This is Going Down on My Personal Record

Violent Femmes add it up

He said that people have sent them letters about this topic AND told them in person. Can you believe how freaky people are? I mean, seriously!

Aug. 23, 1994

So today, Randy announced that making out in the backseat of his Datsun in the school parking lot (in broad daylight, mind you) while blasting the Violent Femmes is his favorite after-school activity.

Personally, I'm over it.

I'm sweating my brains out right now because I have to wear turtlenecks in the summer, and I really think that he is trying to give me hickeys on purpose, which is totally immature. And I'm sorry but I don't want to make out to that song "Black Girls." My best friend, Melanie, is African-American, and yeah, she likes to make out (as much as she possibly can and with anyone who is willing, incidentally), but we think the song is kind of racist. But when I told Randy this, he started playing "Jesus Walking on the Water" and arguing that someone who loves Jesus so much can't be vulgar or racist.

Luckily, I had my notebook, and I read him what Brian had to say about that:

"Gordon's father is a Baptist minister. So he was raised with religion being their livelihood. That's a part of his life. But he never tried to convert me and Victor or anything like that. It's just one side of his personality. So he doesn't think 'I'm a rock star, therefore I shouldn't be writing about this.' He just thinks, 'I'm Gordon and this is one of the things I think about, so I'm gonna write about it.' His parents are bummed out by some of the songs, definitely."

See? That's because the songs are vulgar. And racist, too! And in case you were wondering, Brian also said:

"But Gordon's parents accept him. They usually come to the shows when we're in the area, and they're very proud of him."

Then Randy drove me home. I don't think he likes losing arguments.

Aug. 24, 1994

I forgot this other funny thing that Brian said—he was telling me about this Sun Ra show he went to at the Racine Zoo, and when Sun Ra started playing, all the monkeys started going berserk in their cages, and you could hear them chattering like crazy. So, the Violent Femmes have this show coming up at the Milwaukee Zoo tomorrow, and Melanie brought up an interesting point: Are all the monkeys gonna start doing it?

We're gonna find out!

Aug. 25, 1994

On the way to the zoo, the local station was playing "Blister in the Sun," in honor of the Femmes show, and my mom, who was driving us, started singing along with the radio, in that high-pitched church-lady mom-voice, you know? I thought Melanie was going to pee herself.

And then I was like, "Wait a minute. Either we don't know what this song is about, or my mom doesn't." You know what I mean? Because if she were interpreting it the way we do, then she wouldn't be singing it, right? Honestly, I hope my mind is dirty and wrong, because otherwise, I just heard my mom singing a song about jerking off.

The show was too far from the monkey cage to see what they were up to, but it was awesome. Everyone was singing along, and the drummer, Victor De Lorenzo, was, like, doing jumping jacks with his drumsticks up his nose. These men might be old, but they've still got it.

So I met Brian, and he seemed a little confused that I was in high school, but he was totally excited when I told him I'm saving up for an acoustic bass, just like his. (Note to self: Get an Ernie Ball bass or just forget it.)

And I figured, since we were chatting anyway, why not just settle my "Blister in the Sun" concerns and find out what it's really about? But when I asked him, he got all weird and flustered and was like,

"Well, that's a tough one. I just couldn't tell a teenager what that's about."

In other words, it's totally about you-know-what. Which is hilarious, until your mom starts grooving to it. Ew.

We saw Randy on the way out and he was like, "Whoa, I saw you talking to Brian Ritchie. You really do know him!" And I was all, "Yeah, I was just getting some advice for this band I'm starting. We're called the Wind-Up Peckers." Of course, he totally wanted to join. He even offered to make us T-shirts that say, "9 out of 10 kids prefer wind-up toys to guns." Can we say "overdone"?

Anyway, I told him that Melanie and I have the drums, bass and vocals covered, and that we don't really need anything else. But we suggested that he invest in a tambourine, and maybe we'll let him be our back-up singer . . . NOT!

Violent Femmes with John Bisagna at House Of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-Blue. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$32.50. All ages.
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