I’m the eldest. I didn’t have an older brother or sister listening to The Stones or The Beatles “teaching” me. I wandered aimlessly. Luckily (musically speaking) I went to college in the 90s as radio stations were actively alternative. Truly alternative. More on that later. Maybe.
Part one (if you missed it) Young Youth.
So High School…
As I mentioned I didn’t have an older sibling but I did have XRT and Chicago did love it’s Classic Rock (WLS).
I have no idea were to begin and yes it’s dangerous as it was the 80s but I’ll start with a guy who has become my best friend. Jeff. We played Froshmen basketball together. We started handed out nicknames. Hell, I still to this day call him “Naught”. It started as “Naughty” but of course quickly was shortened to “Naught”. It came via this tune.
Live music is good for your soul:
First concert. Live. Big time. Foreigner with Joe Walsh opening. It was great. I thought it was interesting that about half the audience (Ok maybe 1/5th) left after Joe played. Which was cool because we just sauntered up a few rows.
Joe was great. He introduced this tune with something close to “I’m running for president and I’d appreciate your vote and when I get into office I’m changing the National Anthem to…” then the DRUM kicked in…and the dueling guitars. So bloody cool. I also remember him getting an encore.
So being a bit of loser with the ladies I had more than a few bands influenced by women I liked but didn’t know how to go about letting them know…I guess I was hoping music was the universal language.
There was one girl. Holly. She had a pool table in her dining room (Yes, instead of table) and she played soccer. She was big into The Cult. So guess who got “into” The Cult. But damn if I still don’t love them now. And this song…HOLY BALLS.
the sparkle in her eyes kept me alive (but alas she wanted nothing to do with me)
She also loved Enuff Z’nuff and they are just “Beatle-esque” enough to make me smile. They were a Chicago band and I remember seeing them with her (and a group of people). Man. If I were to look at video of myself around her…my guess it would be beyond embarrassing.
I remember getting rides home from Steph. Anything to get off the bus. I didn’t have a car. Rode the bus all 4 years. If I wanted to get somewhere…it was by bike. A pain in the ass but damn I was in pretty, pretty, pretty good shape. Her driving me home got me off the bus (a bonus) and she was quite cute (another bonus). She was going out with a buddy of mine so she was just being nice to me…I did “like, LIKE” her. Nothing happened. But I remember listening to this tape. I can’t believe I remember this band. Man. I need to go search iTunes now…
She also introduced me to the “joys” of liking women and being clueless. Getting used. Her boyfriend, my buddy, had a break up. They had Boston tickets. She wasn’t taking him…so she asked me. Good concert. I do remember a cool guitar solo where Tom Scholz would stop the guitar with a hat he was wearing. And…I was probably thinking…maybe? But by the time we got back home from the concert and met up with friends at a party…they were back together. Poor little Chris Bro alone again. It was fun 2 hours. Again nothing happened. I guarantee I didn’t even try anything. I was (am?) clueless.
One more girl. Christy. My first “real” girlfriend. She played soccer (theme?) and Badminton (she went to State in Doubles). She was a senior. I was a sophomore (I think making varsity soccer had something to do with it). We dated for a bit. I still remember hanging in one of her friend’s basement listening to the Violent Femmes. It’s a great album and I usually dig deeper but this song was on repeat. C’mon we were in HS…just makes sense
She got sick of me and my bike (Mom could you give me a ride?) and starting dating a guy with this 4×4 with souped up wheels. Another lesson. Girls do care about money (and things). Sucks to be me as I’ve never had money. Hell, I had to work 3 jobs to get through college. OK back to the tunes…
Van Halen’s Jump was bloody everywhere. So like with Billy Squier I had to get their back catalog. I jumped on my bike (I rode everywhere) to the local record store. Holy balls, I miss them (Record Stores). So much. So I get there. Look in the bin under Van Halen. There were two tapes left. Van Halen I and Fair Warning. I got both but I was more than a bit worried that my Mum would freak out over the Fair Warning cover. So I colored it out…but that became my favorite album. Yes, I is classic. One of the ALL TIME BEST first albums and I do love it but maybe because Fair Warning was a “forbidden” album cover I loved it more. Maybe.
Soccer had been a part of my life since 1st grade when my parents asked me if I wanted to play this “new sport” soccer. I fell in love. (plus I hated baseball “wait this guy is going to throw that hard ball at my face?” and I have to wear long pants?” NO thanks) Played a lot of hoops too as it ran in my family. I’m 5’10” and white with small hands so the best I could ever do is dunk a volleyball. A slightly flat volleyball. Soccer was my main sport and as a sophomore I made the varsity team. I remember two musical moments quite well. One. There was a kid, Randy, that would crank Metallica before every match.
Two. At parties Jeremy’s little brother knew every bloody word of The Beastie Boys album that would get played at every party.
Speaking of basketball…well the varsity head coach and I didn’t see eye to eye (He was a Bobby Knight wannabe and I was UNLV) (someone started a petition to get me on the team)(didn’t work) but I still played pick up at the Old High School and Intramurals. And we changed the rules at PHS. We named ourselves after the head coach Mr Molitor. We were “Ed’s Extras” (after us no one could use a persons name). We bought uniforms. We went undefeated. Scored 100 points in a game. We won the championship and cut down the nets (yes we brought with us a ladder and scissors). I challenged the “varsity” team to a Saturday morning pickup game but as soon as Big Ed found out he told them they couldn’t do it. Yes, I was a punk…and there’s no way I would have lost that game. (Glory Days?)
Let’s get my buddy, Naught, back into this. He was an Ed’s Extra…
I remember a game. Not quite a game more like two guys in the ‘burbs of Chicago with little else to do…called Bruised Cushions. BC for short. It involved mooning and throwing a ball at each other. I vividly remember playing BC at a pool party (or maybe it was a party that had a pool) (yes I was (still am?) an idiot) with Robert Plant playing in the background.
Naught was also very much into Pink Floyd. And because of him and XRT I listened to a lot of Floyd. Wish You Were Here was studying music for me.
Also it was the time of solo Floyd. Roger Waters came out with the challenging “Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” but I love Naught’s story about getting David Gilmour’s “About Face”. So I’m not sure if you remember but there was a time when it would take quite awhile to get foreign CDs/albums stateside. It just so happened that Naught’s sister was traveling to Europe at the time of this release. He begged her to bring back a copy. So we could listen to it quicker than special ordering it. She did bring it back and we listened it ONE day earlier than if we/he had ordered it. AND it sounded sweeter and lovely because of this knowledge. Yes, that one day did matter.
and I should include his dig at Roger (like Lennon did with “How Do You Sleep?”)
Holy balls, I love that album.
Oh another buddy (I can’t remember his name) that I hung with…his parents worked and quite often he would drive me home but first we’d stop off at his apartment to raid the cabinet and listen to the Cars. He loved the Cars.
So you’ve figured out that I haven’t figured out girls. What about your first kiss, Chris? Surely it wasn’t with your first “real” girlfriend was it? No. It was prior to that. Believe it or not it was a family camping trip and she was from Canada. I know. I know. It was a good week hanging out and on that last night she admitted that she liked my friend at first (probably kissed him too…or more?) but as the week went by was impressed with me (I still make an awful first impression). She really like Bryan Adams so there’s always room in my heart for a bit of that Canadian. I finally knew what breasts felt like and kissing. With tongue.
If I’m remembering correctly she wrote me a few times. Another love lesson. Long distance sucks and doesn’t work. I wish I could remember her name. I wonder if she ever thinks of me?
Two songs I’m including because looking back now just got me thinking of so many tunes. I just feel I need to add this one…and not just because David Gilmour produced it. Although that helps.
And this one. Man, I’d hear this at a party and just stop and listen.
As you can hear/see a wide range is already here. Hair Metal. Acoustic. Classic Rock. Hard Rock. Metal. Top 40.