The year I started Grade 12 the summer just kept on going and going and going.
All through September and into early October.
That year I had a window seat in Mr. H's. calculus class.
And I tried to pay attention but, truth be told, I didn't learn anything until maybe Thanksgiving and then I actually had to work pretty hard to play catch-up.
Luckily for me, or not (depending on your point of view), I didn't give a hoot in heckfire about this weird album called 'The Ramones' that my friend F. was always trying to get me to listen to that fall.
After all, this was the year of doobie-wahs, talk-boxes, the impending end of Zepplin, and all the excess that was Disco that had just been breech-birthed seemingly everywhere.
So a record with 14 songs about the most degenerate stuff imaginable that clocked in at under 30 minutes without synthesizers of any kind was just not in the cards at that particular moment in time.
Even if it was kinda funny.
The following summer I refused to lay out the 12 bucks (!) it would have cost to go see four jerks on a stage at the Kingdome with the rest of my garage bandmates.
And by the end of that year we were covering 'Beat On The Brat' and 'I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement' which, when we played them at a house party for the first time, people thought we were trying to sound English.
Because we finally came to The Ramones through the backdoor.
By way of The Clash.
After all, in Canada you could get the real first album (i.e. not the tarted-up one that actually followed 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' in the States) in the summer of 1977.
Even without the internet.
The guys I meet in a garage once every couple of weeks or so these days do not play The Clash or The Ramones, or even (thank the goddess) Zepplin.
But they do let me play a Tweedy tune or two occasionally.
Which is good enough for me.
And last night when we played, well....
It felt like summer.
Maybe next time I should try and get them to play a little pre-Cummings/Hyman/Colvin from Jonathan Richman.
As for Sister Ray?
'Cause there is no way I'm going down that road now.
Ironically enough, a few minutes after I shot the picture at the top of the post just down the bike-routed street from our house I was overtaken by our bass player on King Edward between Oak and Granville...His wee kids called out to me from the backseat of his station wagon in perfect sing-song harmony...They were on their way to their last week of summer camp...Pedalheads!...We are all rebels now.
My own kids dig Joan Jett's cover of Roadrunner best.