Pete Wentz On Brawl: 'I'm Not Gonna Let My Friends Fight Alone'

By | January 17, 2007 at 11:21 AM

One week after he leapt into the crowd and began wailing on a security guard at the Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz is still a little bit sore, a little bit embarrassed and – in what might be a first – a little bit wary of talking about the incident.

But that isn’t stopping his bandmates from giving their accounts of the punch-up, which occurred while FOB was playing the final song of their set during last weekend’s gig at the Sunshine .

“I was standing on a riser, stage left, and I see this meathead dude pushing around girls and trying to get into it with our security guy,” guitarist Joe Trohman said. “All I can tell you is the dude was a meathead, and he was being a real jerk. I saw it all happen right in front me, and he started it all. He was pushing around girls, tried to push around [the band’s security guard] Charlie. He was out of his gourd.”

“I didn’t have my glasses on, so I didn’t really see what was happening – I thought someone was messing with Pete or something, and then I kind of saw everyone fall off, and then I got my glasses on,” drummer Andrew Hurley added. “I didn’t really know what I was gonna do, because there were still kids onstage, so I didn’t want to run up and knock kids over. I wanted to wait until they were all escorted off the stage.”

As it turned out, Hurley wasn’t able to do much, as the fight was pretty much over by the time he made his way down from his drum riser. And despite the fact that the brawl spread across the Internet like wildfire, all parties involved seemed content to put the altercation behind them. After all, no one was seriously hurt, no one pressed charges, and on a scale of one to 10, the punch-up was about a four in terms of severity.

That’s not to say, however, that everyone is willing to make nice. Both FOB and management for the Sunshine Theater admit that they’re still pretty upset about the whole thing but for very different reasons. Wentz sees the incident as the result of one particularly aggressive security guard acting out against his friend. And, as he explained, he was forced to react only because he felt that his friend was in danger.

“I’m totally spaced out about the whole thing. The whole thing escalated real quick, but when I watch the video, I know what I see: I see their dude push Charlie,” Wentz said hesitantly. “And a lot of people were like, ‘Oh, it was just a security guy,’ but I’ve known Charlie since he was 16 and moved in with me after getting kicked out of his parents’ house. And I’m not gonna let my friends fight alone. Nine times out of 10, that security guy would’ve kicked my ass because I’m not really into fighting. But, you know, it was my friend.”

While Sunshine owner Joe Anderson says “errors were made by both sides,” he’s quick to side with the security hired for the show – provided by an Albuquerque company called Ultimate Security – and he thinks the whole situation could’ve been avoided if Fall Out Boy didn’t violate the theater’s policy restricting audience members from going onstage.

“They said that the incident happened because the house security guard was grabbing on some kid, and that’s not totally true. Of course, they’re gonna ride the hype of the whole thing, because the video got out there, but I’ve read their explanation and they glossed over some things a little bit,” Anderson told MTV News. “Everyone’s just very disappointed with the way the whole thing went down. I know the guy from Ultimate who was involved. He’s a total sweetheart, and I think he was shocked more than anything when the whole situation went down.

“We have a policy at the Sunshine that we don’t permit audience members on the performance area. It’s a liability. You just can’t have 800 people running to get up onstage. Now whether or not the band was made aware of this before the show is up for debate,” he continued. “The people at the venue say that it was made clear to Fall Out Boy’s security team at the preshow security meeting. And all I’m getting from the band is some pretty shifty stories. But somewhere along the way, the message was lost. … I’ve worked with Fall Out Boy in the past, and I don’t know if I will do it again. Who knows? In the end, when something like this happens, you have to take sides.”

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