Thursday, March 24, 2011

Punk Rock Girl

When I was a child, the only music I knew was the Solid Gold tape collection that my Dad got for free every time he filled up the tank of his wood paneled station wagon at Esso. Those glorious tapes were the soundtrack to every family road trip.

But as you get past the age of 10 and older, those oldies loose there cool and you enter a time when you are extremely musically fragile in terms of what is next. I think this is actually a cross road that defines you as a person for a very long time. In my case I could have gone down The New Kids on the Block route to represent my teenage years of musical expression (and thus clothing attire and dance moves), or I could have tried out that gangster rap stuff my friends were pushing on me and gone with NWA. Luckily, I had my brother Bill.

Being the youngest of three I looked up to my siblings and was pretty much a cultural sponge absorbing whatever they did in the late 80's/early 90's. What I absorbed from my brother was a recipe of punk and post-punk awesomeness that included The Ramones, Violent Femmes, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Cure, etc. But perhaps one of the greatest contributions my brother made to my young fragile little mind was the Dead Milkmen.

The Dead Milkmen, a satirical punk rock band that didn't leave my walkman. Their lyrics were hilarious and the songs gritty and fun. As a 12 year old, I fell asleep listening to them in my head phones and dreamed of hippie eating monsters, bitchin' Camaro's and punk rock girls that would one day take me around the world. My love for the band never really aided in actually finding any such girl as The New Kids on the Block were reigning supreme at that time in grade 7, but I didn't care.

So here is a tribute to two of my adolescent hero's; my Brother Bill, and the Dead Milkmen. Starting with the original "Punk Rock Girl" video, I've included a few other unique versions, including a cover of the song that we performed last weekend in Nelson, BC. From Shred Kelly, we thank you for swaying me away from a possible adulthood of dressing like Zac Morris, or Snoop Dog. Besides, strumming power chords at volume 11 in the basement with overly gelled bleach blond hair, snake skin doc martins, jeans that were more ripped than they were jeans, and an awkwardly placed tattoo of a frog was way better on Mom and Dad's stress.

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