Friday, February 20, 2015

Can't Hardly Wait for Thursday at the Tower, 1987

It was the kind of night that 80's films are all about. The whole Pottstown crew had waited a week, and also their whole teenage lives to see their scruffy kindred spirits.

We spent the whole summer listening to Pleased to Meet Me. It was a breath of fresh air. We had worn all of their other records down to nubs. We woke up to Stink, we spent the day with Hootenanny and had great nights with Tim

What did Pleased to Meet Me mean to a bunch of indie punkers in Pottstown? 

When you are a teenager you can be sure of one thing. High emotions, kind of like an exposed wire near water. 'The Ledge' perfectly in its concise four minutes encapsulated our head right out of the water trying to figure out these feelings about girls, the fact that we had lives that might extend past high school and our new need to blow off steam. 

The Replacements were our voice. Sure, we loved Black Flag, The Misfits, Husker Du and Minutemen and they all had their great place.

But the Replacements were basically our Kinks or Ramones. They were the guys who weren't from the mean streets, they came from our safe place but still understood that we also were bucking the system.

Almost all of us came from good homes and cozy lives and from space, seemed pretty well set. At the end of the day the Replacements gave us what Elvis and the Stones did for our parents. A place to rock out and be ourselves.

So on that night, November 19th, 1987, the whole Pottstown crew lit out to see them. 

Me, John, Heather, Mare, Jason (RIP), Tim, George, Tom lit out to Upper Darby. The whole Pottstown crew, before the blue route.

My memory is fuzzy but I know we got there in plenty of time and parked in a garage.

The flyer states that Guadacanal Diary played. But they didn't. The opening band before the opening band was the Brandos. 

I remember digging them because they name checked the movie 'Blue Velvet' when they came on but my buddy Jason, whom I sat next to, was annoyed that they seemed 'Dressed for church'.

After a while the Dead Milkmen came on, it was right after they had released 'Eat Your Paisley' and they did quite a few things from that. My buddy Jason was very excited to see them.

There was a lot of time between the Milkmen and the Replacements and we had squirred in a weeks worth of stolen beer and had to hit the head.

In the bathroom I had my first ever, at 17, geek out moment with a fellow music lover. A fellow had a Fall t-shirt on and we spent 5 minutes crowing about how great the fall were and our favorite records. At the time I said goodbye. I wonder if am facebook friends with him now.

We got back to our seat and the Replacements appeared. They opened with 'Never Mind', they were wearing matching mechanic jumpsuits. They were hammered. Paul and Tommy nearly gave each other a concussion during 'I Don't Know'. All of us went nuts when they did 'Color Me Impressed'. I think John got up and slow danced with Heather to 'Waitress in the Sky' and they closed the show with 'Can't Hardly Wait'.

We left the Tower beaming. We had just seen our heroes. Not our parents heroes, but our own goddamn, dyed in the wool, guys who spoke our language. I grabbed this on the way out. It was tough to go to school the next day. We had just learned that we had a little bit of freedom. We had just stood at the alter of Rock and Roll.

RIP Jason Garnett. You will always be one of the spokes in my cassette deck. #JasonGarnettneverforgotten.

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