Friday, April 27, 2007

My life revisited

At age 14, starting high school in 1980, my musical tastes were REO, Styx and similar type rock bands. That all changed when I met a kid named Tim Potter during my freshman year. His brother, John, had travelled all over the world when he was in the Navy, but England and the scene in London really captured his interest. He turned us on to the Clash and the Sex Pistols. Then other bands that no one had ever heard of like Kraftwerk. He had these boxes of European pressings that you couldn't even get in the States.

It was the "punk" bands that piqued our interest. Several bands are credited with beginning the "punk" movement, most notably, the Clash, the Sex Pistols and the Damned in England and the Ramones and the New York Dolls in New York. For me, The Clash were the best of these. Musically, more complex, and lyrically, more thoughtful than the others. Where the Pistols bashed through a song, the Clash caressed it, employing 3 or 4 guitar harmonies. From there, John introduced us to California hardcore- Black Flag etc.

John would take us to Wax Trax records, then on Fullerton, one of ths only stores in Chicago at that time where you could get anything other than rock and roll or "classic rock."

John used to wear this red leather jacket and of course his English rocker boots. He took us to Lucky Number, Neo's and a couple of other clubs. We couldn't always get in- hell we were only 15 or 16, but it was the challenge of it all.

We explored Chicago's punk scene. Going to bars like West End, Tuts and the Cubby Bear (when it was just a one room bar) to see punk bands, local and national. This is before Wrigley Field had lights, so as the all ages crowd would filter in for a punk show, the day time Cubs crowd would be finishing their beers and lamenting the latest Cubs loss. Interesting mix.

Bands we used to see regularly: Out of Order, Life Sentence, Big Black and of course Naked Raygun. The last time I saw Naked Raygun was probably during the summer of 1984, right before I went to college.

Tonight, they are playing at the House of Blues. My expectations are medium. How can a show now match an experience I had 20 years ago when I was 18?? At 18, my only care in the world was to go to college, drink beer etc. Now, my biggest concern is trying to balance time and commitments so that I can ride as much as possible.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Just getting caught up -- last night was definitely not mediocre! Thanks for letting me tag along with the group -- the show was definitely better hanging out with you all!