How Far Does the Apple Fall From the Tree? – The Atlantic

Posted: June 26, 2020 at 9:45 am


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How far does the apple fall from the tree? In my case, it not only ripped off the branch; it rolled all the way down the fuckin hill. Imagine Charles Schulzs Pig-Pen moving in with Mr. Clean, and youre getting warm. The Odd Couple on acid I mean, you cant really blame the guy for feeling terminally frustrated throughout my adolescent years. Ive had feral pets that were easier to tame than me in my prepubescence. To put it mildly, Dad and I just didnt see eye to eye. Nevertheless, DNA is a funny thing, and I dont need a 23andMe kit to prove that my genetic code is candied with some of his more paradoxical qualities. And no matter how hard I tried to rebel, his hand always seemed to focus the lens through which I see the world (blurred as it may be). Beyond all our differences, if there is one gene that I am most thankful for, it is the one that fueled my love of music. A love that long ago inspired me to give my father his first taste of my literary prowess: a runaway note I left on his dining-room table in 1985.

By then, I was a full-fledged, hardcore punk-rock teenager. I had taken the hereditary generosity of my fathers musical abilities and mutated them into the antithesis of his classically trained ear. I was the garage band to his conservatory, the screeching feedback to his perfect pitch, the Dead Kennedys to his Leonard Bernstein. We may have shared the same passion for music, but eventually I swapped his trademark baton and Eames chair for my splintered drumsticks and leather jackets. Steeped in the DIY culture of underground, independent music, I wanted nothing to do with the convention and formalities of becoming a classical musician. I wanted noise. I wanted chaos. I wanted the sweat and grime of a crowded gig on a Saturday night, covered in bruises from slam dancing along to my favorite band. I wanted to scream my voice hoarse, break every drumhead, and celebrate the disregard of proper technique. I wanted maximum rock and roll.

Read: The irreplaceable thrill of the rock show

At the time, I was in a band with a ragtag group of other misfits, suburban teens by the name of Mission Impossible. (Dont laugh, but we often opened our shows with the nerdy theme song from the classic 1960s TV series. Actually, go ahead and laughit was ridiculous.) Fueled by our love of American hardcore music (and near-toxic amounts of Mountain Dew), we were like gnats with amplifiers. Among us, we had enough teenage angst and energy to support every major metropolitan power grid from Vegas to Virginia Beach. Furious tempos driven by raging attention-deficit disorders, any song in our repertoire that lasted more than three minutes we considered a virtual Bohemian Rhapsody. A blur of ripped jeans and Vans sneakers, we were following the path that our heroes had laid before us. And growing up on the outskirts of one of Americas most thriving punk-rock scenes, Washington, D.C., our heroes just happened to be the local bands that we could see every weekend. Minor Threat, Faith, Void, Government Issue, Bad Brains, Rites of Spring, just to name a few. These were bands that existed entirely outside the conventional, corporate music industry. They did it all themselves. So we did too.

Having been to countless shows at various community centers, art galleries, Knights of Columbus halls, and other alternative venues that actually allowed these types of raucous gatherings, I marveled at what appeared to be the simple method of promoting a punk-rock show: Find a place to play, fork over a security deposit, find some bands and a PA system, plaster handmade, xeroxed flyers on every telephone pole within walking distance of a cool record store, and pray that enough people would show up so that you wouldnt be run out of town by an angry mob of debt collectors. Heck, I could do that! All Id have to do is mow some lawns, pick up an odd job here and there, hawk some gear, and I could become the next Bill Graham! My mind was set, and I soon decided to try my hand at promoting a show all by myself. As with most achievements in my life, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing; I just followed my gut and hoped for the best. What could possibly go wrong? (Altamont, anyone?)

Excerpt from:
How Far Does the Apple Fall From the Tree? - The Atlantic

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June 26th, 2020 at 9:45 am

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