Red Heffer: Simple goal, rock so hard at The Central that the world will end

Red Heffer
Poster courtesy of Red Heffer and Art Chantry

Unrepentant rocker John Leighton Beezer has no small goals for the band Red Heffer.

Beezer claims Red Heffer’s upcoming gig will “rock so hard it will bring about the apocalypse.”

Specifically, he wants people to think, “‘We’d better see their show August 21st [Thursday] at the Central Saloon, since they’re not going to do any more shows, since the earth is going to be destroyed in a ball of fire some time during the course of the show.'”

Actually, Beezer says, the band had studied all the prophecies and trends of pestilence, and decided Aug. 21 to be the prophesied date of the apocalypse:

“So it’s not like we’re going to bring about the apocalypse just by playing a show at the Central; that would be ridiculous. It’s more like we know the apocalypse will be ripe to happen at this time, and we hope to just kind of push it over the edge, so to speak. We just want to contribute.”

Who, according to Beezer, should be at the Central to view this show to end all shows? “Bored jaded former fans of rock n’ roll, punk, and noise music, who just don’t think anybody rocks hard enough these days but would love to be proven wrong.”

Red Heffer is an obscure collection of well-known Seattle rock veterans:

Aaron Gates , longtime singer-songwriter and world traveler, who describes what he does as follows: “I kind of write it and I sing.”

Jack Endino, Skin Yard and Endino’s Earthworm guitar wizard and producer/engineer of countless other bands’ recordings (including several you’ve probably heard of).

John Leighton Beezer,  heavy guitar-sludge maestro and co-founder of the legendary Thrown Ups.

Scott Schickler, formerly of the Thrown Ups, Limp Richerds, and Swallow; he once told author Stephen Tow that “I used to me a mediocre guitar player…. Now I’m a mediocre drummer.”

Steve Turnidge, bass player, renowned recording engineer, and audio-equipment designer.

Red Heffer shows are rare and unique spectacles. Everything is improvised on the spot. The musicians are hearing the music for the first time, at the same time you are.

As Gates explains:

“Basically it’s just an unrehearsed musical wave…. A spectacle of audio wonder. A bumbling, bubonic, clowning stupidity that somehow turns into rock n’ roll wonder….

“There is no rehearsal. There are no predefined lyrics. It could be 45 minutes of chaos and confusion until a song forms; then we ride that song out; then we find ourselves wandering until the next song.”

Red Heffer performs at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Central Saloon, 207 1st Ave. S. in Seattle. Admission is free; ages 21+ only.

Should, through some reason, the world not end due to what Beezer calls Red Heffer’s “impossibly heavy rock n’ roll,” Beezer will bring in other combinations of his musical friends and colleagues the third Thursday of each month.

Sections of past Red Heffer sessions can be heard, and a custom gig poster by design legend Art Chantry can be seen, at

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