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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Hellacopters Final Curtain Call

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The Hellacopters are throwing in the towel.

While the band has been fairly dormant since 2007, a recent MySpace post announced they would be playing their last shows ever this weekend.

Back in the late-'90s, when I was in the throes of being a music journalist, I was a serious Hellacopters fans. I spent many a year on a garage rock jag, diggin' most of the stuff that came out on labels like Crypt, Man's Ruin, and Estrus. I could get enough of bands like The Quadrajets, Fireballs Of Freedom, The New Bomb Turks and The Dwarves.

When I got my hands on Super Shitty To The Max I played the hell out of it.

At some point, the band embarked on a US tour with The Quadrajets and The Nomads (another great Swedish band) and I set up an interview with Nick Royale, singer and guitarist for The Hellacopters and wrote a preview piece for the local weekly to promote the show. I sort of hit it off with Nick and before the interview was over I had invited the band over to my place for a pre-show cookout but that was weeks away.

Fast forward to the day of the show.

I get a call from the club owner asking for directions to my house, that The Hellacopters wanted to take me up on my offer. I few minutes later a white van showed up driven by Dave Curran, the bassist from Unsane who was functioning as their tour manager. Beers were consumed, burgers eaten and cultural conversations ensued.

Hellacopters bassist Kenny Hakansson excused himself to use the bathroom.

When he came back he said something to Nick in Swedish then turned to me and asked about the room across from the bathroom that had a drum set and amps in it.

"Can we jam?" he asked.

"Sure," I said and went on to explain that's what the room was for but the concept of house party shows was foreign to them.

So Nick, lead guitarist Robert Fahlquist and drummer Robert Eriksson made their way to the room and rocked the fuck out. Nick, a left hander, played my bass upside down while the two Bobs went ape shit on their respective instruments.

My shitty Kramer guitar and Peavey amp never sounded so good; it's not the equipment folks, it's the musician that can turn lemons into lemonade.

The above picture is from that fateful day.

The Hellacopters would go on to be rock stars of the highest order in their country, put out several albums through Sub Pop and then Liquor & Poker before fading from my horizon. I had kids, lost my job and pretty much stopped writing about music for a half dozen years but I'd still break out The Hellacopters when occasion called for it.

I can't remember how or when it came up but at some point my oldest son asked me what was in his room before it became his room. I explained that we had called it the "rock room" because it stored the stereo, copious amounts of CDs and vinyl LPs and a selection of musical instruments.

And it was left at that for another 18 months until he started to show interest in music (Thin Lizzy and DEVO) and shortly thereafter began to pilfer records from my collection so he could establish his own music library. I brought up The Hellacopters story again only this time I dug through my photo archives and found some slides and a few color prints made from them.

Not having a fucking clue who The Hellacopters were, he was still impressed that a rock band had been in his room, so he took the photo and stuck it up on his wall.

And then The Hellacopters faded into the horizon once again.

Until last Christmas when we got PS2 from my sister-in-law.

And then he one day while playing a video game he heard a Hellacopters song on it and yelled for me.

"Dad! Dad! Listen, it's The Hellacopters!" he said excitedly.

Sure enough, "Bring It On Home" was blaring out of the television.

Oh, and he also eventually would unlock a Hellacopters song playing Guitar Hero.

So today, I raise a toast to a band who has made a lasting impact not just on me but also on my son, a generational double shot of rock 'n' roll.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Okay, Here It Is...


The job post.

Or posts.

It's been two weeks since I got a job and returned to the 9-to-5 world after seven years of parenting during the day and catering on the weekends.

Yes, I have officially "retired" from catering.

But I still have this urge to clean up people's plates after they have finished eating.

It may take awhile to break that habit.

My typical day now starts out around 6:45am.

I get up and make the boys their breakfast and lunch then see to it that they get dressed and pack their book bags for school. Around 7:45am I hop on my bike and ride for about 15 to 20 minutes to the bus stop which is in front of the local Kroger grocery store. I lock up my bike and then head into Kroger for a snack (Clif Bar) and a drink (bottled water) then go to the bus stop and wait for the Number 10 to arrive.

I get on the bus around 8:15am and it winds it's way through Durham finally arriving at the Downtown Depot at 9am.

I get off and walk down Morris until it changes into Washington Street, about 5 minutes until I reach the office. Once through the front door I turn left into my office and open the blinds to see the old Durham Bulls Ballpark right across the street from me. I fire up the Mac lap top I have been provided and go through emails, read beer blog posts and then ask if any one is going on a coffee run.


Once a necessity to jump start my day, coffee is now more a habit; a reminder that the work day has begun. But the bike ride and walk, as it turns out, are a great way to get the head cleared for the day.

Like any job, there's meetings and phone calls and research and all those laborious tasks that come with being an editor. Only the subject matter is beer.

Two of my co-workers are serious jazz heads so one of the local college radio stations that specializes in jazz is pumped out over speakers throughout the day. The work environment is casual to say the least and while every job has its stressful moments, we here at the magazine can remind ourselves this: it's about beer.


Stress gone.

Then it's lunch, where I have been sampling menus at places like Piedmont, Toast and Guajillos and I have a hunch you will start to see an upturn in food-related posts in the next few weeks.

After lunch I consult with my editor who is currently trying to put the finishing touches on an issue. I check with circulation and production people and update them on the status of copy, files and artwork. The last few days I have been calling breweries to track down bottle labels to run with reviews much like you would scan CD artwork for a music review.

Since yesterday was Friday, that means somewhere between 3:30-4:30pm an anouncement will come: Beer Thirty.

When Beer Thirty is anounced, the office shuts down and everybody relocates over to Tyler's Taproom. The talk doesn't change much from the office, and I'm still with pen and paper jotting down ideas and suggestions from the staff. After a few rounds of beers, everybody goes their separate ways to enjoy their weekends.

Then Monday comes and we all start the process all over again.
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Have Mercy!*


Downtown Durham bus depot.

*Yes, that's a ZZ Top reference.
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Carne Asada


If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I love street vendor Mexican food.

As a former resident of Los Angeles, in recent years I would complain about the lack of access to real, quality Mexican food, specifically the carne asada here in the Triangle.

It would take visits back out to Los Angeles to satiate my palate for this gloriously simple fare.

These days, with the Latino population on the ever increase in North Carolina, my options have improved.

And then this week I hit jackpot.

I had spent the better part of the morning doing what most editors do at magazines, newspapers and websites and that is meeting with fellow editors on topics for possible features as well as speaking to/emailing with the magazine's crop of writers to see what they have on their plates.

Suddenly it was past 1 o'clock and I needed to put something in my gut, so I slipped on my jacket (it's been brisk here) and walked out the front door of the office.

Right across the street is the old Durham Bulls Ballpark which is currently under renovation.

I spotted a couple of construction workers sitting with their backs up against the fence eating, a card table set up in front of them with napkins and condiments on it.

And right next to it was a big, white, nondescript truck.


They were low on asada so I got one carnitas with my two-taco order.

For $3.

There is a food god.

Now I wish that truck would come back...
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All About Beer


Years ago, when I was a music editor at the local weekly newspaper, everyday the postman would drop off a US Mail tub in my office overflowing with CDs.

My co-workers would drool at the endless supply that would arrive. I would assure them, that while yes it was cool to receive unlimited numbers of promotional CDs, the simple fact was that most of them just wouldn't be that good.

Times have changed.

I work at a beer magazine now.

The mailman stills comes everyday with packages.

Only now they contain craft beers to be sampled for our review section.

Something tells me the ratio of good versus bad in this scenario is going to fall more on the side of good.

I'm just sayin'...
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Follow The Yellow Brick Road


Or something like that.

Home is just moments away...
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Thursday, October 23, 2008



Fucking kids.

This is what happens when your two boys grow up, get educated and learn to spell.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Keep On Moving

A couple of months ago I wrote about my hitchhiking escapades.

I ended up hitchhiking a few more times after that fateful trip, again mostly out of necessity, but none quite as eventful.

A year later I had transferred to a different college (ironically in Baltimore County) and wound up taking a theater class for shits & giggles.

As a class requirement for Intro to Theater, we had to read Waiting For Godot and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead.

I got inspired and wrote a play that semester.

I was like 21 when I wrote this.



by Greg Barbera

The Players:
Man driving car


The play consists of Joseph standing on stage. He is holding a duffle bag and wearing jeans and a jacket.

The Man in The Car is projected on a screen. The entire conversation takes place in this "space" so that it appears that both players are not really talking to anyone but themselves.

(As the play begins, Joseph is standing on the side of the interstate. There are a few hedges scattered along the roadside behind him. Across the interstate are rows and rows of corn, which is all that can be viewed in either direction.)

JOSEPH: (speaking toward the screen. He is young, about 22.)
Damn, it's hot out. No wonder the crops are damaged. It's a shame they are brown and not that luscious green.

(He looks down and huffs with a slight tone of dejection and kicks the ground.)

At least they have some sort of fate — a destiny. I mean what is my fate? And where am I going? I mean I'm on a road and this road leads to somewhere but is that where I'm going to stop or will I keep on moving? But the roads are so plenty (pauses) does that mean that I'll never stop? (He whispers to himself) Never really get... anywhere?

(He looks up at the sun. It's high noon and the sun is beating down on the earth relentlessly. He turns his eyes away from the bright light and looks at the ground. He begins to walk, looking at his feet with an occasional glance up at the road/screen.)

JOSEPH: Well, if I stop then it is done. I mean my fate will be sealed. I'll be here and here is where I will remain... (muttering the last word under his breath) forever. Forever seems like a mighty long time. Especially here. Here's definitely not where I want to stay. But where am I going? I mean I know I'm on this road and this road leads to somewhere but is somewhere where I want to be? Is somewhere the end? And how will I know if that is the end? (whispers to himself again) Does it ever end?

(He bows his head in contemplation, then squats on his duffle bag and assumes the form of "The Thinker")

Think about it for a second. Nothing and I mean nothing ever ends. Does it? You read a book and there's this plot about a guy who kills his best friend. On the last page of the book it reads "The End". But then you think about it. How could anyone kill their best friend? And years later you're sitting in a cafe somewhere and two guys walk in, they appear as if to be best friends, and then Bam! You think about that story you read years ago and say to yourself "How could anyone kill their best friend?" And then you think about murder and how could any-body really take the life of another and all this because you read a book?! You begin to curse the author for invading your world and putting ideas in your head that can never be erased. 'The End'. What a joke.

(Joseph hears the sound of a car coming behind him. He gets up off his bag and turns around, glances down the road and sees a car in the distance. Once again we are seeing his point of view on screen as his head turns on stage. He then puts his thumb out in traditional hitchhiking manner. He begins to squint to try and get a look of the person inside the car. The car comes closer and drives by as the Doppler Effect takes over. Joseph turns back around and resumes walking.)

JOSEPH: I wonder where he's going? She's going? or if he/she is even trying to get somewhere. Could be one of those types who just floats around from here to there. A gypsy. A nomad. But that's not me. Nope. (shakes his head) I'm going somewhere. I'm going to do something with my life. (He says real emphatically, then trails off to lower tone of voice) But where am I going and when will I get there? Will it be days, months, and years? Well, as long as I'm moving I guess I'm getting closer to there, where ever it may be. I hope I like it when I get there. I kinda like it here. It's quiet and peaceful. But I'm sure this isn't there, I mean, here isn't where I want to go. At least I don't think so. It just doesn't feel right. I mean I just want it to feel right. That unexplainable voice inside that tells you "This is it. This feels right."

(Joseph stops again. This time to tie his shoe. As he bends over to tie his shoe, he sees another car coming down the road. It is just a speck on the horizon. After he ties his shoe he stands once again with his thumb out.)

JOSEPH: (whispering to himself) I hope this car is going where I want to go. Or at least in that direction. (dumbfounded) But what direction am I going in anyway? If they do stop to give me a ride, where will I tell them I'm going?
(the car slows down as it passes Joseph. It pulls over to the side of the road. The driver opens the passenger door. The MAN IN CAR is older, probably in his thirties with a beard and beer belly a.k.a a plumber.)



(the following conversation takes place on screen)

MAN: Where you headed?
JOSEPH: huh?
MAN: Where ya going?
JOSEPH: (mumbles) The eternal question.
MAN: What!
JOSEPH: uhhh, just down the road a ways (he pauses) And yourself?
MAN: To the next town.
JOSEPH: What's there?
MAN: Work I hope. I'm flat broke and need a job.
JOSEPH: What if there isn't any work? Where to then?
MAN: I dunno. I'll take it one step at a time. (he pauses) So are you also going to the next town?
JOSEPH: I suppose, but I 'm not really sure. I mean I'm going somewhere and its not here so that means that I'm headed in some sort of direction but if that is where I'm going to stay (pauses) well, I just can't say. What direction are you headed in?
MAN: (a little irritated) To the next town, but I already told you that.
JOSEPH: Right, right (nods his head and pauses) but I mean, you know, where is your fate headed? Where are you going? Where will you be when you stop going?
MAN: (more perplexed than irritated) When I stop, I'll be in the next town. That's about all I can tell ya.
JOSEPH: (smiling) Ahhh, nearsightedness. I suppose it is some sort of virtue, but I don't seem to possess it. I mean I want to know my destiny. You know, like where I'm gonna be when I stop. When it all ends.
MAN: (in a matter of fact tone) Well, pal, for me its gonna end when I die. (speaks in a tone of self revelation and shakes his head up and down) Yea! When I die is when it will all end for me.
JOSEPH: (agreeing) That's what I mean. Where will you be when you die?
MAN: In the ground.
JOSEPH: (chuckles) Yea, I see. But you've missed the point. In that instant before you die where will you be?
MAN: Probably in pain. That's where I'll be.
JOSEPH: Pain, hmm, but is that a place you can go to?
MAN: Hey man, I don't know about you, but I've been in pain before.
JOSEPH: How did you get there?
MAN: In pain?
MAN: (speaks loudly and quite animated) I hit my thumb with a hammer, that's how I got there!
JOSEPH: So you did that just to get to pain?
MAN: No idiot! It was an accident.
JOSEPH: So you didn't subconsciously do this to "get" to pain?
MAN: (vehemently) No! Pain isn't a place, it's a feeling.
JOSEPH: So you think that if I feel like getting some where then Iwill be there?
MAN: All I'm saying is that if you hit your hand with a hammer, it hurts.
JOSEPH: So if I think I am in this car then I am in this car?
MAN: Well. it sure looks to me like you are in a car. My car. For the time being, anyway.
JOSEPH: I see. So if I "feel" pain then I'm at "pain" and if I "feel" that I'm in a "car", then I am at that place, "car".
MAN: Whatever you say man.
JOSEPH: I guess I just don't know where I "feel" like going and that's why I can't get there. Because I just don't know. I just don't "feel" anything.
MAN: I bet you I could make you feel. (he leans over and thunks Joseph on the head with his finger.)
JOSEPH: Ouch! What are you doing?
MAN: Taking you to that place "pain". Did you "feel" it?
JOSEPH: I felt something.
MAN: That's pain. Although not much of it.
JOSEPH: There's more of it?
MAN: Sure! A lot more from where that came from.
JOSEPH: So you're admitting that it came from somewhere.
MAN: Hey pal, if you want to feel pain I can make you feel pain.
JOSEPH: I'm not that into pain but I would like to "feel" like I am going somewhere.
MAN: I feel like I'm going somewhere. I'm in my car and my car's the side of the fucking road to boot your sorry ass out.
JOSEPH: But where is your car going to stop?
MAN: In the next town, but you only asked me if I felt like I was moving, going somewhere.
JOSEPH: Of course your car could run out of gas and then it would stop and we would be out here in the middle of nowhere. And do we really know if we have moved? I mean the scenery hasn't changed.
MAN: But my odometer has.
JOSEPH: I don't "feel" like we are moving.
MAN: Are you still where you were when I picked you up?
JOSEPH: Um, I don't think so.
MAN: Then you've moved because you're no longer where you once were. Even if you haven't moved you're still no longer where you once were because you can't remember where you were before can you?
JOSEPH: Before what?
MAN: Before me.
JOSEPH: I was on the side of the road.
MAN: And before that?
JOSEPH: (He looks down and puts his head in his hand) Hhhhmmm, where was I before that?
MAN: What have you done?
JOSEPH: A little of this, a little of that. Nothing special.
MAN: So why now? Why the desire to "do" something. To go somewhere when you don't know where you've been?
JOSEPH: Because I feel it.
MAN: So you do "feel" !
JOSEPH: Somethings.
MAN: Like what?
JOSEPH: I feel like I should be going somewhere to do something to get to that "place" so it all can end.
MAN: That's quite a task you've taken on my friend.
JOSEPH: So we're friends now? I've never had a friend.
MAN: Its just a phrase. You're not my friend.
JJOSEPH: I'm not?
MAN: (shakes his head) Afraid not.
JOSEPH: Then what am I?
MAN: A freak.

(There is a long moment of silence as the two stare at each other.)

MAN: (with a nervous chuckle) But that doesn't have to be a bad thing.
JOSEPH: Sure sounded like it.
MAN: Can't believe everything you hear.
JOSEPH: What can you believe in?
MAN: Nuthin'. there's just life...and death.'Course them Christians believe in life after death. Me, I'm like an elephant. I've moved around all my life, from small towns to big cities just trying to put food in my belly and find a warm place to sleep. Then when I'm all done and ready to leave this world, I'll just walk to that final resting place and close my tired eyes one last time.
JOSEPH: Just keep on moving.
MAN: And never stop.
JOSEPH: Never.
MAN: But there are people who try to stop you. And try to keep you down.
MAN: To keep themselves ahead I guess. I mean if everyone keeps on moving, someone's got to fall behind.
JOSEPH: How do they keep you down? What do they do to stop you?
MAN: Anything they can. Anyway they can. Anyhow.
JOSEPH: That's harsh.
MAN: It sucks.
JOSEPH: So what do you do? I mean how do you deal?
MAN: Well, kid there's only one person in control of what goes on and that's yourself. You gotta make it happen, whatever it is.
JOSEPH: (shaking his head in heavy disbelief) Man.
MAN: Hate to burst your bubble kid, but it is time to "feel" the real world. The world where people kill people and fuck each other just to get to the top. It's a jungle and no one gets out alive. You got to kick and claw and scratch to get what you want and never turn your back on anyone because once they see that vulnerable spot, they chomp at it like a pack of wolves.
JOSEPH: The hunter and the hunted.
MAN: That's right kid. You're learning.
JOSEPH: "Speak softly and carry a big stick."
MAN:Yep, biggest one you got. And don't be afraid to swing that thing. Do what you got to do. Give yourself some room if you know what I mean.
JOSEPH: I think I get your drift.
MAN: Good! And don't forget it.
JOSEPH: "Only the strong survive."
MAN: The strongest.
JOSEPH: One life to live.
MAN: One and only one. Then you meet your maker.
JOSEPH: Who's he? Who's your maker?
MAN: God, boy! And it's a pretty safe bet that He's your maker too.
JOSEPH: You sure?
MAN: Positive.
JOSEPH: I don't like to gamble.
MAN: Especially when the stakes are high. But you've got no choice.
JOSEPH: But I don't know about God.
MAN: Well, whether you know about Him or not boy, you can't argue with God.
JOSEPH: You can't?
MAN: No man.
JOSEPH: So you believe in God then?
MAN: Sorta.
JOSEPH: What do you mean sorta?
MAN: I have my doubts.
JOSEPH: So God only exists when you "feel" him to exist?
MAN: Uh, He's there when I need Him.
JOSEPH: So when you don't think about Him then He's not there.
MAN: That sounds about right.
JOSEPH: So if you don't think about me then I won't be here?
MAN: But if I stop thinking about you you'll still be here... (he points to the seat in his car) in my car.
JOSEPH: Try it.
MAN: What?
JOSEPH: Stop thinking.
MAN: (quizzical) Stop thinking?
JOSEPH: About me.

(The screen goes black. Joseph is standing on stage.
There is one bright light on him. His duffle bag is by
his feet. His thumb is sticking out. The stage is black)


Monday, October 13, 2008

The End Of An Era

So tomorrow I start a new job.

I always knew that I would one day return to work after the kids had grown, I just can't believe that time has come.

Along the way I made friends with some other at-home dads, pissed off a few moms, had a health care scare, started a band, got a vasectomy, catered my ass off, appeared on NPR and on the front page of the local daily.

I'm changed shit tons of diapers and potty trained two boys. I've had to confront the existence of the tooth fairy, resurrect Rudolph, defend Santa and generally try to keep keep my wits amongst utter chaos.

It's by far been the toughest yet most rewarding job I have ever had. And it's not like my job as dad and parent has gone out to pasture, it's just that the boys are older now and don't need me as they did when they were infants and toddler so I'm rollin' back to the 9-to-5.

I've got endless stories to share especially ones from the early years before I started blogging that I have been working on under the guise of "memoir" that I'll most likely share because as a literary agent once told me, "Men don't read parenting books."

Oh, but they read blogs...

Friday, October 10, 2008


This time last year I was talking about speeding tickets and religion.

In 2006, I was giddy over scoring this charcoal grill for free.

And in 2005 I just couldn't get this song out of my head.

Big changes loom on the horizon... stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Crossed Up And Kicked Out

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I rode my bike a lot with the kids in the neighborhood this summer.

It’s kinda weird because it made me feel like I was ten again.

Some of the kids were into trying do to some tricks with the plastic launch ramp we found at the dump awhile back. They all had one goal in mind: to jump off the launch ramp.

I felt obligated to chaperone these types of shindigs for two reason: because my 5-yr-old still hasn’t shed his training wheels and thinks its cool to do bar stands on the top of his frame and because two kids in the ‘hood don’t have helmets.

I was trying to give them some pointers on getting off the jump when the peanut gallery chimed in and demanded that I show them “since I know so much.”

One of the things I’ve tried to instill in my sons is that you need to master the basics of a sport before you can excel at it. Last summer I spent many days trying to teach my oldest how to ollie, fakie and kickturn on a skateboard.

So now I’m trying to apply the same basic elements to bmx: if you can do a wheelie, bunny hop and endo then you can safely say they’ll be able to handle anything above and beyond that.

Of course they wanted me to show them how to do a wheelie so I pedaled around in circles a few times, readied my footing, pointed my bike uphill and went at it. I knocked off one – a huge one – about 30 yards (passed two driveways) and as soon as my front wheel hit the ground, howls of joy and excitement erupted from the gang.

I then made a bet with them: that I would try and make it to the top of the hill by the end of the summer. I figured that way I’d have something to do while I was out there “supervising” the kids. But after a few days it became more like a circus act with other kids coming over and asking to see me “pull a wheelie.”

One day an elderly neighbor- while on his daily walk through the neighborhood -saw me in the midst of one of my many wheelie attempts up the hill.

“I’ve never seen any thing like that,” he said.
“Darndest thing I’ve ever seen… really” he paused then said, “Ya ought to charge for that”

When I came back down the hill the kids asked me what he said and I told them he told me I should charge for it.

“Yeah!” said one kid. “Like 50 cents!”
“No, no… two dollars!” said another kid.

All this talk about being the wheelie king of the ‘hood got me thinking about my own bike gang growing up and Rockville BMX .

I worked briefly at Rockville BMX. I would put spokes in rims and then hand them over to Tiger who would tighten and true them. There was a whole cast of characters at that place starting with the owner Jay and his sister (?) Root Girl and right on through to every nicknamed employee.

It was there that I met two of my best friends Scooby and Nubby. The guys I had met at the Alligator Pit jumps - Jeff, Andy and Joey – were regulars there as well. Rockville BMX wasn’t just a store, it was a place to hang out and Jay was the ringleader. He had a soda machine that had a mystery button on it: you could get a V8 or you could get a beer.

The place was also a stop on the bmx trick team circuit and every summer a team of riders would come out and do demos. The bible of bmx, Freestylin’ magazine, would run photos of these contest and suddenly The East Coast had reared its head as a viable spot for bmx, it didn’t just belong in SoCal anymore.

Even Pennsylvania got in on the act, with York being ground zero for the Plywood Hoods. Plywood Hood alum Mike Daily went on to be the editor of GO:The Rider’s Manual, which was the publication Freestylin’ had morphed into. “Martin’s BBQ Waffle Potato chips, Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets and peanut butter Kandy Kakes with Turkey Hill iced tea was all we ever needed,” said Daily in a recent e-mail.

Times were simpler then.

This summer, a coffee-table book retrospective was released. Freestylin’: Generation F chronicles those simpler times when bmx wasn’t an actions sport sponsored by the Dew. The book had a limited run but you can go here and peep it.

Eventually, part of my crew would be absorbed into this traveling circus. Scooby and Nubby would leave and return from tour with a bunch of swag, an assload of stickers and mighty tall tales from the road. “I use to take care of shit,” said Scooby during a phone conversation I recently had with him after I tracked him down in Colorado. “The East Coast invasion changed bmx,” said Scooby, again without explanation.

One kid, the runt of the bunch that was probably 60 pounds soaking wet, named Spoke left and soon migrated to California for greener BMX pastures. Somewhere along the way, Spoke became Spike.

Yeah, that Spike.

I’m not sure why Scooby and Nubby never made the move out west. I know both of them had very close-knit families and I guess that is what kept them coming back to Maryland.

Years later, after bmx faded, Scooby and I took up mountain biking often riding to work together to our job at Topel Blueprinting. And much like the days of Rockville BMX, Topel became the place to work. And again another colorful, motley crew came together called the Dickie Boys but that’s a whole ‘nother post right there…

Pictured: Brian Blyther, summer 1987, Rockville BMX