Friday, June 30, 2017

The Punk Years....Part One




In the beginning....

   When I was fourteen years old my sister Maryanne gave me a Misfits cassette for my birthday. “You will like this!” She said with excitement. And she was right because as soon as the first track concluded, I was a fan, but, I wasn’t ready to give my life to this music just yet. I liked it but I liked a number of other genres of music as well. My friends though were different. They were hooked. These maniacs that had pledged their allegiance to the metal gods had laid down their arms and replaced their angst with anarchy patches and mohawks. You couldn’t really blame them though because this was the late eighties when glam metal was ruling the charts, so when they came to that fork in the road of either slam pits or whatever crap MTV was churning out, three chords and a monkey beat just seemed the wiser choice.
Punk rock had seemed to blow up overnight in my home town. Bands were formed and backyard concerts were held on the regular. It was a great time, but, just like everything else it came to an end. People graduated, moved away, and got on with their lives, but the few that remained kept the fire burning. And though Father Time was chewing them up and spitting them out, they refused to give up….and grow up like the rest of us.

Whatever that means?

   I was twenty five when I got the call. I had been living in Los Angeles off and on for the last four years, and ever since my stint in the military had ended, I was on a quest. I wanted a band. Honestly, I had always been more into metal and rap music, and since bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Infectious Grooves were gaining fame, now was the time to act.

(Phone rings)
 Me- Hello.
 Jerry- Hey! What’s up? I was calling about the singer ad you posted in the Music Connection.
 Me- Cool. Thanks for calling. You guys are into funk and metal, right?
 Jerry- No, we actually we are a punk band.
 Me- Punk band? Not, a funk band?
 Jerry- Nope, we play punk rock. The Music Connection probably made a mistake.
 Do you like punk? If so, you are more than welcome to come down and try out.
 Me- Sure….fuck it…when and where?

  A week later, I met these metal dudes at a whare house in Canoga Park. Since punk had become popular again, thanks to Green Day, they wanted to cash in on this franchise. Their mentor was the late Jim Cherry of Strung out, and because of this, the “band” sounded pretty much like whatever was making money on Fat Wreck Chords. I think Jim new that this project wasn’t going anywhere because the first day that I met him, he invited me to go on a Fat Burger run….
Jim- So dude, do you like this band? Because I think you are a really good fit for it.
 Me- What do you mean?
 Jim- What I mean is that if you want this band to prosper, you need to become the leader. These guys are idiots, but you, you get it…Pat.
 Me- Um…okay? Can you buy me a burger?
 Jim- (rolls his eyes)
But, after day five of band practice, I called it quits. For one, Canoga Park was just too far away to sit in a stinky rehearsal room and watch my band mates get high, and two, I had to ride the bus to this place, which meant getting home at three in the morning and then wake up three hours later for work…taxing.

  I kept in contact with the guitar player though, who went by the name of Scott. He was a big fan of Lagwagon, as well as Snickers and Coke (cheap shot…I know), and still wasn’t ready to give up on the dream just yet.

To be continued....

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