My fellow dad Chag over at Cynical Dad dot com asked me to step in and deejay for him this week. Click on the header for a link to his fine site.
Chag has been ending his posts for-EVER with some sort of YouTube clip and this weekend I had the pleasure of the musical invite.
It was kinda hard - I must confess - to narrow it down to five because my head was a-twitter with the possiblities of being able to warp his readers minds with crazy shit. Suffice it to say there's no Buttholes Surfers, Clockcleaner or even the Chest Pains.
I kept it relatively tame and did some sort of biographical look back on bands that passed through my radar while growing up. Still this was tough, because there's been many and - honestly - even I'm a bit confused by some of my choices.
One pick was The Obsessed, a metal band from back in the days when I was dabbling in hesherism and skateboard punk as a wee lad in Aspen Hill. They were the guys who wore ammo belts and had cut-off jean jackets with patches and smelled like cheap weed.
The Obsessed crossed-over as it were playing for both punk and metal bands. I once saw them play with Iron Cross and Government Issue at a rec center in Wheaton, Maryland.
Wheaton, Maryland, folks!!
And I had my dad drop me off too because I was in like 9th grade and couldn't get my driver's license until I passed chemistry. A feat I still don't know how I accomplished!
Anyway, thinking about The Obsessed dredged up some fine memories... and also some downright scary ones.
Case in point:
During the end of my tenure living in Los Angeles, I had stumbled upon a weekly paper listing that The Obsessed were going to play. The band had broken up and reformed a couple of times and now it appeared they had signed to a major label. The time being what it was back then (punk had already "broke" as they say), the band was scheduled to appear to play in some seedy joint called Dragonfly that ultimately would give them some sort of hipster stamp of approval. I had previously seen Shudder To Think and Everclear there.
So I set out to go check out the band - solo - as I had done so many times before because I was a music geek who would go to the far reaches of the earth to see a band most had never heard of nor wanted to hear of in their lifetime.
Thing was, the flyer I had gave me the wrong information. Instead of the 6500 block of Santa Monica Blvd., it had the 6100 block of Santa Monica Blvd., which for the uninitiated (at least at the time) was boys town - the hot block for male prostitution. So I found the address - according to the flyer - and parked on some side street in a not-very-well-lit place. I felt something was amiss because I didn't see any long hairs milling about but then I convinced myself that I was just one hip motherfucker who knew about a band nobody else knew about. Ha-hah!
Crossing the street to get to said bar I was harassed by some Latino gang members who were loitering outside a liquor store.
Okay, that was uncomfortable but I was on a mission.
Again, I had this slight feeling that I was in the wrong place but couldn't rightly feel confident enought that I was, so I soldiered on. But then I got to the address on the flyer and there was indeed a bar and the door was open but it surely didn't look like the Dragonfly I had been inside before, so I made a mental note and decided that my hunch that the flyer's address was wrong was indeed true. I figured I'd just go back to my car and drive a few more blocks down the boulevard and find the right place.
I was standing on the corner waiting for traffic to pass when a tricked-out Lincoln Continental pulled up to the curb, curb-feelers scraping cement so much so that I had to step back. The electronic window on the passenger side slide down and as I bent down to look in a German(?) voice came from within.
"You vant a ride?" said the faceless figure.
Puzzled, I looked down again into the window.
"Comez zit in my car," said the voice and I saw a pale white hand pat the passenger seat.
And then it hit me that this dude thought I was some trick, some Private Idaho runaway junkie looking to score.
Flustered and confused I shot back, "I'm just trying to cross the street," I said.
"Vhat about vhen you cross?" said the voice.
"Fuck off," I said.
Then I ran into the darkness, got into my car and drove home as quickly as I could. I stopped closer to my Los Feliz crib and bought a 40 ouncer.
Once home, I locked our front door and sat on the couch drinking that bottle as fast as I could.
"We got to get out of this town," I said to my future wife.