start today

i still remember the first punk rock album i ever heard

i was a metal head, like everyone i knew

and i dabbled in hip hop

like no one else around me

music was then and is now my be all end all

but nothing beats discovering it

so i was looking through a music magazine at the mall

making notes on what to try out next

this was before you could just download the album

and if the store didn’t have listening sections you dropped the cash and hoped

i saw an ad in this magazine for the craziest named band i’d ever seen

gorilla biscuits

the album was called start today

it stuck with me

at this time it was nothing for the average track length to be five to eight minutes

it was kind of expected

there was structure

so i bought start today

got home

eagerly put on headphone and hit play

i nearly spat out a tooth

it punched me in the mouth so hard, so quickly

i barely has time to get into a song and the next one was halfway over

the entire thing was twenty four minutes and nine seconds long

some songs clocked in at under a minute

and it felt more alive and vibrant than the seven minute tracks

what in the hell was this

turned out to be hardcore

and i was in love

next came dirty texas crossover legends dri, dirty rotten imbeciles

i got thrash zone

thrash was and is my favorite genre of metal

but they boiled down thrash into punk sized bites

i was hooked

went to the classics

sex pistols

ramones

dead boys, fear, agent orange, adolescents, talking heads, cramps, germs, dead kennedys, tsol, minor threat, black flag, circle jerks

and then i found the misfits

it was my burning bush moment

how much of the music had i listened to that was directly influenced by them

it was insane

but i dabbled in everything else as well

bob marley, peter tosh, black uhuru, hank williams, johnny cash, waylon

when i was real little the first two albums i got was prince and weird al

now i was shaving the sides of my head, reading about sacco and vanzetti, dostoevsky, stalin and lenin

music was and is my gateway drug

from kendrick to kool moe dee to mos def and talib kweli to nwa and de la soul

it was punk that showed me boxing yourself in was for suckers

now i sit in a hotel room in kentucky

staring at a new ceiling while familiar chords echo in the air

and cats and dogs

my favorite off start today can take me back to sitting there and not understanding the power of words

of all the money i have spent on girls and drugs and booze and music and books

the music and books is the only bit i wouldn’t take back

though the drugs were usually decent

and the girls were sometimes worth it as well

make mine dirty and fast and angry

the music that is

but sometimes the girls

and occasionally the books as well

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