punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Trying to align my punk roots

I haven't written much of a blog entry in a while. It's mostly been Twitter feeds. Sorry about that, but I haven't had time to write very much except for my fiction, which is kinda going nowhere. I also have about 3 blog entries that all started to meander and didn't seem to go anywhere. Here's a snippet from a post that was supposed to be about fandom:

For instance, when I saw the movie, "Sixteen Candles," there's a scene where an incredibly wild party happens. I didn't realize this was a humorous exaggeration until a few years ago when it was pointed out to me that "parties like this don't happen in real life." Uh, yes they did. This was far more the classic McLean style party (at least among the guys) because many of my "peers" had lots of money, lived in big houses, and were given a lot of free reign as far as getting away with being popular. Remember the movie, "Valley Girl?" Yep. Those parties, too. When I hung out with a goth or punk crowd, sometimes we'd crash these parties. It's hard to call it crashing since the parties were so out of hand, we were barely even noticed. Most of the times we crashed, it was to pick up booze and interact with the dealers that knew just where to be at what time. But as a hanger-on, I declined the liquor and weed for food. Really, among my goth friends, I was the guy who always snatched the free candy and soda at these parties. How sad is that?

I try and think of the goth and punk crowd I briefly hung around with, and the memories are blurred and confused. There are some severe inconsistencies which make storytelling difficult. The way I sort of remember it was I met them via theater when I did county productions from 1981-1982. These people introduced me to Rocky Horror, that I remember, because we used to practice the lines and Time Warp moves backstage (usually a band room in a school that let us practice after hours). I only went to the actual film once back then, because the crowd, frankly, frightened the crap out of me. I started county productions in 1981, did them for 4 seasons, went to drama camp once, and then ended my Thespian ways after my freshman year in high school, which would have been summer of 1984. But in late winter of 1983, in 8th grade, I dropped my punk friends abruptly in an incident I won't go into, but let's just say I was poisoned and nearly died. So my "punk/goth" friends were from the summer of 1981 until late winter 1983, which kind of matches what I always thought. I really didn't hang around them until summer of 1982, when a bunch of them felt really sorry for me and my home life. So they started to kidnap me on various nights. But now that I have the years nailed down, certain things start to fall apart.

For instance, I remember distinctly being introduced to "The Sugarcubes" via my punk friends (even though it's more of a post-modern avant garde group). I remember the record shop, the huge vinyl disk in a blank sleeve, and listening to it in someone's basement. But Wikipedia says that they didn't have the single I remember, "Birthday," until 1986, which would have been WAY after those days by several years. This would mean either I was introduced to them via punks/goths in fandom (whom I only hung out with peripherally), or I am confusing the punk/goth crowd of the early 1980s who would have introduced me to Klaus Nomi, David Bowie, The Dickies, Iggy Pop, and the Sex Pistols. All I know is that SOMEBODY introduced me to The Sugarcubes, but if it was fandom, whose basement was I in? What record shop? I'd have to have been in high school or later. Still, after "the incident" in 1983, I refused to even acknowledge my punk roots, so unlike a lot of other memories, these were locked away too long and atrophied.

I have had to conclude that I am mixing up memories. So now I have to try and align some very vivid memories and see where the come from. Maybe you guys can help.

- "Slam dancing," banging my head, and doing the "Pogo" at various venues with a girl I had an enormous crush on. I really place this in 1982 because of the girl.
- At some venue, where "Ziggy Stardust" was playing on the wall, and a disagreement among my friends at a metal cafe table whether David Bowie was a man, woman, hermaphrodite, or transsexual version of any of those. This venue also played other random films while live bands were playing, from "The Wall" to "Santa Claus vs. the Martians."
- The 9:30 club when it was a hole in the wall playing local punk bands. I remember the entrance was a black door with a railing, and there was a bar with a filthy fish tank. They never checked ID.
- Hanging out at Georgetown on a cold winter night, where a bunch of us would hang out and I was one of the few who didn't smoke. The old green and white Hamburger Hamlet that said "O HAMBURGER" on the side. Drinking coffee I hated but needed to stay up.
- Hanging out at the Kispy Kreme on Rt1. Watching the sun come up while sitting at dirty wet metal tables chained to the ground.
- Listening to new wave/punk bands and laughing at the cool names. "The Pubic Savages," "Puke and the Rabid Dogs," "Spitting Blood," "Pink Spawn and the Five Spades," "Slug Patrol," "Malediction," and "Mantiza."
Tags: childhood, new wave, punk, theater
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