|Just like you like it: The Jack-Onz get it their way.|
One of the observations Rocks Off has heard a lot over the years is, "What do David Bowie's kids do to rebel?" The meaning behind that is obvious. As we rocketed towards the end of the last millennium, the boundary of what is shocking was pushed to a point where nothing short of death would rouse the world's musical libido.
Audiences had become audacity junkies whose tolerance to their drug had reached the point that only a fatal dose could supply the high they craved. Thus are we in the middle, though hopefully edging to the end, of the faux-purity movement led by the Jonases and the Cyruses. Sexual rebellion/gratification through denial is nothing new, and in a way no less extreme, but Rocks Off hungers for the days of the opposite approach.
Any discussion of sex revolution in rock in Houston must begin with the legendary punk rockers the Jack Onz. When Rocks Off was in high school, the lurid tales of the band's antics were whispered as certain impossibilities.
"The Jack Onz had sex onstage and everything," says former KPFT DJ Rad Rich. "Sad for me, the whore they had onstage with would not even give me the time of day. Those guys were funny as shit. They beat each other with belts, bled onstage, went nude, fought the crowd, etc. They showed porn movies onstage and were the GG Allin of Houston when they were around."
By all accounts, the Jack Onz's music was terrible; the appeal was the legend that grew up around their antics. The one that was most whispered to Rocks Off was that they had taken a set of explicit pictures of singer Forest (real name Patrick Dillon) with a Jack in the Box head receiving fellatio from a girl dressed as fast-food chain mascot Wendy, and distributed them at shows as a set of trading cards. After a decade of disbelief in so naughty an artifact, Mike Simon of Rockin' Robin was able to put to of these Holy Grails of Houston shock-rock into our hands for public consumption.
Ultimately, the madness of such an act could not be contained. As a joke, Forest faked his own death, which much of the Houston music scene found to be very unfunny. Years later, there was still enough bad blood about it that he was nominated for our "Most Hated Musician in Houston" article. Nights in jail and a ban from most clubs due to the mess the band tended to leave behind further derailed live performances.
"Tragic the way things ended with those guys," lamented Jeremy Hart of local music Web site SpaceCityRock.com
. "Forrest was a good friend before he pulled the whole faked-death thing and alienated everybody. After he left town for Austin, he tried to make the Jack-Onz thing into a documentary movie of sorts. Unfortunately, he committed suicide a year or two ago up in Austin."