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"I Was There When..."

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It was about 1982 or 3ish I was about 15, and I had just flown up to Boston for the summer to stay with my Dad. WZBC used to have a show called called Saturday morning music (just music) which was sort of a New Age-ier version of NCP -- back before New Age was called New Age and before it got killed by ... very bad music. The show eventually evolved into the most excellent show that Victor Venkus now hosts (so the tradition somewhat was kept). Anyway, Dave Hurlihy and the old GM Kevin Bruen used to take turns at the show. I had met David a few times and after calling him at show that morning, he invited me to join him after the show at the weekly ZBC BRUNCH. See, ZBC DJs used to meet every Saturday morning at Deli King (which is now a MacDonalds) on Harvard and Comm.

With my old boombox and a few tapes, I hopped on the T and into the big city. Boston was still big to me then. I never left home without the box. It didn't seem at all cheesy back then. Walkmen weren't quite a thing yet, I'm not even sure if they were invented yet.

It gets better, I promise. A little, anyway.

After record shopping at the old Nuggets in Brighton (over by BC? My memory's hazy), I went to Deli King. Understand ... this, to me at the time ... I was like a little nun that just got asked to lunch with the 12 apostles. So after eating my eggs, not understanding the jokes, and pretending to know all the bands they talked about, I just sort of sat and listened and tried to be cool now and then. They were a bit... mystified by the presence of this sudden 15 year old surfer-dude-kid who played in a new wave/surf band in Florida, and listened to Legendary Pink Dots and had a new copy of the Sad Lovers and Giants album under his arm. I think they didn't know what to think and now that I think about it, it must have been a little weird. Anyway, David told me his band, (O Positive) was playing that night. Back in their day, if you didn't mind the pop-ness (and I never did), O Positive were truly a great, great band -- especially live. But I hadn't seen them yet. So I had it all worked out. I got to the bar early, before they got a doorman up front. I asked the bartender if he'd hold my boombox behind the bar (establishing that I somehow "belonged there"), and then I helped the band carry some equipment. I Never got carded. Not too hard back then, I guess.

It was this really small place where they had to push the pool table to the back so they could fit a band AND an small audience. "Johnny's", or the old Jonny D's, I forget. One of those. Salem 66 (an all girl band before that was normal) shared the bill. I fell in love with the bass player. I must have said to myself in my surfer drawl, something like, "she's hot as sh*t dude." Anyway, I'll never forget, at the end of O+'s epic Factory/4AD-ish last song "Weight of Days," the bass player sort of smacked this hanging lamp over the band by mistake making it swing back and forth. Mind you, this was the only "lighting" in the place, so now we had this sudden light show. Then they kept smaking it, but now on purpose. I recently found out that it was a regular practice at this club. Hold on. I'm writing a story about a band smacking an overhead lamp and making it sound like you should have been there. This is really bad.

Anyway, after the show, which was an incredible experience for me, I called my Dad from a phone booth (this was before cell phones - and long before every 15 year old would carry one - you actually needed a dime to call someone - two if you were calling your Dad to explain how you weren't coming home that night - but here was the best part - he couldn't call you back!). I told Dad I missed the last T (not sure if that was true) and then I somehow finagled my way into spending the night at Salem 66's apartment. I'm not sure how that went down, but I think while I was helping O Positive unload, I helped Salem 66 carry some stuff as well, and somehow engineered things so that I would wind up going with Salem 66. Maybe I couldn't stay at Dave's cuz he lived with his parents, but that's assuming I even asked Dave, which might actually be a stretch. I had an agenda, you see. I wish I could remember how I actually got invited to spend the night in an all-girl band apartment, or (more likely) how I invited myself. In fact, now that I think of it, if I were offered by a genie to see 15 minutes of my past life on a screen, I'm pretty sure this particular 15 minutes would a first choice. I would take notes.

So, an unfortunately thing happened on the way to my little fantasy rock brothel. I found out on the ride there that the bass player I was so crushed on was going out with the guy from The Neighborhoods. Nonetheless, I was somehow cocky and stupid enough to think some 15 yr. old surfer dude who played in "some Florida band" might still be able to charm her over from the guy in The Neighborhoods, who were about the hottest thing in the Boston rock press at the time. Needless to say, I slept on the couch. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be writing about it otherwise.

So after a few hours of the bass player from Salem 66 NOT coming into the living room with a nighty on, and NOT having mad crazy love with me ... I fell asleep with my boombox playing Rain Parade's Emergency Thrid Rail Power Trip (that, I do remember) ... just thinking about how cool it was that I saw these bands and that I was laying on some couch in some chick bands' apartment "somewhere in Boston." I felt so adult. Yet, I was still young enough that I was probably practicing in my head just how I was going to tell the story to my friends. Or maybe I was wondering if I even should. I mean ... when you're that age, your friends don't like stories that end with you not getting any. They want the encouragement and you want the praise. Otherwise, what's the point?

Anyway, the next morning when I woke up and realized that my prayers weren't answered - that the bass player from Salem 66 hadn't come in and shagged me, I decided there was no God afterall.

But the rest of the night was still pretty good. - 

PS. If you were in Salem 66 and you happen to be reading this, I don't remember if I had any manners then, so thanks for the memory and your fine hospitality.

PPS. If you were the guy in the Neiborhoods who was dating the girl in Salem 66 and you happen to be reading this ... NOTHING HAPPENED. We didn't even kiss.

PPPS. Okay, we might have held hands in the car, I'm not sure. But that could be my memory playing tricks. I don't know. But come on man, I was 15 for Christ's sake!!! Get over it!!!

Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2005 15:36  


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