Life Is A Loaded Gun
by Michele Christopher

Going to shows back in the eighties was almost a daily routine.

It was so good seeing all these bands back in the day... man I miss those days... things just didn't matter! I grew up poor as hell. I bought all my clothes at thrift stores... except for the occasional BOY of London purchases... of course I usually stole those. I tore up every t-shirt, button down and pair of pants that my parents would buy me until they finally stopped buying them. We drank any alcohol we could get our hands on , usually it was whatever our ‘runner’ would drink. We would go to shows and sneak in through back doors or just hang out in the lots outside. I’d hold my lunch money so I could buy smokes. I fully didn't care.

tesc.jpgNow I work like 15 hours a day trying to get as much dough as possible - What boss works that fucking much? My hair... I said before how much I miss my hair. I'll say it again -I miss my hair! I do have to say, I don't miss school. I miss the parties that came from knowing people at school but I don't miss school itself. I remember my parents always saying how much harder the working world will be - WHATEVER! They obviously didn't have my teachers and administration officers! I don't know how it is now but in the eighties if you looked different than the 'norm' they made your life hell.

Of course looking Punk now is the norm.

I don’t wanna sound like the old man chasing kids off his lawn but what do kids have to deal with now? What exactly is different anymore? I have two boys, they’re both pretty young but the bullshit they have to deal with in school is making ME nuts! They don’t seem to care… I guess they really don’t know any different. I see kids all over my neighborhood but none of them look any different than any other kids around –I mean the whole old school Punk look seems to be back but there are tons of those kids around. You can fully stock up in the fucking malls now.

I really can't let it go. Everyone back in the day said that I would eventually stop with all the Punk crap and grow-up. I kinda had to grow-up... I was left with my Mom's apartment when I was 18 - I went from no responsibilities to way too much! My parents were still so wrong; working life is so much easier than school life... Of course now I have to provide and pay bills - and that kinda blows... why the fuck did I put myself into all this? I still don't stop bleaching my thinning hair, I still wear tanker boots to work, I still try to make it to a few shows a year and I still blare hardcore at ungodly levels in my truck.

I know… I’m like a fucking male Peg Bundy right?! Actually more so in that picture… that was 1995 and I was dressed all fucked up. The guy on the right is who I was talking about in last weeks post and the girl in the middle is now my wife.

Despite what he tells you, Tesco still parties like it's 1999.



It’s interesting that you talk about the differences between work and school. The difference between todays “Punks" and the Punks of yore (30’s and up) is that we really had to work to be ourselves. That was the job - to experience the freedom to become who you really are, without the pressure to have to "fit in" to the usual cast of ready made identities (i.e. jock, prep, stoner, nerd, GG-Fan, etc). And that took work; circa early to mid-80s.

I knew a guy with a Mohawk back then, and he was an easy target to society at the time. He had the serious threat of getting beaten every time he walked out of his house. Having a Mohawk today is just a tired cliché. The funny thing is that I made fun of my Mohawk friend in ’84 for the same reasons I mock people today with the same stupid haircut. But at least his Fuck Authority attitude was genuine enough to endure the occasional beatings he received from rednecks, and still wore the Exploited shirt the next day. Today there is no inherent danger or rebellion in a haircut or fashion; it’s all a pseudo-watered down version of the past.

And that is why our collective experiences from that era are special. Most of the people who were attracted to Punk/Hardcore music back then did so because they weren’t the type to just blindly accept what society was pushing on us. Sure there were tons of kids who went through the Punk “phase” because they were pissed at Mom or Dad, but the ones who stuck around did so because they are wired differently then the masses. These are the people that I still identify the most with.

It took dedication for me to hitch-hike from Tacoma to Seattle on a school night just to see a GBH show at the Gorilla Gardens (and get lucky enough to bum a ride all the way back at 3am). It was inconvenient to acquire new music because you had to usually mail-order it – there was no Internet or MP3 blogs or instant gratification. In short, it took lots of work and energy to be part of the scene, and maybe that is why it seems more gratifying and genuine to us (did I mention how I had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to Punk shows back then, but at least they were under $10).

A few weeks ago I had a doctor’s appointment. Somehow we got on the topic of what kinds of music do I like. Every time the topic comes up in a social situation I always say “I like stuff that most people can’t listen to because it’s an acquired taste”, and the conversation usually ends there. I understand that it’s tall order to get the untrained ear to appreciate the differences between Poison Idea and Minor Threat, or to get them to understand how I can enjoy the “loud, angry screaming”. But my doctor inquired a bit more so I told him that I like Punk stuff. He said “oh like the Ramones or Dead Kennedy’s”. I thought ‘cool, I’m pushing 40 and nowadays even my Doctor has a basic understanding of Top-40 Punk’. But then he started naming bands like Zero Boys, Die Kreuzen, Code Of Honor, Raw Power, etc and I knew that he wasn’t just the typical Punk-fan. It was the kind of life moment that somehow legitimizes my taste in music and validates my Punk ethos. Just knowing that other “grown-ups” who are normal and even successful in their careers are out there listening to the same tunes is a great feeling. Like the feeling I get when I hear the first few seconds of “Filler”…I need to crank the volume up as loud as I can withstand…and when the payoff hits “what happened to you…” I’m jumping around in my car seat…that will never ever get old!


It was always more about the music to me than it was about any attitude.

I lost my desire to rebel against whatever a long time ago.

But I certainly understand your point. Especially regarding what kids have to go through today (or the lack thereof).


If you didn't grow up, you'd so be that guy. You know, like the 30 year old Matthew McCauneghey in Dazed and Confused that drank with all the high school boys and hit on all the girls. "I keep getting older, they stay the same age..."

It's okay to grow up, dude. As long as you don't lose who you are in the process.

That being said, "Kids these days" is something only old people say :P


Did I REALLY just spell Matthew Mcconaughey like that?! Sorry, I'm a little out of it right now.


Yeah? Well I can't beleive I just read all of haizman's comment! ;) I love that last line about Filler -that fully rules!


I think something a lot of us around here have in common is that we are grown up, but we'll never really grow up. We're adults when we have to be. Kids when we want to be. It's really not a bad way to be.

But kids these days...meh. The only thing they know how to rebel against is each other.

Haizman's comment should be a post of its own.


I want whatever RSM is having ...

Yesterday Buck Cherry, today McCauneghey, tomorrow the wrold?


haizman's comment rules. fucking filler dude.

we only had room for one mohawk dude in each crowd i hung with. they were always the loudmouth fucker that couldn't fight.

so we'd end up fighting for him. seriously a mohawk was asking for it. you wonder why we hung around in crews.

and i hate the "what kind of music..." question. fucking people will never understand that they don't like my music and i like it that way.

my standard line is "east coast hardcore." even though i'm not really even that limited, at least it shuts them up. usually.


Man, in my town I used to get in fights for wearing chucks and carrying a skateboard. If you didn't play hockey then you were gay and deserved a beating, simple as that.

I'd get into the "these days" thing but haizman nailed it already.


Dan - Word.

I lived in the 'burbs. All the schools I went to were ruled by the Preps. I was comfortably in the middle. I had Goth friends, Punk friends, Special Ed friends and Prep friends. Rebel though?

I babysat my friends when they were high (Control issues? - too many afterschool specials I think).

I didn't wear jeans to school until grade 9 (and then only if I snuck them). My one consent to my punk leaning was the safety pinned pants and ears.

Heh - I was probably mostly a geek =)


i remember a bunch of mohawk guys playing "the safety dance" thinking it was awesome while arguing with them that "Men at Work" were the best band ever.

I was confused back then


Whats wrong with Men At Work? What you don't like 'Who Can It Be Now?' Har.

(I actually do like Men at Work)


Anybody see The Office last night? With the squeeky chair and the "Love me, love me; say that you love me" counter attack.

This show gets funnier each season.


hmm weird i actually had a little teeny thing along a similar vein on my blog yesterday. dunno, kindergartners with mohawks is funny, especially when you see them fist-up hollering along with, say, some stupid 80s metal song.


Like this?

/the nephew
//yes, he has a mowhawk
///he was singing VH, running with the devil


It is funny. But it is also one of the most awesome things I have ever seen.

It's a lot different when a 3-8 year old has a mohawk than today's adolescents because most of the time it's the parent's influence on the kid and the kid manifesting their individuality through the prism of that influence.


that kid is too cute to be evil in the same league as satan, michele


Well dude, you met him. I'm sure you saw that glint of evil in his eye....


I hung out with the punks when I was in high school. No one bothered us but the adults. The "normal" kids were all intimidated by us.

But yeah. I still love the music and I'm pushing 40, too.


This sounds weird, but do you know what part he was singing when the picture was taken?


Damn, I hate that I missed all this!



I sit here reading this, while the tots are screaming, and I am wondering what happened to my favorite sex pistols t-shirt?

I am in surburbia with the lime green handbag, MCMansionville, screaming...

I could have been a contender...


Prine called from the set of purple rain.

He wants his tux back.


immovable cumulatively detective inanimately trapezoidal appraising


congratulations:ratification:Rodney surviving stairwell ... Thanks!!!


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