Yesterday I started this mess and today I will do my best to finish it. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, what comes next will not make as much sense. Choose your own adventure, though.
When my junior year ended in May of 1986, I had all B’s and C’s. Nothing to brag about, for sure, but also pretty darn good when you considered that I had been absent as much as I had been present. I had gone to see Siouxsie and the Banshees and Love and Rockets with the Breathmint (a name my friends Dorothy and Kristi had given my then girlfriend, Beth, because she was a cheerleader and looked like someone from a breathmint commercial, I guess) and her sister and Ben, I think. It was also the first night I met my brother, Brian, so that was cool, too.
Anyway, it was an interesting concert. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Siouxsie and was really there to see Love and Rockets, who were great. Siouxsie was cool, too, in retrospect and I’m glad I got to see both of them that summer. I digress, though.
When I got home, and I do think I have mentioned this before, so I apologize, there was my report card taped to the bathroom mirror with a note saying, “Where were you? We’re going to talk tomorrow” or something very close to that. I think, now that I remember a bit more, that it also said something along the lines of “I hope it was a good concert because it’s the last one you will see for a while.”
My mom was pissed. I guess I can understand a bit more, as a parent now. If I saw that any of the kids were off galivanting instead of being in school where I thought they were safe and sound, I would be upset, too.
In those days, I had a different mindset. I was sixteen and thought that my mom didn’t really give a shit unless I got in real trouble. I was only grounded for a weekend, I think, for the forgery thing. Maybe a week. Either way, I was taken aback by my mom’s anger over the report card.
When we talked the next day, she was hot and I got hot, too. I argued that my grades were still B’s and C’s so what did it matter? School was a joke, yada yada yada. She did not agree, and I was grounded for a good long time. I’m not going to say how long because I don’t remember, but it seemed like way too long.
I think Ben also got in trouble, too, but I’m not sure. Maybe he’ll read this and let me know what he remembers. He must have been because I remember us getting reamed in Easy Street about our school habits. We were pissed. We left Easy Street and while we were walking home, we decided to run away.
I had some money in Wells Fargo. My mom had given me a small chunk in a savings account when my great-grandmother, Hazel, died. We went to the branch on 24th Street and Indian School (which doesn’t even exist anymore) and took out two hundred dollars. Then we called my buddy, Jerry, and had him come and get us. We were escaping to Deer Valley for a few days.
We left a recording, I think, on my tape recorder for our moms to listen to when they got home. Years later, they would still laugh about the recording and how dramatic we were. I listened to a bit of it at one point and it was pretty hilarious. I wonder if they still have it? I’m sure it is priceless.
We thought we were making some sort of huge statement. We were defiant and we were runaways. We had packed up a few days’ worth of clothing and had our money and once Jerry arrived, we were off. First stop was over to my friend Kristi’s house to score some acid.
What a great idea. Run away and buy enough acid to make the first couple of days a crazy mess. I think I bought twelve hits for $60. Some of you are reading this and thinking, Kristi was not your friend. I should have known this, too. I was new to the buying acid thing at that point, and I had $200. Friends should cut a damn deal, but whatever. That’s a whole ‘nother story, my friendship with that one.
We headed down to Crash with Jerry and his friend, Paul. I think we all dosed, except maybe Paul, I can’t remember if he was there or came into the story later. Bootbeast Carnival (aka Bootbeast) was playing at Crash, and I loved them. I want to say that 24Hr World may have played that night, too, but maybe not.
Bootbeast's dark, noisy sound was a tonic to my ears in those days. They had a bit of the Texas sound going on although I didn't realize that yet. I just thought they were different and cool and the best band in Phoenix. I loved arguing with people about the best local bands and dropping that, for me, Bootbeast Carnival was the best of the best. Not many agreed with me, but they were wrong.
Crash was a full DIY venue on 7th Street, south of Downtown, in a big warehouse kinda thing. It was run by these artsy fartsy types named Helen and David and they had killer shows there for a while. I could go off on a tangent here, but I won’t. Maybe another day. Had some fun at Crash, though.
That night, Ben and I just sat transfixed in the room where Bootbeast was playing and enjoyed the hell out of their set. I don’t know if I’ve ever told my buddy Jim this story or not, but I thought he was the coolest. Jim was Bootbeast’s lead singer and now has the killer band, No Volcano. Check them out.
We were feeling like desperados, especially when we knew that we were in big trouble by this point. By the time we got back out to the Deer Valley area, it was late, and I think this is where Paul came in. Jerry didn’t want to go back to his house and his weird friend, Paul, could always have people over whenever. I think Paul’s mom worked nights or something.
We went over to Paul’s and watched Eraserhead on VHS. It was the first time I had ever seen it and the state of mind I was in was probably not the best one. It unnerved Ben and I but we stuck with it. Around 4am, we decided it was best to walk the neighborhood because, well, Eraserhead had made Paul’s house seem very scary.
So, we watched the sun come up from a school nearby. Desperados in Deer Valley.
See you tomorrow.
Stolen from Bootbeast's band camp page. Sorry! I did love them, though, and still do.