Complex | The Neighborhood

Black Lips Gives Complex A Tour of Dunwoody, GA

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Joe:

One thing you'll want to know about Dunwoody is it's nothing but banks and churches, of all types, just look around you, nothing.

Cole:

This spot used to be like a travel passageway and a lady would scream at us for going through her yard, so I guess they call her the bitch, the spot became The Bitch. The spray paint's still there, it's very faded. Old dogs die hard. Nice, perfect, some flagship for future generations to come.

Jared:

The bitch is watching right now.

Joe:

Yeah, at one point the Dunwoody Chronical, like the newspaper, was that it? The Dunwoody Crier said there was over a million dollars of vandalization done within two years. And I won't take credit for all of it. But we did do a lot.

Jared:

I'll take credit for most of it. It was really easy to want to smash everything here because this place really sucks.

Cole:

Lot's of stuff has changed since we were kids so-

Joe:

Yeah, none of this was here.

Cole:

This was like I think a water utility center from the 30s. There was a giant vat of green sewage that was stagnant. It was like jello, congealed, fucking gross. It doesn't even look the same. No not at all, this sucks.

Jared:

Oh, they took all the shit out. It used to be scary walking through this building.

Joe:

We'd get like 20 kids back here, like some kids would be tripping on Robitussen, other kids would be drinking, other kids would be gathering wood to get a little fire going. We suspected that there was police helicopters looking at us cause there was helicopters like hovering, we'd go and run, hide under any of these buildings. This is kind of like, not sure if this is our turf or whatever, we were coming all the way from Dunwoody to here, to hang out. We'd run into other kids, we organized a rumble here once but the other people didn't show up. We were rollin' like 40 deep that time.

Joe:

The last time I was here I saw a midget walking down the track. He had like a club foot and he looked really sad. He just walked in like, down the tracks after this, very odd.

Jared:

Yeah, this used to be the spot to be. Then they started developing all these houses and it just became too difficult to come back here. You know, I think we probably found some better spots too.

Cole:

Like bars once we turned 21.

Joe:

Everyone from high school would just come over here, we had like 24 kids in this parking lot. This was like before everyone had cell phones, and there was that pay phone over there so people could call, but this was a place to organize and figure out what you were going to do the rest of the night. Cause we'd eventually get kicked out of here for hanging around for like 3 hours.

Cole:

We used to go through the trash cans, and we'd end up hunting for some french fries. This is couple guys from our high school, and he was into arts, he had a film festival and we actually won one year. And he also had a talent show, and the Black Lips played one of our first shows at the talent show he set up, it was called the Variety Show, we were house band.

Jared:

Oh, there's the animal clinic, people used to rob that to get cat tranquilizer and turn it into amphetamines.

Cole:

I had this girlfriend that worked in a pet store, about a mile over there, and she had the keys and we'd go in at night and get the cat tranquilizer and the dog pain killers, and one time we got really fucked up in there, and we had sex in a dog cage.

Jared:

It's kind of cool, Abe Lincoln looks like he has down syndrome.

Cole:

We were really bad, I hope they can't use this against us.

Jared:

No, there's a statute of limitations.

Joe:

Progress, this is what it looks like.


A visit with the three surviving founding members of the Black Lips - drummer Joe Bradley, guitarist Cole Alexander, bassist Jared Swilley - in their hometown of Dunwoody, Georgia.

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