youth

published

Sitting in my hotel room in Chester, England. Listening to MP3s. Lola comes on. I must have heard this song a thousand times in the last couple years. But for some reason, I’m reminded of the first time I was introduced to it.

Hanging out in Coyle Music. Must have been a weekday afternoon, summer between seventh and eigth grade. Morgan Pletcher and I used to go there all the time to hang out with two of the guitar salesmen there: Mike Geezey and Paul Whalon. Paul was in a band called Bros. Grimm. I bought their tape, and Paul had all the guys in the band sign it for me. They had one song with an opening riff a lot like Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns-N-Roses. Mike Geezey had this long, curly jet black hair.

I remember Mike and Paul trying to remember all the words to Bad Moon Rising by Credence Clearwater Revival. I’d never heard it, but decided that I liked the lyrics a lot. After that, they started working on the lyrics to Lola. I thought it was a weird song. But once they started singing it, I recognized the tune as Weird Al Yankovich’s Yoda.

I don’t remember ever meeting Paul and Mike. I just always knew them, somehow. Clearly, I must have been introduced at some point… I worked in the accounts department there one summer, perhaps that was how I met them. I also took bass lessons from a guy who was in a band called Shok-Tu; but he was later replaced by the bassist from The Bellows; so perhaps one of them introduced us. Or maybe Morgan and I just started talking to them while they were on a smoke break out front one day.

Morgan and I used to meet at Buzzard’s Nest Records nearly every day. We’d hang out in the air conditioning, looking at the same tapes and tee-shirts - and somehow this never got boring. Then we’d have a cigarette as we walked across the parking lot to Coyle Music.

We knew the staff at Buzzard’s Nest too, somehow. Even managaed to get them to buy cigarettes for us. There were these two girls who worked during the week. I can’t for the life of me remember their names. But to an eigth grade kid, they were the two coolest girls on the planet. Morgan and I used to have so much fun just hanging out in the store with them.

One day we stole one of the girls’ diary, and started reading. Wow did that piss her off! And I can’t even remember what it said… One time Morgan got one of the girls to kiss him on the cheek. I thought he was so suave.

After a couple hours hanging out, we’d walk up to Wendy’s for a few burgers. Then back to hang out some more. If either of us had any money, we might buy a tape or two. I bought a lot of Iron Maiden there. Also got all my Metallica and Megadeth there. Even bought a band called Rigor Mortis - a great thrash band.

On the weekends, I’d get my parents or my sister to take me to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Just an excuse to stay out late, curse, smoke, and look at women in their underwear.


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