1982 – Alternative Tentacles
Producer: Thom Wilson
Jack Grisham – Vocals
Ron Emory – Guitar
Mike Roche – Bass
Todd Barnes – Drums
Robert Taylor – Keyboards
1. Man & Machine – 1:37
2. Weathered Statues – 3:09
3. Thoughts of Yesterday – 2:37
4. Word Is – 2:34
I picked this one up at Moby Disc in Sherman Oaks the week it came out. It came out on the heels of Dance With Me. They had left Frontier and put this out on Alternative Tentacles.
Opening with Man and Machine, a fast-paced hardcore tune similar to those found on their first EP, but from then on TSOL goes to a more Dance With Me sound.
Their two EPs (TSOL’s self-titled EP, and Weathered Statues) sandwiched TSOL’s 1981 debut album Dance with me, one of the finest pieces of American punk ever.
Topped off by Ron Emory’s great guitar work, and a smoking bass line, the Weathered Statues EP ends with Word Is, which has a bit of a ska vibe. And after this release, TSOL would go in yet another direction.
If you don’t own it, you may be in the garage mixing radiator coolant and Sudafed.
Rating: ** * two out of three stars
The standout cuts are Man & Machine, and Weathered Statues.
If you can find it, buy it.
On to the story . . .
Sometime around November of 2009, I was sent an “Event” notice on Facebook. I get one or two of these a week nowadays. Someone is promoting a club, a concert, a seminar, or sometimes a movie premiere or having a birthday party. I’m a real flake, I always reply with a maybe. If it’s in the Valley, and I don’t have to do much driving, I’ll say I’m attending.
Anyway, this guy Eric that I was friend’s with for a time, back in school, wrote to everybody who he was still in touch with from High School and said this girl Terri who had moved to Texas was going to be in the Valley for two weeks.
So, he wanted everybody to get together at a Coffee Bean, and shoot the shit. He set up an “Event” page on Facebook. With two dates, one right after Christmas (I think the 27th), and another one right after New Years.
I clicked that I would attend the one after Christmas.
I mark the calendar and come that Sunday I plan to do my regular weekend routine. Breakfast with my Son; maybe swing through the local Goodwill (I buy books, DVD’s, and an occasional video game for the boy), and the necessities for the house at Wal-Mart.
Unfortunately, this Sunday was screwy. We did breakfast, and then the Wife called and said her elderly Uncle was in the hospital. He had been fasting during Christmas (he is an Orthodox Catholic), and became weak and fainted. He’s a real good guy and digs my Son, so after breakfast, we head to Northridge Hospital (hey, I was born there), and visit him for a while.
Then we head for Porter Ranch to find the Coffee Bean. Stroll in, look around and. . . nobody! My Son and I order our drinks (chocolate milk for him, and decaf for me). After about after 20 minutes to a half an hour, Terri walks in. She looks around, and says where is everybody, and I say “I’m it, so far.”
It’s been about 25 years since I’ve seen her so . . . I don’t know what to say. My Son took over the conversation for a bit, he starts showing her his Nintendo DS and starts explaining how the Mario and Sonic Winter Olympic game works.
Then she utters the funniest thing, I see her hemming, and hawing and she says, “Um, I remember you in high school, you were kind of into . . . . I guess new wave.” Her face is now red as if you just confessed the most embarrassing moment of your life.
I looked at her for a moment, and said: “I think you mean punk.”
You just looked at me, then “yeah, I know, but I didn’t want to say that.”
I kind of laughed and blew it off. But the more I thought about it, the more it tripped me out. Being into punk is like saying I did a 15-year bid on a manslaughter charge. It brings out that kind of shame and embarrassment.
So, my Son and I hung out for about an hour, and shot the shit, about who we could remember, and who is up to what. All the while compiling a list in my head of what I want to buy at Headline Records once I get the hell out of there.
Then two more classmates of ours (they met up later in life, and married) come walking up, they sit for a while.
Then the “Wife” says to me: “I remember you used to have spiked hair, and a razor earring, didn’t you listen to new wave or something?” I smile and say “I think it was punk.” She looks away, and smiles, and says “Oh, OK.”
Then, the “husband,” oblivious to the prior conversations looks at me, and says, “So, how are you?” I say “Good, yourself?” He says, “Fine. Weren’t you into new wave or something? I remember you in a leather jacket; it had TSO . . . something painted on it.”
At this point I gave up, I said: “Yep, loved me some new wave.”
Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb