In the late 1980s, a couple guys I knew from Brighton formed a punk band called Bulkhead (though on their Facebook page they refer to their genre as “swarming bees rock.”) The logo I recall from one of the band’s early posters (or was it a bumper sticker?) was a crude drawing of a teenager with an oddly outsized head. I thought it was hilarious!
Until that time, I had never heard the term bulkhead, believe it or not. That’s how sheltered I was. Our family’s basement wasn’t accessible through a bulkhead, so appliances like the furnace entered and exited via the front door of our house in full view of the neighbors and all the girls who were chasing me. Embarrassing! Of course, the neighbors and their daughters didn’t have bulkheads either, hence the nonexistence of “bulkhead” as a term in my young, suave life, and how amused I was at the band’s clever name and that apt depiction of the pimply lad with the bulky head.
I saw Bulkhead several times – notably at Green Street Station (the nightclub, not the subway station) in – where else? –Jamaica Plain on Green Street. The band specialized in dissonance and achieved that sound with startling reliability. I was never bored at a Bulkhead show, but on the other hand I could only listen for so long.
As with everything these days, Bulkhead lives on in cyberspace. They even played a show at the Middle East nightclub last year. Besides their Facebook page (where you can see the Middle East show) you can visit their website to get some good images of yesteryear, and even contact them (maybe they’ll play your wedding).