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Scene Legend’s Torso Skin Retired, Hung Up in Venue

DENVER — The pit at famed punk venue The Safe Room was packed with teary-eyed loved ones and well-wishers on Thursday night, as the flayed and tanned pelt of local scene legend Anton Bassett was raised to the rafters in an emotional ceremony.

“The time is right to walk away,” the retiring Bassett told those gathered. “The scene has changed, the music has changed. You all are a bunch of posers, and, frankly, I’m just bored with all this petty crap.” The crowd responded with an explosion of applause.

Scene promoters planned for weeks to officially retire Bassett’s tattooed and pierced trunk flesh as a symbolic gesture. As part of the retirement, active members of the Denver punk scene are now barred from getting Simpsons/Watchmen hybrid tattoos, self-carving Wicca pentagram scars, or piercing their nipples with 16-gauge stainless steel bull rings.

“I’ve never skinned someone alive before,” said local artisan leatherworker Gabe Slade, who had the honor of removing Bassett’s drape. “Plus, [Bassett] refused to take any painkillers beforehand, or even a shot of whiskey, because he’s straight edge. So I carefully cut away at the top few layers of skin, but left enough to promote regrowth. Honestly, I’m still a little shaken up. I threw up four times while doing it. He sat like a champ, though.”


Bassett’s band, Pungent Slice, performed a farewell set as part of the ceremony, though Bassett was unfortunately too weak from blood loss to actually play. The band will continue after Bassett’s retirement, forging ahead with only two guitarists instead of three.

Even Bassett’s biggest adversaries showed up to pay him respect.

“Anton’s the king, man,” said longtime-hater Gerold Campton. “He’s a selfish prick who’ll literally stab you in the back, but he deserves respect. There will never be another Anton. Thank God.”

While there is no official announcement yet of who will fill Bassett’s void, rumors are circulating as scouts court 17-year-old Boulder talent Kenny Thompson. Thompson has primarily made his name by eating cigarette butts and starting fights with anyone from out of town.