Throw Rag – Legendary Desert Punks on the Road to Vegas

By Lisa Lynn Morgan

“IIf you know, you know. When it comes to any project Sean Wheeler is involved in, you know you’re in for an unforgettable musical and theatrical experience, especially if it’s with Throw Rag.

Once upon a time, when punk kids had to make and pass out handmade flyers to get other kids to come to their show, before computers and the worldwide interweb, a rebel genre was born that gave birth to mosh pits and creative rage. It was lawless and life altering. Music was an identity, a line drawn in the sand. Here in the desert’s early 90s, we had Throw Rag, known for their energetic live performances and eclectic blend of punk, rockabilly, and surf music. Formed in 1993 by childhood friends in Palm Springs, California, Throw Rag quickly gained a reputation for their raucous shows and charismatic stage presence. They were like nothing we’d ever seen before, and they were rad as hell. Their first 45 (that’s a small vinyl record) was mixed by Mario Caldato Jr. who produced the Beastie Boyz.

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Fronted by Wheeler, Throw Rag’s music often features gritty, hard-hitting guitar riffs, driving rhythms, and Wheeler’s distinctive vocal delivery, ranging from gritty growls to soulful crooning. The satirical lyrical themes were even grittier with song titles that ranged from Stink Bug (Mama), Space Hump Me, to Bag of Glue. They even laid down a wicked cover of Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down.” While they never strayed too far from their punk rock roots, these early releases were mashing genre boxes like a soda fountain suicide decades before it became Beyonce and Coachella cool. Like most punks, their music thrived on hidden (and not so hidden) creative sex, drugs and rock and roll story lines, but Swingset Superman reads like an “other desert cities” punk kid’s diary, making them the voice of the rest of the desert brats who didn’t fit in with the country club set:

I am the captain. Been to the Vatican. I love
the losers in this world of sin. In my good
white boots, I got them duct tape roots, a
desert cat ain’t no denying it. On the corner of
Pierson and Palm, Swingset Superman higher
than he’s ever been. And we won’t sink with
California when it falls into the sea. Welcome
to the Love Boat.
I am the captain. One in a million. It’s true
that I am danger’s bastard son, tin foil and
satellites, a real kid dynamite. Everything’s
gonna be alright cause me and small time
we’re alright. In the bathroom playing my
song, Swingset Superman, higher than he’s
ever been. The other desert city’s favorite son.

Over the years, Throw Rag has released several albums including Tee-Tot, produced by Mickey Petralia, (producer for Rage Against the Machine, Peaches, Beck, and Flight of the Conchords.), and Desert, Shores (produced by Tim Kerr of the seminal skate punk band, Big Boys, out of Austin Texas), and 13ft And Rising, produced by Cameron Webb (producer for Motorhead, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Puddle of Mudd, Lagwagon). Their records and tour schedule garnered a dedicated following within the punk rock community. They have toured extensively throughout the US and Europe, sharing stages with bands like The Damned, Queens of the Stone Age, Motorhead, Gogol Bordello, Stiff Little Fingers, Circle Jerks, Social Distortion, Flogging Molly, and Reverend Horton Heat, to name a few.

the years, Throw Rag’s commitment to high-energy, no-holds-barred rock ‘n’ roll remains unwavering. With their infectious energy and devil-may-care attitude, Throw Rag is the raw and real deal, and they continue to captivate audiences who long for authentic punk inspired, gutsy, irreverent rock and roll.

Throw Rag’s tour will land them in Las Vegas on May 24th performing at the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival. To follow Throw Rag or for tickets scan the QR Codes.

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