The Coming Cunts

by Lavinia Ludlow

--Originally in Is Greater Than

The first band I was ever in was called the Coming Cunts. Coming wasn't spelled with a “u” because we thought the phrase would come off too transgressive. Even still, we knew better, never revealing our name when we'd book a gig or ask to play a venue. It was only when we were on stage and ready to go that Duncan, lead guitar, vocals, and everything else, would announce our name, and those who were paying attention would turn to each other and ask if they'd heard right, and all those who weren't paying any attention, suddenly were sucked in by the mere utterance of our name. It was beautiful; no, it was brilliant.

It all started when I met my best friend Duncan in front of San Jose's Cactus Club the night Dropkick Murphys were playing in the Spring of '98. I was 14 and he was 17, which made it hopeless to get through the 18+ door requirement, and in lieu of the show, we went back to his parents' place to shoot whiskey. Duncan didn't have any shot glasses, but he collected fine Japanese china, so we sat around the dining room table shooting Jameson out of soy sauce dishes.

Duncan's dad was actually the one who came up with our band name. He overheard the two of us talking about starting up a band, and as he stumbled down the stairwell already fueled with three pints of Arthur, he said that we should call our band The Coming Holes. That's when Duncan's mom nagged him from the top of the steps about originality, and said we should go with the word “Cunts” instead.

We started out ambitious, played assemblies at my high school, and a few neighborhood basements and community centers, but our hopes for us making it as a band fell through like the bottom of a plastic champagne cup when we got our first real gig, although I guess it wasn't that real since it was a pay-to-play gig in the corner of a bar downtown Campbell.

For one thing, we were playing in mid-‘98, and that was when the whole post-feminism and Riot Grrrl or however many ‘r's' they used, made a minor local comeback, frequenting clubs with all its brooding angst and sharpened nails. These girls went around from bar to bar picking fights with guys twice their size, hurling beer bottles, and chugging alcohol by the tapped barrels, and subsequently passing out on the floor of the bathroom until someone came to get them or called an ambulance.

So it sucked hard that night when they all showed up to this Campbell bar because after Duncan stepped in front of my drum set and went up to the mic to say,

“Evenin'. We're the Coming Cunts. We're here tonight to—”

A black shined to the sheen of a waxed bowling ball boot hurled through the air toe-to-heel, toe-to-heel and smacked tread-first into Duncan's mug. This wasn't just a flimsy army surplus store fake leather boot; this was a hardcore Harley Davidson reinforced with a steel shank for arch support boot that knocked Duncan over in a swift straight and flat against his back way that would make a lumberjack proud.

So we changed our band name to Dissonanz, the German word for dissonance or discord, not because we were pussies afraid of a bunch of, well, pussies, but because we couldn't afford to piss away our pay-to-play gigs, and Duncan said he couldn't afford to get 2 concussions and lose all those brain cells every night.

“Once the Riot Grrrls get married and disappear into their kitchens, The Coming Cunts will have a reunion,” he said to me on the gurney in the ER. “And we'll spell coming with a ‘u.'”