Music » Sound & Fury

Chainsaw Buzz


About three hours into the Sunday, July 22, benefit show at Atomix for recently hospitalized music-scene institution Tony Chainsaw, Chainsaw entered the club and was quickly greeted by well-wishers.

Looking remarkably healthy for a man with multiple facial fractures from a beating he’d suffered less than two weeks earlier, Chainsaw, 47, had his left eye covered by a black patch, but otherwise was unmistakably the man punks have long revered as a godfather of the local underground community. He was subdued and soft-spoken, but his white “Ford: Built Tough” T-shirt was obviously intended to send a loud message, both to his friends and his attacker.

Chainsaw’s account of the harrowing incident goes like this: While out walking his dog at Woodlawn Lake, he saw some kids, all about 7 or 8 years old, attempting to peek into the women’s restroom. He says he scolded them and went to let their parents know what the kids had done. Chainsaw says the children’s mother quickly became irate with him, and another man, who he believes was either the children’s father or older brother, suddenly hit him across the face with something that felt like an iron pipe wrapped in a towel.

Despite several blows to the head, Chainsaw maintained his consciousness and was able to record license-plate numbers for all the vehicles belonging to the family, with the exception of the perpetrator, who he recalls was driving a blue pickup. (Chainsaw says the San Antonio Police Department did not send officers to the scene, but he was interviewed by a Park Policeman).   

Chainsaw underwent surgery on Friday, July 13, and has made a remarkably fast recovery. The extreme swelling around his face is no longer evident, and he says he’s not experiencing any significant pain. He has even returned to work at the Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar.

Over the years, Chainsaw has organized punk festivals and worked sound at a variety of clubs, and his importance was evident from the testimonials at Atomix (with a hardcore-dominated bill that included Gabba Gabba Sabba, The Dispicables, The Dementers, and Filthy & The Muffdivers).

“After losing `Taco Land owner` Ram `Ayala` and `former White Rabbit owner` Rick `Sciaraffa`, it really hit home to people that we almost lost someone else,” says Angel Castorena, who booked the Atomix show, and has worked with Chainsaw at Sin 13, Sanctuary, and the Rock Bottom. “We’re just thankful that he’s doing better.”

Another benefit is planned for Chainsaw at the Rock Bottom on August 12.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.