If the story of my band were turned into a film, or even a VH1 “Behind the Music” special, I’m certain that the opening credits would be superimposed over the Replacements’ “Bastards of Young.” (“God, what a mess / on the ladder of success. / Well, you take one step and miss the whole first rung.”) (1) Yeah. I often feel that way when I think about the little band that couldn’t. Or, indeed, that could have if not for a series of prototypically teenage miscues. (Or, perhaps, some media-perpetuated heresies. That sounds better, right? Yeah. Damn the Man.)
We were, or, in all honesty, I was preoccupied with the band’s “image.” There is, of course, the necessary teenage device of signifying “I’m in a band” by dressing/acting like dizzy, beflanneled messiahs from the Pacific Northwest. (This was the early-to-mid nineties.) Beyond that, there’s the leftover punk/grunge remnant which suggested that playing instruments well was secondary to the atmosphere which the band affected. (This continues to this day. I’m looking at you Marilyn…and, I suppose if we switch out “atmosphere” for “train wreck,” then I’m averting my gaze from you Britney, Paris et al.) Beyond that, there was the fact that I was a teenager writing the sort of stuff that everyday teenagers write. And, more or less, that’s how the first twenty minutes of our VH1 special would go – stuck in my parents’ basement, and wondering, as Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted (Theodore) Logan once did, whether or not we should learn to play our instruments.
- In fact, in the screenplay I have co-written on this very topic, this is precisely the case. Do I have a gift for clairvoyancy, or what? [Back]