "I don't think they [Nazis] were there for any particular band, it was just a free show and they wanted to kick up some trouble."
A witness who requested anonymity confirmed on Facebook that the purported combatants were causing trouble outside the Bar. "I clutched my purse as a guy walked in my direction, SS tattoo glistening in sweat while yelling about being at a 'liberal punk show.' I said 'Get the fuck out of here' to a friend near me and a guy apologizes and says 'unfortunately those are my friends.' I just shrugged and said 'well that sucks.'"
The men at first weren't noticed because, when they entered the bar, they had shirts covering their tattoos with Nazi slogans and iconography like swastikas. "The instant I saw those fuckin' white shorthaired meatheads going shirtless into a non existent pit, I knew there was trouble," says one attendee (who requested anonymity), "and I wasn't the only one who felt the same. I looked for their tattoos but with them throwin' themselves at each other, I obviously couldn't see shit."
After just over an hour of complaints and social media posts about the situation, several of the "skinheads" who arrived together displaying Nazi iconography via tattoos were identified by Tower staffers and asked to leave.
"So they weren't there long, but long enough to get in the pit for a song, throw their shirts on before anyone noticed, and take them off again for another song just a bit later. The minute someone pointed out the [Nazi] tattoo, the whole crowd was ready to eat them alive and it escalated super quick. The dude who pointed it out demanded to say shit on the mic and I have no fuckin' clue why the doorman let him have it, because it just made it worse since we were all ready to fuckin' see blood as it was...they were immediately ejected once it became clear what was up."
The troublemakers reportedly left without further incident, other than some inflammatory language on the part of the ejectees directed at both staff and other attendees.
"At least they got chased out pdq," posted someone else online (who requested anonymity). "You can count on the Tower to do the right thing."
"Mick Rossler [at Tower Bar] definitely doesn't tolerate that shit," notes another attendee (who requested anonymity). "I saw him throw a racist fuck out and when we were the only three people in the bar."
The punk bill included Waste Aways, Russian Tremors, Bat Lords, the Mice, Reckless Disregard, Midnight Track, CFA, Fishing for Chips, Good Time Girl, Santa Ana Knights, Revolutionary Guard, and Long Arm Record Squad.
"Just so you know, no punk would ever tolerate much less be friends with a skin," said someone else (who requested anonymity) on a Facebook thread about the incident. "Punks are big, friendly, weird looking clowns, until they see a skin."
"Fucking SD Boot Boys," reads one post. "Some things never change...time for the steel toes & leather jackets again. Gotta teach the kids why we dressed like that."
A few hours after the last band wrapped up, people were still posting about their annoyance, but most were proud of how their fellow attendees and the Tower Bar handled the potentially dangerous situation.
As another attendee who requested anonymity summed up on Facebook, "It's aways a good night when Nazis get kicked out from Tower Bar!"
(For a comprehensive history of racist rock in San Diego, see this writer's earlier Reader story Do the White Thing)