hotter than hellIn Decem­ber of 1986 I remem­ber sit­ting in my room on a Sat­ur­day night lis­ten­ing to KISS’ “Hot­ter Than Hell” and get­ting incred­i­bly sad at the real­iza­tion that there would one day be a time where I would be old and dying and not able to lis­ten to that album again.  Some­day I wouldn’t be able to pull that record out of that (fuck­ing) awe­some sleeve and hear the click of the nee­dle adjust­ing to the groove and as the octave/chord/whatever you call it riff of “Got To Choose” came ring­ing through the speak­ers I wouldn’t be able to look at the back cover and let the image of Paul Stan­ley mak­ing out with some chick enhance the experience…well, a few years later I scoffed at this notion I once had.  I ridiculed myself.

These events have a way of find­ing their way onto your back and bit­ing your ear.  Yeah, I spent years alone in my crappy bed­room think­ing I was the only per­son in the world smart enough to real­ize the virtues (ok, I wasn’t smart enough to know that word back then) of both KISS and the Bea­t­les, and with help from my tor­men­tive (is that a word) class­mates I hid my obses­sions of BOTH bands.  Now they come onto my iPod and I rel­ish each minute I get.  How is it 20 years later I still find the same sat­is­fac­tion from both “I Am The Wal­rus” and “Goin’ Blind”?

I’ll tell you why.  It’s because I’m fuck­ing smart, and the only stu­pid thing I’ve really done that caused mas­sive wastes of time and money was lis­ten­ing to taste­less idiots dic­tate (vaguely…I mean, I did keep lis­ten­ing to KISS and The Bea­t­les alone in my room all week­end for years instead of get­ting  short spiky rich-kid hair­cuts with OP jams and Banana Repub­lic t-shirts…oh, who am I kid­ding: if my par­ents could have afforded them I would have taken them…except for the jams) what I lis­tened to.  For fuck’s sake, in Feb­ru­ary ’86 I saw the video for “Rise” by PiL and got caught by some dumb hick girl singing the cho­rus to myself.  She told me I was a geek and the lyrics were stu­pid.  Great.  How many years could I have saved if I’d dis­cov­ered “Metal Box” at 13?

Any­way.  Don’t let Joe-87-spiky-cut-guy laugh at you for buy­ing that copy of “Bil­lion Dol­lar Babies” (or it’s equiv­a­lent).  Once around early-’86 these kids in the Peter­bor­ough Town Library made fun of me for tak­ing out the sound­track to the movie “Pop­eye”.  I felt pretty lame at the time, but guess what?  The music was by Harry Nils­son and the movie was directed by Robert Alt­man.  Those kids were lis­ten­ing to the shit radio music that only south­ern NH could offer them (from Boston, actu­ally) while I was delv­ing in dual genius.  “He Needs Me”?  FUCK THOSE GUYS. A motto for all.

I love you, Ashley.