The Punk Rock Museum, Las Vegas’ shrine to all things counter culture, welcomed Alice In Chains’ lead singer William Duvall to their hallowed halls on Monday, October 9th to lead a tour through the building. William may be a member of one of grunge’s greatest bands, but he is not without a punk rock pedigree of his own.
Duvall grew up in Washington, D.C. ground zero for the birth of the post punk hardcore scene. Even after relocating to the Atlanta, Georgia area as a young teen, he was entrenched in the heart of punk. He was the first person informed of the break up of Minor Threat (by Ian MacKaye himself, no less). He was at one of the first American shows of John Lydon’s post Sex Pistols band Public Image Ltd. He was front row at the Ramones 1983 tour. He let a young Henry Rollins crash at his parents house after one of his first Spoken Word tours.
And he isn’t just a fan, he formed the hardcore bands Blast and Neon Christ. He toured with Corrosion of Conformity and The Scream, featuring a young Dave Grohl.
As he said during his tour, “You may know me from Alice in Chains, but this is my music.”
Because of his experience at the heart of the punk scene, Duvall was a perfect choice to lead the tour.
The halls of the museum, decorated with nostalgia ranging from handwritten lyrics from Joe Strummer, show flyers from the first Germs shows, pictures of CBGB’s notorious bathroom, and a room full of instruments from the likes of Museum founder Fat Mike of NOFX, Operation Ivy/Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and others that you can jam on yourself. We’ve been multiple times to the museum, and took part in the Jennifer Finch (bassist/L7) tour back in June, and every time we enter the doors we find something new to admire or learn about.
DuVall entertained the group with his stories of running from the LAPD during a Black Flag show, attending a near riot at a Bad Brains gig, and even seeing a then unheard of Nirvana playing at his college campus. All of his stories were told with the wide eyed wonder of a young teen experiencing his first taste of a genre that changed so many lives. His vast knowledge and fandom was the perfect accent to amazingly curated walls of the museum.
Even if William’s tour was a one shot thing, I encourage everyone who, even if not a fan of punk rock per se, take a few hours and go to the Punk Rock Museum. A fan of any genre of music can appreciate the labor of love that the curators have presented. It’s a walk back though time, and gives you hope for the future of music.
You can wander the halls of the museum yourself, or do a guided tour. We suggest doing both, and if you get the chance, check out different guided tours, because you will never get the same perspective twice.
You can check out the Punk Rock Museum’s official website for tour updates, which they do frequently, but here are some they have on the books currently. So, book a tour, grab a drink at the Triple Down afterwards (which also has regular events), or get some ink.
Punk Rock Museum Guided Tours:
October 12 – 15: Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats
October 19: Joe Principe of Rise Against
October 19, 20 & 23: Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake
October 20 – 23: Blue Intruder of Masked Intruder
October 20: Zach Blair of Rise Against
October 21: Kevin Lyman of Warped Tour
October 21 – 23: Nick Ghanbarian of Bayside
October 23 & 24: Dave Baksh of Sum 41
October 27 – 29: Dicky Barrett of Bosstones/Defiant
November 3 – 5: Monkey of Adicts
November 10 – 12: Spike Slawson of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
November 24 – 26: Dez Cadena of Black Flag/Misfits
December 8 – 10: Greg Hetson of Bad Religion/Circle Jerks
December 29 – 31: Jonny Two Bags of Social Distortion
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Stephy Muzio for ZRockR Magazine – All Rights Reserved