Since his teen years, Adam Greer has carried the nickname "Adam the Devastator" with him everywhere he's gone. But why?
If you asked him point-blank in those early days, the answer was simple: "Because I devastate." Which is to say, destroy. Ravage. Ruin. It's a nickname that strikes fear into the hearts of one's enemies, to be sure.
Or, as was the case when Adam was in his early twenties, his fellow showgoers.
From 2003 to 2007, Adam booked in excess of 300 shows, mostly of the hardcore punk variety, in the city of St. Louis. His tireless work ethic was solely in service of the bands and their fans -- Adam wouldn't take any money for himself, save for a few bucks here and there for gas. All that cash went to the musicians and venues. He'd work the door himself all night, make arrangements for the bands to eat and sleep, and just generally keep all of the necessary plates spinning to keep the show on track. All purely for the love of music.
But anytime one of his favorite bands would take the stage, that's when the devastation began. Adam never had any intention to hurt anyone, but the mosh pit was never completely safe when he was around. Ask anyone who has ever been devastated during an Outbreak or Blacklisted performance, and they'll tell you it's like being run over by a train. (They'll have a smile on their face while they say it, though.)
Five years of selflessly booking punk concerts -- and herding all of the cats that come with that territory -- took its toll, and eventually Adam ceased those efforts and aimed his devastation elsewhere: specifically, at his own liver. Years of excessive drinking took its toll as well, and by October 2014, Adam had had enough. That's when he put down the bottle and picked up a paint brush.
Adam initially started painting as a way to occupy his time without alcohol, but soon he found that he really enjoyed it -- and that he was pretty damn good at it. Friends constantly wanted to purchase his work, and would even commission paintings from him. On October 20, 2016 -- almost exactly two years after Adam stopped drinking -- he held his very first art show at the Crow's Nest in Maplewood, Missouri.
There is nothing "devastating" about the art that Adam creates now. It is whimsical, fun, bright and eye-catching, often including familiar characters from film, TV or music, and even several borne strictly out of Adam's imagination. "Adam the Creator" just doesn't have that same ring to it though, nor does "Adam the Painter." Besides, he's already got "Devastator" tattooed across his stomach. That name is going to stick.
But these days, Adam is far more concerned with creation than destruction. And thankfully, the art he creates is available for all to enjoy. Welcome to the Wonderful and Weird World of Adam the Devastator.