'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Wednesday, February 13, 2002 ]

Now here's a hunka hunka burning wackyness:

Lately, I've taken to listening to analog tape again, and today I found two old ones.

One is a two-hour tape, and its label reads "A Night At Rocky."

I know what this is. It's a tape I made back in 1990 or 1991 of my friends and I at The Rocky Horror Picture Show in New York. I couldn't have been older than twenty.

It's really something to hear what you were like ten years ago. As I listened to it on the bus, it occured to me how less hyper I am these days.

This is relatively speaking, of course.

It's not that I'm disgusted with myself at age twenty--just amused. Spouting things that I think are not only funny, but pearls of amusement that everyone can enjoy.

(Yeah, yeah, like I'm so different, now, I know.)

Back then, I was the kind of kid who would continue jokes that other people had the good sense to stop telling.

The kind of kid other people told to calm down a lot.

The other tape is a black TDK says "It's alive...Alive!!!" on Side A, and "O, Happy dagger!" on Side B, in my handwriting (actually messier than it is now, if you can believe it). I scan the tape for which year, and find nothing. I'm guessing around 1987, though.

The names on both sides mean absolutely nothing in regards to what is on them. (I think Side A was supposed to have the song "Weird Science" on it, but I probably couldn't afford it at the time)

I decided to listen to the tape, as far as I could go, without fast-forwarding. I was curious. What did I listen to back then?

The first song was "Money (The Best Things In Life Are Free)," performed by the Flying Lizards. This was from my mom's record collection. I think someone gave it to her as a gag gift back in the 70's.

After that were some instrumentals from (dig this) the first Miami Vice soundtrack album. I, for some reason, was really into synth instrumentals back then (I was a big fan of Harold Faltermeyer, and, of course, Jan Hammer).

After that, (here's where it gets embarrassingly stereotypical) was a series of "Weird Al" Yankovic songs, starting with "Ricky," then into "Gotta Boogie."

Little side note here about "Gotta Boogie." I had a friend at the time who really hated Weird Al--he thought all his songs were too offensive to find funny. In particular, he hated "Gotta Boogie." (The punchline to this song is that the rest of the chorus goes "Gotta Boogie on my finger and I can't shake it off.")

I have always found it odd that anyone could find Weird Al offensive--what was even stranger was that this kid cursed like a sailor and (like all kids our age, which was about 13 or so) loved fart jokes.

"Buckingham Blues" was up next, and that was Weird Al's riff on Prince Charles and Lady Di--then still married--and how perfect their life was. A lyric almost chilling, today: "And Lady Di, well, she must have it rough/Gotta hang around the house all day makin' babies and stuff..."

Side A ended in the middle of "Another One Rides The Bus," and I flipped it over.

The next side had more Weird Al, but I could hear that I had clearly recorded over something else--a song a friend of mine played on synth that was like a medley of all our favorite instrumentals--"Axel F," "Shoot Out," "Fletch," that kind of thing...

...And I had taped over it.

This friend of mine was someone who I had been friends with in middle school, but during freshman year that changed.

He and a friend of his flat-out told me that I (and a couple of my other friends) wasn't cool enough to hang out with any more, and that they were going to take a break from me.

What kills me is that up to this point, this kid--we'll call him "Damon"-- was my best friend--we'd had sleepovers, for God's sake.

I made another friend--this friend being the infamous Chris Baker--and eventually, he and I became best friends.

Later that year, I ran into Damon in the school hallway. I said hi, before I remembered that I was still mad at him.

He told me that we should probably talk. I agreed and told him to call me.

Later that day, Baker and I were hanging out at my house.

The phone rang.

I picked it up.

"Hey, Rob, it's Damon."

I hung up.

We haven't spoken since.

What I find really funny about the whole thing is that he stopped being my friend because I wasn't cool, and out of spite I tape over a song he played for me with a Weird Al song.

It's really amazing what those early friendships mean to you.

Even now.

Click here, buddy. You look like you could use it.



posted by Rob on 12:45 PM | link

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