Whiskey on Beer: LOAD
Whiskey on Beer is the name of a Load song and the title of the documentary about said band. If you missed seeing Load they were a powerhouse crew from South Florida with some of the best players in the game. Bobby was an unhinged maniac of a front man; Jeff Tucci was equal parts intense and talented when thrashing at his guitar; Fausto beat his drums mercilessly and no matter Tony or Rayon bass the ground shook when they held down the low end. Some believe that punk rock comes with a Mohawk and an attitude; and for them that may be true. The rest of us know that bad ass rock and roll is all ethos and passion. Load was all of that and then some. Tragically the extent of their excess proved to be their downfall; leaving a hole that can never be filled in the South Florida music scene. Sometimes you can be too close to a situation to really see it for what it is; in this case an epic story of a rock and roll brotherhood who really took the whole idea to its logical conclusion. It’s taken brothers from Connecticut to see the potential of the story of our boys in Load. Rick and Gary Ahmed stumbled upon Load through a friend from South Florida and were immediately caught in the snare of a powerhouse band that was so real it cost them everything. Rick and Gary are enamored with the legend of Load and have spent the last few years making Whiskey on Beer on their own. They have no backing, very few funds and the extent of their asking for help is a Go Fund Me with some of the best incentives of any Go Fund Me accounts around; it’s a 100%, D.I.Y labor of love for them. I asked Rick how the ball got rolling on the documentary, because, really how does one just start making a movie about people they don’t know in a band that has been defunct for nearly 20 years?
“First I messaged Tony, he was like, “Why us?” I had to convince him. A few weeks later I got a call from Fausto and we started moving forward. It was a really hard time because Jeff had just passed, but at the same time that lit a fire under our asses that this had to be done; 2/4 of the classic line-up had passed on. It wasn’t so much that we needed to make a movie, at first, but we had to know, what is up with this band?”
And so the brothers Ahmed embarked on a multi state mission to get the scoop on their favorite band, interviewing anyone they could get their hands on who had a little light to shed on the subject.
“That’s how you know this band and this story is so important.” Gary said, “People’s eyes light up talking about over packed shows from 20 years ago. People have been so passionate to reach out and tell us their experiences. This meant something to them the way the MC5 did to folks in Detroit in the 60’s or the New York Dolls in NYC in the 70’s.”
On the D.I.Y aspect of the project Rick said, “I doubt we’ll see a dime, I’d be glad if we didn’t end up further in debt. I’d be psyched if we broke even! I brought a faulty EZ pass with us and am still getting $60 tickets in the mail. Gary is absolutely busting his balls to make this an amazing documentary; he’s been locked in his room staring at a computer screen for damn near 8 months!”
Whiskey on Beer is a bittersweet moment for South Florida music. We get to see some of our homegrown talent get their due, but some of them aren’t here to share in the glory. Both Bobby and Jeff have passed on due to complications of excessive living. Maybe that’s part of the legend; it might not be for everybody but for a band that’s 20 minutes from Miami where Vice is king, what else could you expect? South Florida has a Darwinian music scene: we eat our young; if you can’t stick it out, you won’t survive. Even the ones who do hang tough, don’t generally get the recognition that their due. We exist at the bottom of the country, tucked away under the shadows of WMC, ULTRA and Art Basel. But, we’ve been here; as a community we’ve always been here; whether at Churchill’s, Poorhouse, the Cameo, Garageland, Washington Square. There have always been people here trying to making things fun. Load, were some of those people; hopefully, their exposure can bring a little sunshine to the rest of us.
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~ Tim Moffatt