A Fateful Night In The One Tunnel by PADE RTW

Raided by the Ballbusters
The Ballbusters made problems for everyone in the 1 tunnel. They were a gang of Dominican drug dealers and thugs who lived between 137th and 145thst, just upstairs from the 1 Tunnel. A few of them wrote graffiti. They didn’t believe in one on one fights, preferring the stomp out. At least we had some degree of honor and lived by a code of one on one fights. After me and Regal got our paint taken on the 1 train I went to the 1 tunnel with Bilrock Shock Sik T Kid and some others to look for Ballbusters. We waited in the first car on the Northbound side looking towards 145st. After a short wait two uniformed police entered the tunnel. We opened the side doors and as they passed the car we jumped out the other side. It wasn’t a quiet exit. We charged out screaming. It was a comedy. Somehow a bunch of dudes fell on top of Bilrock whose arm got fucked up. We got away from the cops easily.
After that was a terrible night for the Vamp Squad. I went with Bilrock and we met up with Shock Tkid Rin Booze Sik and some other Vamp Squad members. When I got to 145 st. someone said that Babyrock from the Ballbusters was on the opposite platform and to go fuck him up. By the time I got to the other side Sik had already thrown him a beating and taken his gold chain. Shock and Rin decided to go uptown to assess the situation. We went up to 168 st. On the way uptown as chance would have it we ran into Cos 207 who was on his way home. Bil said “come and do a car with me and Pade” and Cos said “I’m down.” While figuring out our next move at 168 st. we tagged the exit stairway. Then Rin said “all them dudes are home sleeping with their families” and we went back to 145 st. I was at the end closest to 137 st. on the southbound side piecing with Bilrock and Cos when I heard some loud bangs and shock yelling to haul ass. I followed Tkid and Dome and we got separated from the rest. The Ballbusters caught Cos and beat him with bats. He ended up in the hospital. Boozer also got fucked up with bats and Bilrock got caught up in the street, hit with a big pipe, and eventually was saved by some firefighters wielding pikes.
When Min suggested that we start hitting the 1 tunnel a couple years later I was hesitant to say the least. We were two white boys, not large in size although tough and fearless, and we were on the rampage. We were regularly going to all parts of the city hitting nearly every line. We especially liked the underground AA yard at 175thst. near the theatre where Malcolm X was killed. The New Lots Yard ,(2s and 5s) was another of our regular spots along with Grant Layup on the A’s, the Union Turnpike Yard,(E’s and F’s) Sheepshead Bay. The Bridge, (J’s), and City Hall ,(RRs), were my favorites because they were nearby and I could roll up on my bicycle.
That being said it was crazier when I went to the 1 tunnel by myself in late 1978 and was pretty much a toy. Or later when I went with Regal with a broken ankle….and hobbled into the layup. Shit when I start thinking of all the dangerous shit I exposed myself to back in those days it’s hard for me to believe I survived. Did we have a deathwish? No, we were adrenaline junkies.


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