Sunday, September 10, 2006

Welcome to Wisconsin and old punk rockers

My wife and I drove through Wisconsin a week and a half ago on the way to visiting her family in Minnesota. We stopped on the way to snap a photo of this legendary sign. I had seen it years ago, on a trip to Madison, I think, with my friend Mark. It had acquired legendary status in the midwest.

When we went to Minneapolis, my wife showed me around her old stomping grounds, including the legendary First Avenue, in Minneapolis.. We had a great time-- ended up seeing some bands, but it was weird being the oldest people by far in the club (I'm 45).

This weekend the Hideout hosted an anniversary party for Touch and Go records. Three bands I saw one night twenty years ago played. At Crosscurrents, a place near Belmont and Clark, we saw three bands for five bucks. The guys from Naked Raygun were hanging with us-- this was March of 1986, right before they became big. That night Big Black, Scratch Acid and Killdozer played. The guitar player for Killdozer was wearing a Motorhead t-shirt-- for pants. It was a great night. I was just out of college and working two jobs, and could finally buy drinks for all the people who'd kept me in beer since I graduated. Scratch Acid was just the shit that night. All the bands were great. Steve Albini, of Big Black went on to be the Grand Kahuna of Chicago punk. Naked Raygun hit it big. Most of the people I was with that night are still friends.

It's weird getting older-- I still love the same things I loved. I still love cranking up an old New York Dolls song or singing along with my kids to a Ramones song. I still love all the people I hung around with back then-- Tim, Dan, etc. And I sure miss Mark.

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