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Entry date: 4-10-2022 - Limousines and KFC - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I’m taking a break from the band bio. It’s not done, but I need to reflect on something I’ve been thinking about. A few days ago, it was the birthday of one of my best friends, Brian.

We met, by chance, in the summer of 1986. I was standing in line waiting to go into the Mesa Centennial Hall to see Love and Rockets and Siouxsie and the Banshees. My old buddy Dave came up and let him and his friend, Brian, cut in line with us. Like me, Brian had moved started going to Camelback during our junior year, but our paths hadn’t crossed yet. We have spoken many times about how fortunate we are to have both known Dave, though, so thank you, Dave, for forever altering the paths of our lives that night.

The show itself was a bit of a letdown. Love and Rockets were great, but I just wasn’t feeling Siouxsie, who were much better when I saw them the next few times. I also got home to find out that I was grounded for the foreseeable future because my report card had come in the mail that day. I had basically been absent almost as much as I had been present during the fourth quarter and my mom wanted to know where I was. In fact, I think the short note she had taped to the bathroom mirror next to my report card said, “Where were you?”

But I digress, as usual.

I ran into Brian again over the summer at a teen dance club called Sgt. Peppers in Tempe. We were both there against our will and ended up hanging out while dates did whatever they did. I hated that place. I was more of a Tommy’s guy which makes me realize that I should write about Tommy’s at some point.

When school started, Brian and I hung out a little bit and discussed going out one night and hitting the town. Eventually, a plan came together that included our mutual friend Cassie and another new friend of mine, Michael. We had heard there were some microdots to be had and thought it was a good idea that we get some and have some fun.

I can see the three of them so clearly right now as we grouped together under the shaded part of the main walkway on the Camelback campus near the Coke machines. We decided that Michael would pick us all up in his little blue Volkswagen truck and then we would get our goods. I was so excited to hang out with those guys, but I didn’t really know why. I think our chemistry was pretty strong and soon we would be inseparable.

With Brian and I riding in the back and Cassie up in the cab with Michael, we met a guy named Paul at the Kentucky Fried Chicken on 37th Street and Thomas. He showed up in a limousine which was a bit strange to all of us, but we didn’t care. He had the ‘dots, told us how much fun he had when he crushed one up and put it in his eye, and the deal was done.

We all decided that crushing one up and putting it in our eye was probably best done on a different night (never did it) and went back to Michael’s to hang out in his brother Tom’s place above the garage in the backyard. It was a blast. We laughed and laughed and bonded.

At one point, we were laughing so hard, I said, “My brain is going to explode” just as Cassie, who was sitting next to me (also laughing her head off) kind of leaned over and into me. I had a cigarette (a vile and disgusting habit) in my hand, so I said, “Watch out, I’ll burn you.” To everyone else, it sounded like I said, “My brain is going to explode. Watch out I’ll burn you.” This made us all laugh even harder for what seemed like a long time.

We joked about my dangerous, exploding brain for a few weeks after that and our friendship was cemented. Brian and I spent a lot of time together and became brothers. Like family does, sometimes we disagreed on things and there were a few times when I didn’t know if our friendship would survive. We lived together in 1987 and 1988 and I’d be lying if I said it was always easy to live with him, but I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.

Sadly, I have watched Brian go through some of the roughest shit I have ever seen anyone go through. I appreciate that he trusted me enough, in those times, to reach out and lean on me. It’s not the easiest thing for anyone to do, especially a guy like him who didn’t have the best situations, sometimes, when he was growing up.

I’ve already told a few of our stories so far, but there will be more. I also look forward to making more experiences together so I can write about our exploits for many years to come. For those of you who know Brian, you know that he’s not a social media guy or someone that opens up a lot, so I will respect his privacy as much as possible in my writing.

I hope he had a good birthday. I hope that life continues to be an adventure for him, but one that is a bit safer and less volatile than the days of the past. When we were younger, I would dread the phone ringing sometimes because of the situations he was in and I thought that his luck was going to run out. Luckily for all of us, he continues to be one of the luckiest mother fuckers on the planet in many, many ways.

Tip your caps to a great dude, my friends. There are many layers to this particular onion, and I feel super fortunate to have seen a lot of them, even the ones that have made me cry. I still love the guy, though, and wish I could have wished him a happy birthday in person.

See you tomorrow.

We did not coordinate the somewhat matching shirts, I swear.

Fifty three songs for a 53-year-old.

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