September 10, 2006

Marring Posterity Forever

“I just can’t picture you doing that.”

I was watching a bad swing-revival band play an outdoor gig at Chico State in late April 1996 when the girl next to me told me this. We were in the middle of one of those “this relationship isn’t going to work and this is why” talks, and for some reason I’d mentioned that I’d wanted to play bass guitar in a band, and that I’d wanted this for a few years now. I’d actually bought a bass the month before, after being dumped by a different girl for a guy who I’d eventually end up in a band with.

This was on top of getting thrown out of my dad’s house the previous Christmas, so I had sort of been through the wringer in the last few months, and apparently the only thing that would fix my problems was Loud Rock Music. Naturally, when informed that this wasn’t a sensible thing to do, or that it was unlike me somehow, and by someone who thought they knew better than I did, I immediately chose to become absolutely bent out of shape enough to become exactly the opposite of what everyone expected.

Well…that didn’t happen either- at least not in that exact way. What did happen involved me spending the next decade of my life making much more music, noise, art, and fun than I had any right to expect from something that was originally a blatantly selfish act of revenge. Well, as much revenge as a white suburban Californian male has any right to invoke on the world at large. Sure, there was some rejection, apathy, and outright hostility from people in and out of the music industry who I hoped would care about the bands I was part of, but not too much, and only some of it was justified by my absolute ignorance of The Way Things Are. Once I figured out that the only important part of the puzzle was simply playing, writing, creating, and making it all exist outside of our own heads, actually getting on with it was much easier. That figuring out part took long enough, though.

So why write about it? Why bother? The historian in me says it’s because ten years have passed since that fateful day when Bryn called me to say that he and Adam had written “the best blues song ever!” with Kevin. The realist says I’m doing this because no one else will care enough to do it. They’re both right. The four bands I’ve played in (actually two, but the first had three lineups) kept me sane as far as balancing the other stupid inanities of life, like work, school, and busted relationships, though I think I might have driven them all insane at one point or another over time.

So thanks to Bryn, Adam, Brian, Bill, Joe, Kevin, and Brandon for letting me be in their bands and putting up with my maniacal managerial failures and steadily less rudimentary bass playing. Hopefully all of this shit will continue to mar posterity forever with our unapologetically unprofessional, noisy fun. Thanks also to our friends and fans (and musicians and engineers) who supported all this by coming to shows, buying CDs, offering advice, and generally showing impressive reserves of patience. It was not wasted.

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