Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Garageland

April 11, 2011

GaragelandSo there I stood, exhausted, shirtless ears ringing covered in sweat and cheap beer. And damn if it wasn’t the greatest feeling ever. We’d finally done it. We played our first show. Well it wasn't really a show it was a party in Mikey's backyard with the express purpose of giving our band a place to finally play. But the important thing was that we had finally crossed that rubicon that separates the punks from the Punk Rockers. We were no longer just three guys and a crappy casio keyboard in a garage we were four guys with a real live drummer in an honest to god band. It had taken over a year of banging out tunes in a cramped garage surrounded by laundry and stacks of CDs but we had finally taken that next giant leap. We were Captain Yoshida straight outta the SGV and we were hell bent on kicking ass, playing fast and inhaling beer like sailors on shore leave in Tijuana. Our mission was a simple one- to rescue punk rock from the legions of the sad weepy boys with shaggy hair and ridiculously long band names that sounded like lines from an 8th grade girls poetry either that or just get someone to give us free booze for playing. Well we did manage to accomplish the latter part. Needless to say we didn't set the world on fire. Over the course of three years we played a handful of gigs at Kellys pub in Arcadia-who made the mistake of paying us with pitchers of Guinness( turns out it would have been cheaper to give us some cash) an infamous Jamesons fueled night at McReds-we sucked royally but they still invited us back, a Halloween Carnival in Eagle Rock, a beach party in Baja and the last night of TranLand in Temple City. Not exactly The Clash at Bonds Casino but good enough for us. Here’s the thing with all this- it all started out as a lark. Me and my friends Mike A. and Eric had gone to see a friends band that was billed as or least perceived by the kids at the show to be punk rock but to us sounded like whiney sad boy music-I know I sound like “bitter old guy” but that’s what it sounded like when I was 25 and im sticking to my story. Any way this event in turn led to the inevitable hollow threat of “we should start our own band and show’em what’s up”. Only thing is we actually followed through on the threat and started writing songs.

Mike was already an awesome guitar player so he naturally took that role Eric picked up the bass and me with my dyed blue hair and complete lack of musical ability became the obvious choice to be the lead singer oh and our crappy keyboard Joe Casio kept the beat on drums-he would eventually get the Pete Best treatment and be replaced by our friend Francois Pantaloons(not his real name I just always wanted to see this in print). For a while it felt like we were living a Rancid song four friends making music taking on the world-even if some of us still lived at home and had to borrow their moms station wagon. And then like a low budget Behind the Music the wheels started to come off-the band not our buddies moms station wagon- and we all just kind of drifted apart for a while and the band was no more. Now if your thinking this is a bit self indulgent you’re probably right but then again aren’t must writers and musicians. Not that I was much of a musician my job was to “sing” and jump around like the bastard love child of Duane Peters and Henry Rollins. Anyway my point was not some much to brag about the time “I was in a band” because I always felt really weird saying that out loud to people because it sounds like a bad pick up line “Oh hello there what do you do? Oh Im in band” and for me being in a band was more about a release and letting go onstage than about possibly making it my life. I guess my real point if I must have one is the fact that anybody out there can be in a punk band and everybody out there should give it a go at least once, you should experience the feeling of someone throwing a beer in your face mid song and practicing the same damn song 10 times in a dank sweaty garage because you’ll never be 25 again. It’s easy to say that  a band sucked but its a lot more fun to try to be in one that doesn’t. To paraphrase Cheech  Its punk rock you don’t have to rehearse you just have to be a punk. Oh yeah just don’t name your band while walking through the Teriyaki sauce section of a grocery store.

-Daniel N-

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