Sunday, November 25, 2007

Revenge



The last two weekends have been a bit of a blur. Last weekend, although I had planned on going two days, I was limited to one day at RiotFest due to work, homework and Bink's school project. What a day it was, though. I had the very good fortune of being gifted with backstage passes, which not only got us a sweet spot to hang and see the show, but munchies and free booze. Hence, the blur factor. I could go on and on and bore you all to death with the gritty details, but suffice it to say that Stiff Little Fingers and Naked Raygun were the highlights of the day for me. Last year Jeff had all but lost his voice, and so I was hoping for his sake that he would find a little redemption in this show. Whoa Hey Holy Ho! Naked Raygun rocked my face off. They sounded as good or better than I ever remember them sounding. I was pleased that they were able to crush any doubters out there. Stiff Little Fingers turned in a fierce set as well. Really, every band that played was amazing in their own way. I was just sorry my real life got in the way of being able to see Bad Brains on day two.

Going to Riot Fest is sort of an odd experience. There are a lot of people there far younger than I am and certainly more "decorated." Even in my prime rock-show-a-week days, I was never overboard with the punk gear. Maybe I liked Bauhaus too much to go whole hog with the punk thing. Mostly I think that back then, not that many people were as "punk" looking as some of the kids I see now. There was no Hot Topic. Our fashion mainstay at the time was thrift store bargains. So, I guess I feel like I really don't dress all that differently now than I did then. Anyhow, I was standing at one of the booths looking at t-shirts making small talk with the guy who was working. We talked about some of the bands playing and who we had seen when, enough for the guy to be able to take a good guess at my age. Then he says to me at some point, "Well, you've held up well, ma'am." All I could think was, wow, you are so very young. I think my husband was more annoyed by the comment than I was. I kind of figure it's what's on the inside that counts anyways and the kid was too young to know that. Besides, the sweet revenge of comments like that is that I know someday he'll be 42 and someone will call him "Sir" for the millionth time and he too will realize that it's what's on the inside that counts. And whether he realized it or not, we're part of the same tribe. He's the pesky kid and I'm now the annoying older aunt who's revenge is pinching cheeks when she feels like it.

So flash forward to last night. Last night was the premiere of "You Weren't There." It was a movie made about the beginning of the Chicago punk scene. Last night I was the annoying little brat and many of my aunties and uncles were there. Some of them scoffed at us in the movie, saying we weren't the real deal, the whole punk is dead story. Then what does that make Riot Fest? I guess it's all how you look at it, and in the end, it is kind of only music, but no matter how you slice it, it's somehow more than that. It's a force that drives like-minded people across generations together. You can call it whatever you want to call it. I don't think it really matters. I know I feel at home when I'm near it. I know that it's a part of who I am. Does it matter on a day to day basis? Not really, but it's nice to know it's there when I need it.

8 comments:

Grant Miller said...

I got to see that movie.

Bubs said...

Great post. I'm looking forward to seeing that movie. I remember being 18 or so and listening to dreadful people in their late 20's talking about "real" punk and how the "scene" was dead. Of course, this was in 1980, and they were describing places and events that were, at the time, 2 or 3 years old.

Dale said...

Glad they rocked your face off. I'm always amazed at the age range and diverse crowd when I go to any event and it makes me happy.

I laughed pretty hard the first time someone called me 'sir' because I'm just some guy you know?

Tenacious S said...

Grant-I thought it was pretty well made.
Bubs-Like it was our fault that bands played places we weren't allowed to go because we weren't old enough. That's why I loved it when they started doing all ages shows.
Dale-I do find it funny that I'm the "adult" now.

Johnny Yen said...

I'm looking forward to the movie.

My god, wasn't there a sea of grey at the bar (including my own)? I take pride in it, though (my grey). The reasons I loved the music and the people haven't gone away. Why should I give that up?

Tenacious S said...

No one should ever have to give up something they love voluntarily. That would be crazy, if you ask me.

kim said...

Of course you are the real deal....
Were those kids even born when you saw your first Black Flag show????

Tenacious S said...

Kim-I think we know the answer to that question. I just nod and smile when they act all cool and like I have no idea what's gong on. Mmmmhmmm, it was all your idea....