My name is Papa Punk... er, ok I can't go much farther with that opening but I'm guessing for the 1 or 2 of you that are reading this here, you'll probably be able to recite chapter & verse beyond it anyways never-minding that.
You see if you're like me, you grew up in the 80's and got into this crazy thing called punk rock. If you're not, maybe you have a nostalgic bone for the glory days of punk rock. Or maybe you're doing a term paper on it. I don't know.
And at least during this brief and heartfelt introduction, let's not get our collective panties in a bunch on the when and where's of them glory days. We can all draw battle lines when we get better acquainted.
"Look at us today
We've gotten soft and fat
Waiting for the moment
It's just not coming back
About the stuff we lack
Dwell upon our memories
But there are no facts"
-- Salad Days, Minor Threat
For this old punk, I feel pretty damn lucky to have come of age living near DC in the early to mid 80's. Sure I was a suburban kid but we had freedom to roam - we had range. So that's the time and place that I'm coming from. Punk rock left a big imprint on me - and I'm not just talking about the spike marks etched into my skin from being packed impossibly tightly with all my fellow punks at the front of too many shows.
Others no doubt have gone through a similar rite of passage, only in slightly different places or times:
"We learned punk rock in Hollywood
Drove up from Pedro
We were fucking corndogs
We'd go drink and pogo"
-- History Lesson Part II, Minutemen
I don't think I'm alone in feeling that way. I get a big kick out of discovering kindred old punk rock spirits at arbitrary places, and it seems to follow a familiar pattern:
You run into another random person at a bar or record store or work and somehow within the first 6 or 7 iterations of back and forth chit-chat you both come to the realization that the other person may indeed have dabbled a bit in the punk rock thing in their youth.
Then the stories start spilling out as you reach into the recesses of your past and share references to even more obscure people and bands, seeing how deep the other person truly goes and maybe on occasion escalating the conversation into a mild version of "stump the old punker".
I guess that's the whole motivation for this thing I'm putting out. It's just a tiny little space on the tubes carved out to share stories from the punk rock past before the memories become too faded to do that.
"And all he has left is memories
But now those too are fading fast
He's not getting older, he's getting bitter"
Or more succinctly, again borrowing words from SNFU:
Now I even forget to forget!"
Keep in mind, gentle reader, that my memory was never that hot to begin with. So I just ask that you bear with this old mind-like-a-sieve as I mix up shows and dates and misattribute some tale or quote with this or that punk. I mean nothing by my inaccuracies as I attempt to reconstruct bits and pieces from the halcyon punk days of yore.