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Entry date: 5-20-2024 – Field Trip! Get A Grip! – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

At first thought, you non-teachers might think that taking the kids for a field trip would be a lot of fun.

 

It’s not.

 

Today we leave school and for about three hours, I have to make sure no one wanders off, gets abducted, or blatantly breaks the law. I also have to do this in an unfamiliar place. There will be about 145 fourth grade students descending on the OdySea Aquarium. Hopefully Poseidon smiles upon us.

 

*****

 

The Cocaine Baby gets to go, too. If I already mentioned this, I apologize. I’m very excited for him. The vapers do not get to go. Too bad, so sad, oh well. Honestly, they will not be missed.

 

Sushi for lunch, I hope.

 

***** 

 

The weekend was exhausting. When I wrote yesterday’s blog, I was literally falling asleep at the computer. I’d wake up and fix a couple of the errors I made as I typed in the twilight of broken consciousness. I am scared to go back and look at it.

 

***** 

 

I am very ready to start writing The Bet again. I’ve been super brain dead from work and trying to work on the house and spend time with Rhondi and TQ. I’m going to miss them greatly in a couple days (Dev and Doug, too), but I also feel like I can finish up some projects in the next month while I’m bachelor-ing it up.

 

It would be nice to be able to write some fiction, though, especially when I’ve got a bunch of new ideas I’ve been toying around with in my head. Gotta finish The Bet first.

 

*****

 

Somewhere around 1997 I got my first computer that was capable of internet surfing. I was living with my ex-wife and Ryan in an apartment in Ahwatukee. I’d get home from work at Casa and turn on the modem then do whatever I needed to do to prepare for my evening while I waited 15-30 minutes for the computer to connect to the internet using dial up.

 

It seems so crazy now to think of doing that. I haven’t really thought about those days for a long time. Strange days…

 

There wasn’t a ton of content that captivated me online, but I did like going to the music chatrooms. There were quite a few of them and I’d entertain myself for an hour or so a few nights a week by going on them and seeing what kind of argument I could get into about my favorite (or least favorite) music. It was a brand-new world.

 

During one of these visits, I started chatting with a young lady from Canada. She was (and still is) cool and, at the time, she was in a band up there in British Columbia where she lived. I am pretty sure she was on there to promote her band, which was kind of a crazy mix of hillbilly, punk, and alternative(ish) music. I thought it was cool that she played a washboard.

 

Anyway, we became pen pals of a sort, and we would chat away in a totally platonic way about music, sharing stories of our gigs, and talking about our favorite bands. She was shocked when I said that I didn’t really care for NoMeansNo as they were her absolute favorite band.

 

The reality of the situation was that I was not familiar with them. I think I’d only heard a song or two, here and there, from various comps they were on. She made it her mission to sway my opinion otherwise and made me a cassette tape of 0+2=1 and sent it down to Phoenix.

 

I resisted listening to it for awhile after it arrived, but eventually I put it into my cassette player in my truck and NoMeansNo won me over. 0+2=1 starts off with a great song called “Now.’ I must’ve played that one about 1000 times in the first month I had the tape. I also went out and got the CD.

 

When Hillbilly Devilspeak played with NoMeansNo at Hollywood Alley a couple of years later, I asked their bass player and vocalist, Rob Wright, if they would play it and he just kind of smiled and winked at me.

 

The guys in NoMeansNo were very nice in a detached sort of way. We played with them twice. As mentioned, Hillbilly got to do a show with them and so did Pinky. Both times, when we got finished, I felt good and proud. Both bands had great sets before NoMeansNo took the stage and proceeded to blow us completely away with serene smiles on their faces.

 

Stupidly, I talked to Rob Wright about this when Pinky got to play with them a year or two later and said something akin to “hey, take it easy on us,” and he just laughed at me and in a nice Canadian way let me know that there would be no mercy that night either. Every time I saw them live, they were amazing. I would also say they played their music in a muscular way.

 

In addition to “Now,” I am quite partial to “The Fall,” “Everyday I Start to Ooze,” and “The Night Nothing Became Everything.”  I would also recommend listening closely to “Ghosts,” as well. The latter comes towards the end the record and gives the listener a chance to breathe a bit after three or four really tightly wound songs.

 

One of the things I grew to love about NoMeansNo is that they do their own thing. They have elements of punk rock to them, of course, but their sound is so much more than typical punk. 0+2=1 has a ton of crazy angles, long intros, and big muscular post-punk brilliance. Wright’s bassline as the lyrics on “Ghosts” begin are so damn good.

 

These guys definitely know what it means to be just a little bit out of the mainstream or what it means to be not the most popular person in the world. I love this about them.

 

“You think you have time/You have no time.”

 

The jazzy, punk, prog mix that is NoMeansNo has become a huge inspiration for me. I wish they were still around.

 

***** 

 

See you tomorrow.



Rob Wright goes to the Aquarium



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2 Comments


Odd. I distinctly remember you liking the cassette The Day Everything Became Isolated and Destroyed. You picked it every time you were in my car during the Claire days.

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You are correct. Damn…sometimes my memory is selective when ladies are involved. I wonder if I was thinking that cassette was someone else back in the day…

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