Friday, September 6, 2013

Show #106 August 24, 2013

For my daughter Nica and the Class of 2017!

Veronica- Wreckless Eric Big Smash
High School Never Ends- Bowling For Soup The Great Burrito Extortion Case
Try Again- Rock City Nothing Can Hurt Me: Original Soundtrack
Babe- Jack Green Humanesque
Another Boy- The Boyfriends Lost Treasures 
Like I Do- Sugar Stems Can't Wait
Out Of My Head- 20/20 Look Out!
Rockstar- Librarians The Pathetic Aesthetic 
^High School Nights- Dave Edmunds High School Nights 
I Didn't Mean That- Someloves Something Or Other 
Only At Night- The Fastbacks ...And His Orchestra 
Revolution of the Mind- The dB's Revolution of the Mind 
Ecstasy- The Paley Brothers Ecstasy 
Put You In Exile- Jo Broadbery & The Standouts Jo Broadbery and The Standouts 
*High School- Hanoi Rocks Two Steps From The Move
*High School- Superchick Last One Picked 
*High School- Little Murders Stop Plus Singles 1978-1986 
*High School- The Brat Attitudes EP
*High School- Nerf Herder My E.P. 
Mad at the World- The Probers Mad At The World 
Trampoline- Greenberry Woods Rapple Dapple 
If You Can't See My Mirrors- The New Pornographers Together 
Chicago And Miss Jovan's Land-O-Mat- The Loud Family Yellow Pills Vol 4
All Night Long- Starz Violation 
The Young Idea- Squire Big Smashes
>High School- MC5 Back In The U.S.A. 
All That Stuff- The Windbreakers Time Machine (1982-2002) 
Neptune Ave. (Ortho Hi Rise)- Sammy Tales Of Great Neck Glory 
My Lifes A Jigsaw- Purple Hearts My Life's A Jigsaw 7" 
Rock 'N' Roll High School- The Ramones Road To Ruin 
Teenage Dirtbag- Wheatus Wheatus 

^Power Pop Peak:  #91 Billboard Hot 100 4/20/85

*SacroSet:  High School Songs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1970

I was a shy kid growing up and the social aspects of school were always a challenge.  Bullies could see this a mile away so I was often an easy target for their douche baggery.  In most cases I could stay out of their way by walking to and from classes by a different route.  When I was in high school I had my tormentor's class schedule memorized as well as my own yet that didn't stop him from randomly shoving me up against some lockers or punching me whenever he could.  He even pointed a home made, and according to him loaded, zip gun at my head one day while I was standing at my locker.  Good times.  My wife Jaime asked me why I never told an adult, but that's the thing about bullying- it shames the victim, not the perpetrator.  Back then teachers ascribed it to "boys will be boys" and some male teachers seemed to get a perverse kick out of it.  As for my family, just the thought of my father finding out (I couldn't imagine ever telling him), well that is a nightmare that even now makes me feel like throwing up.  Anyway, it's no wonder that to this day I have an Eminem-level hatred of bullies.

I was rarely physically abused by the jocks in my high school, though their verbal abuse could be pretty devastating.  Not that being called "F***in' Devo" (damn you "Whip It," damn you to hell) was in itself especially harsh but when delivered in front of a bevy of hot jock girlfriends it definitely stung.  This could go two ways, either the girlfriends would laugh along or they would make a big show of sticking up for me while still laughing at my expense, which was somehow even worse.  In any case, I grew to be as wary of the jocks as I was of the other bullies.  To be fair, I should point out that my use of "jock" in this case refers almost exclusively to our school's football players- loud, aggressive, beer swilling- you know the type.  These
The REAL Deltas
were the guys who called everyone "faggot" but always seemed to be dressing up like cheerleaders with huge breasts at our mandatory pep rallies (which always left me feeling vulnerable and exposed- not at all "peppy").  For the record, I don't recall ever being sh*t on by soccer players, basketball players or any other athletes.  The funny thing is, our school always did much better in soccer than in football, yet it seemed to me that the football players ruled the school.  They called themselves "The Deltas" after the fraternity from National Lampoon's Animal House.  I found this almost head-explodingly ironic because The Deltas in the movie are the outcast rejects from all the other fraternities at Faber College.  Sure Otter and Boon are cool, but Pinto, Flounder, D-Day, Bluto and the rest are complete social misfits.  I totally identified with Tom Hulce's character Pinto in that movie so it was rough watching the jocks in my high school appropriate the "Delta" identity for themselves.
The Omegas
Come on!  These jocks were clearly evil Omegas and the fact that they called themselves Deltas (something I'd never have the guts to do) was infuriating!

The jocks (I refuse to call them "Deltas") all hung around together and walked down the center of the hallway so the rest of us had to get out of the way.  Like the Omegas pictured above they had letterman jackets, green with the big white D on the front, that made them easier to spot and get out of the way.  The D on those letterman jackets was for Duxbury of course, but, in a tidy piece of alliteration, it also stood for Dragons, our team mascot.  By junior year I had finally managed to come
Current Duxbury Dragons mascot
(In the 80's it had more of an Olde English
look but this is all I could find)
together with a group of fellow fringe dwellers like myself, bonding over our shared love of punk and new wave music.  My friends and I reviled the whole Dragon concept.  (I wrote a poem with the line "big white D in a sea of bile" that thankfully I never showed anyone.  What?  You think your 11th grade poetry was any better?  I'm telling you right now it wasn't.)  Senior year I kicked it up a notch and published a vicious polemic in our English class newspaper, subtly titled "Athletics=Mush," about how the athletic programs were destroying young people by crushing any hint of their individuality.  You know, a "think piece."  The football players all made a big show at lunch that day of saying they were going to "end me" but nothing came of it.  I was loving being a hero to my small circle of friends too much to be scared of payback.  In fact, one football player took me aside after class the next day and told me he thought I was right!  My screed started with the sarcastic line "George Orwell would be proud..."  In a rebuttal the following week one of my classmates started with "Yes, George Orwell would be proud..." and went on to make far better use of the 1984 reference than I had.  It really bugged me that she understood Orwell better than I did because, you guessed it, she was a school athlete. 

Sonoma Valley High School mascot
(at least it's facing a different direction than Duxbury's)
Thirty plus years later it feels like everything has come full circle.  My daughter Veronica just started at Sonoma Valley High School and made the freshman volleyball team.  This makes her.... a Sonoma Dragon!  That's right- Sonoma has the same school colors and the same mascot as my high school.  It started last summer when Nica joined a travel softball team run by the varsity coach called the Sonoma Lady Dragons.  I bought a hat to cheer them on;  it features a "big white 'S' in a sea of bile" rather than a "big white 'D' in a sea of bile" but the concept is the same.  This week Jaime and I drove down to Terra Linda High in San Rafael to watch Nica's team win their first volleyball match.  Seeing the team bus in the parking lot, I realized this is the first time my daughter has ever ridden a big yellow school bus.  She loved every minute of it- the bus ride, the game, doing homework in the bleachers while cheering on the JV and the varsity teams.  I've got to say it was great seeing her have such a wonderful time.  One week in her high school experience is already 180 degrees different from mine and that's just what I want for her.

One thing is sure- the high school years are a rich time in our lives and, good or bad, a time we'll never forget.  Whole years in the late 80's are a blur but high school memories are as vivid now as they were back then.  It's also funny how many of the social constructs and rules established in high school never seem to go away.  Like the Bowling For Soup song I played tonight says:  "High School Never Ends:"

Four years you think for sure
That’s all you’ve got to endure
All the total dicks
All the stuck up chicks
So superficial, so immature
Then when you graduate
You take a look around and you say HEY WAIT
This is the same as where I just came from
I thought it was over
(Aw that’s just great)

The whole damn world is just as obsessed
With who‘s the best dressed and who‘s having sex,
Who‘s got the money, who gets the honeys,
Who‘s kinda cute and who‘s just a mess
And you still don’t have the right look
And you don’t have the right friends
Nothing changes but the faces, the names, and the trends
High school never ends

Check out the popular kids
You’ll never guess what Jessica did
How did Mary Kate lose all that weight
And Katie had a baby so I guess Tom’s straight
And the only thing that matters
Is climbing up that social ladder
Still care about your hair and the car you drive
Doesn’t matter if you’re sixteen or thirty-five

Reese Witherspoon,
She’s the prom queen
Bill Gates,
Captain of the chess team
Jack Black, the clown
Brad Pitt, the quarterback
I’ve seen it all before
I want my money back

The whole damn world is just as obsessed
With who’s the best dressed and who’s having sex,
Who’s in the clubs and who’s on the drugs,
Who’s throwing up before they digest
And you still don’t have the right look
And you don’t have the right friends
And you’re still listen to the same sh*t you did back then
High school never ends

High school never ends

The whole damn world is just as obsessed
With who‘s the best dressed and who‘s having sex,
Who‘s got the money, who gets the honeys,
Who‘s kinda cute and who‘s just a mess
And I still don’t have the right look
And I still have the same three friends
And I’m pretty much the same as I was back then
High school never ends

High school never ends

High school never ends

Here we go again

In the past I've jokingly said "if you loved high school you flamed out early" but that's just jealousy talking.  Jaime loved high school- she was a cheerleader, in marching band, drama, etc. and has a group of four high school girlfriends who still meet up in some sunny locale every couple of years. (They called themselves the "Rowdy Mothers" back then- how sweet is that?)  Sounds like a lot of fun hearing her talk about those years.  When I was searching for images of Duxbury and Sonoma Dragons I was struck by the similarities:  tons of teenagers dressed in green smiling and having a good time doing something they love.  DHS isn't the Death Star any more than SVHS is Naboo- it's only my perceptions that make them seem that way.  I had a tough time in high school- it would have been nice to feel safer and less fearful- but it helped make me the person I am today.  I'm sure Nica will face her share of challenges but like they say, it's how you respond to adversity that shows what kind of person you are or will become. Best of luck to the Class of 2017 and GO DRAGONS! (both kinds).

Download links for tonight's show are below (if the download "sticks" just pause and un-pause)
Hour 1
Hour 2

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