Midwest Avengers' Guitarist Stabbed, Show Postponed

[Editor's note, Wednesday October 10: Apologies to Mike Zubiena; we had him billed as Mark for a few days here. Just fixed it.]

The sad, strange history of local rap troupe the Midwest Avengers continues. The band was forced to cancel a show scheduled for October 6 because guitarist Mike Zubiena is still suffering from the effects of a stab wound he received while breaking up a fight two weeks ago.

The fight went down on the morning of September 23, during the birthday party for John Harrington, the Avengers’ longtime frontman. The party was at Harrington’s home near South Grand.

"Basically, some bitchasses started a fight during BC's (Harrington’s) birthday," says Zubiena, who was stabbed in the left shoulder. “I was so busy trying to help the band get people off the property, I didn't even realize I was hurt."

According to police reports, officers arrested three suspects, who were ages 17, 18 and 27. The 17-year-old was armed with a knife at the time of his arrest.

Zubiena was transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital where he received stitches. One other person was injured in the brawl: former Avenger member LJ (who has since left the band) was slashed across his stomach and back.

“John was turning 37 and he wanted an old-school, feel-good kegger,” says the Midwest Avengers’ manager, Darren Owens. “Some neighborhood kids wanted in, and they started acting young and dumb.”

The band said they did not make the incident public until they realized they would not be able to play their October 6 gig. Zubiena, who tried to practice the week following the incident, said he couldn’t feel his arm and could only play for a few minutes. He’s been practicing since, and the band expects to be ready for their upcoming October 18 show at Cicero’s.

The Avengers are no strangers to adversity. Two of the band’s members died in 2005 -- one, DJ Toasty Toast, by suicide, and another, MC Recharge, by drug overdose.

The band released a new album, Evil Superheroes, in June.

“I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if there’s a Pac-Man out there trying to eat their karma,” Owens says. “They got all this drama surrounding their name.”

Harrington’s simply pragmatic: "We're just glad TK's (Zubiena’s) career isn't over."

--Keegan Hamilton



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