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Entry date: 3-30-2024 – I think I love Demolition – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Well, the kids and I have all maintained pretty much the same eyesight as last year. One I got a little stronger, even, for me in distance but lost a step up close. My left eye is going into full slacker mode, I think. Motherfucker is letting Righty do all the work.


Had a nice lunch with Bobby and Michael. It was good to be in the same room with them. I see Michael a lot, but when the three of us are together, it’s a good thing. I hadn’t been to the Duck and Decanter in a long time, but it is still pretty darn good. The sandwich was tasty, and the company was great.


Clearly, I have lived to write another day after my first experience with a jackhammer. I’m not going to rush out and buy one of my own, but it was an experience. Those things make a big fucking mess, too. All that manual labor has got me swearing up a storm today.


Ryan’s coming over this morning to start the plumbing process and hook up our new dishwasher. Uncle Joe is coming over this afternoon to get us going on adding and fixing the drywall. Things are coming together.



(The Bet)

An hour and a half later, Sean walked down Melrose, high as a Georgia pine, with about an hour to kill before work. He had waited tables stoned out of his gourd plenty of times. Most of the patrons of Ma Maison were either too drunk or high themselves to notice, too rich to care about anyone else, or so busy looking to see who was around them that Sean could have been bleeding profusely from the neck and they wouldn’t have even flinched if his blood had landed on their plate.


He made about ten times more in a week than he did on his best paying acting gig, but Sean would have given up working at Ma Maison in a heartbeat to have half the career his roommate had. Between the two of them, though, it was a good life, and he did have fun meeting many of the restaurant’s famous clientele. During his last shift, he had Burt Reynolds and Sally Field at one table and Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall at another.


Sean decided to turn up San Vicente and saw Vince Trantella walking into a little bistro called Henri’s with a tall, but very young-looking girl. He thought about popping in to say hello but decided against it.  No matter what Aidan said, Trantella was creepy and seeing him with the girl just solidified it for him. He chuckled to himself that Trantella probably couldn’t get a table a Ma Maison if he tried.



The walk was doing its job and Sean’s head was clearing. That Panama Red that Rick had was really nice. He wished he had asked if there was any more to be had. Rick was a good guy like that. He knew where the best parties were, had great weed, and knew just about everything there was to know about music. He also didn’t get all star struck around Aidan.


It was getting harder and harder to bring his friends around the house. As Aidan’s star rose, people started to treat him like he was, well, a star. Sean didn’t have the heart to tell them that his shit stank just like everyone else’s and most of the time he had to talk Aidan into taking a role. The guy could act and he was handsome as hell, but he had yet to buy into his own hype. This was probably one of the reasons their friendship had continued to be strong.


As Sean circled around the block and made his way back to Melrose and on to work, it occurred to him that Rick seemed a little strange when he brought up Freddy Adams. He had seen Freddy and Janet in the restaurant a few times over the years he had been working there and they had always seemed to be really great, easy going people.


He kept hearing Rick’s bad Cagney impression, though, in his head. “Ya fuck with Freddy Adams and he and his friends fuck with you.”



There are too many songs for me to do a song-by-song breakdown of Born Against’s Patriotic Battle Hymns (AKA 9 Patriotic Battle Hymns for Children). I’m sure this has been done if you are truly interested in hearing about every song on it. If you want my opinion, this is one of the most important punk rock records to come out in the 1990s.


This is a compilation of Born Against’s recordings from their short time of being a band and it fucking rules. I never got to see them because I don’t think I knew they existed until after they were already gone. I’ll blame it on grunge music and heavy, noisier bands taking my attention away from punk rock from 1989 to 1993. My bad on that.


I would have loved to have seen these guys play live. I can only imagine the energy they would have brought. I have purposefully avoided looking up videos because I didn’t want to be even more disappointed in myself for not having gone to see them when I had the chance. That’s probably stupid philosophy, but sometimes I take this music stuff way too seriously.


The feeling I get when I listen to Born Against, especially Patriotic Battle Hymns is that I am supposed to take this music seriously. I love bands that take this approach, too. Music is important and life changing, so maybe I am doing my part by keeping my imaginary Born Against show in my head pure.


The first song I do want to mention, though, is “Jock Gestapo.” I was drawn to this one because of the title, of course, as there have been some good songs over the years that bashed on jocks. While I love sports and understand the jock mentality when you are the field, pitch, diamond, or court, I don’t get how it can translate to real life. I assume this is what Sam McPheeters is shouting about here. Honestly, I can’t really understand a lot of the lyrics.


Does this matter? Not to me. I love the energy McPheeters brings and what I can hear and make out, I like it. I also really like the way the band sounds. The guitar riffs are interesting and powerful and all of the different drummers who took part in Born Against recordings are capable and seemingly great. The bass could have been a little louder in the mix on many songs, but that’s okay, too. I can hear it and what it’s doing is good enough for me.


“Murder The Sons Of Bitches” is another one that really gets me going. It’s kind of a cross between the DC sound and Jesus Lizard in a punk rock sort of way. Somehow, I doubt Born Against was listening to a lot of Jesus Lizard, but I could be wrong. it would be a much safer bet that they liked some of the DC bands of the time. This one has a great bass sound, by the way.


“Mt. Dew” is probably one that has made them a few bucks on the pay to play streaming services. The name alone has probably gotten a few people to buy the song. It’s a good one, for sure, and “Footbound & Hobbled” is also bad ass. I’m getting sucked in here, yet again, and talking about all the songs, so…


One of the things I like best about the two Born Against CDs I have (and they are both compilations of various recordings) is that they make me want to play this kind of music. I have done my version of it here and there, but I’d still really like to do a band like this. Just pissed off with something to say, 15-minute sets where I have to be carted off stage on a stretcher because I have absolutely nothing left. This idea is something I occasionally dream about at night.


The last songs I want to mention specifically are the two final songs on Patriotic Battle Hymns. “Born Against Are Fucking Dead” is a brilliant title and having been in a band where people made threats against us, it always hits home. Besides that, the song is manic and frenzied and fucking great.


“A Whopper Of A Tale” has a cool, distorted bass line to start it off with some really choice guitar noise, so instantly, I am in. At just under five minutes long, it is also a “whopper” of a song by the standards set previously on this record. It’s got the extend-intro, too, which I always love. The other thing that is great here is the Phil Donahue samples. I grew up watching Phil on channel 5 in Phoenix, so it’s nice to hear his voice. I wonder if he and Marlo know about this song.


I bet they do and listened to it while they were fucking.



See you tomorrow.

I always liked this picture. Teresa did tell me, though, today to keep my hair long. She likes me better with longer hair.

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