Thursday, February 19, 2009

My place in history

It is a strange experience to pick up the newspaper and see a picture of some guys you knew thirty years ago. So, today, I first pick up The Bay Guardian, and there's an article on the big Zero Boys reunion tomorrow. Then someone hands me a copy of the worthless SF Examiner (Now Free! And worth every cent of it!) and there, on the front page, is a picture of the Zero Boys.

In, like, 1980, I briefly managed a record store in Indianapolis. It was a dismal failure and I found myself out of a job and homeless on Christmas Eve. Two of my employees were girlfriends of a couple of Zero Boys. The Zero Boys themselves would come in the store sometimes. I saw several of their shows. Everyone was excited because soon, they would be releasing their new record.

Everyone agreed that The Zero Boys were the tightest, most professional, and most ambitious punk band in Indiana. The trouble was, back then, tight, professional, ambitious and punk were not necessarily words that went together.

At the dawn of Reaganism, there was a lot of talk about winners and losers. Most people were losers and that was just too fuckin' bad for them. I was a loser, that much was certain, and I liked my punk sloppy, amateurish, self destructive and nihilistic, just like me.

Anyhow, the Zero Boys were all set to be big stars and it never really happened. They had a regular gig playing all age shows at a pizzeria. I suppose it was too bad because their record was really pretty good. In fact, it was so good that it just refuses to die. Every few years, someone seems to reissue it and the Zero Boys get called up to bring back those oldies but goodies, kind of like Sha Na Na.

They weren't bad guys. They've gone on to distinguish themselves in other walks of life. Some guy in Berkeley just offered to pay for them to have an all expenses paid weekend getaway in San Fran. Good for them. Now, would you darn kids out there go invent something new. Preferably not lame.

Drug Free Youth - Zero Boys

Speaking of back in the day, I met Vaughan Bode's son. He's a grafitti artist. Seemed like a nice enough fellow. He had some old guy (my age) with him. The old guy was probably famous too. He's got a show coming up at a peculiar rich kid grafitti artist gallery. Probably worth seeing.


ib said...

"I liked my punk sloppy, amateurish, self destructive and nihilistic..."

Sounds about right to me too.

Oddly, I was reflecting earlier on the death of independent record shops here in this locality. There was about four within spitting distance of each other in the city centre in Glasgow in '77, and they all managed to turn a profit. I fuckin' hated the 80's. With plenty of good reason, it seems, when you turn around and see how well that economic model has served us.

Devil Dick said...

i never saw the zero boys so lucky you and that recoredjust wont die because its just that good me thinks...???

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