Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Punk Rock Dad Looks Back

In 1984, contrary to Orwell's dire predictions, the world seemed ripe for a youthful revolution of proportions unseen, even by the standards of the 1960s. I was 15. The rock and roll phenomenon had splintered into a dozen fragments, carrying our musical shards to the limits of imagination. There were metalheads, hippies, new-wavers, roots-rockers, rockabillys, goths, rudeboys, too many cliques to list, all plummeting headlong into the future, careless, unyielding, full of arrogance and the bitter yet intoxicating feeling that we had all been duped but we knew it and we could fight, gouge out it's eyes and piss on it's shoes. We were like the first people out of Eden, still scratching at the places in our minds newly filled with the knowledge that we were no longer innocent, like the scar that still itches now and again from a long healed wound. We would devour the world and the other travelers with it, these splinters speeding along beside us, parallel, with the same destination but a totally different energy, competitors for the ultimate goal, whatever the fuck that was. We could win it. We would win it. The game will conclude in the Great Game Show Studio: a ramshackle concrete bunker, painted with crude symbols; a crass, uncultured, middle finger of a building, retched up from the absolute garbage pile left to us by the hippies who burned like a peace & love incense but didn't stick around to clean up the ashes. And we liked it that way. The peace & love generation begat the Fuck You generation. We were our own mythology. Our music was an exercise in violence. Our shows were like  flesh generators, churning out a high-pitched crazed energy, and we would point at others in our pack and say "That dude is the real deal. He really doesn't give a shit."
A '74 Malibu Classic Station-wagon hurtled down Indian Head Highway. The driver, a sociopathic, violent-tempered eighteen-year-old named Jinx, steered the titanic hunk of metal toward Washington, DC, the cassette player blaring "....And we see, all around, Media telling us what to believe, We carry on laughing.....", good British punk rock, putrid anthems. The passengers were varied: a Native American, a Korean American, a German/Irish mongrel, a Scot, all matte and jaded, black leather and homemade shirts, huffing White Out, sipping Mickey's Big Mouths, blotting out adolescence, screaming yet silent, a Church Youth Group gone horribly wrong, deviant, wild-eyed, green-blue-orange-haired, gritting their mental teeth, ignorant and happy, after a fashion. There would be a Show, some drinking, some fighting, music, mayhem, sex, drugs, drama as only adolescents can produce, their appearance and demeanor a big loogie in society's soup. These were the children of the '80s.

More to follow. Stay with me.

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