When I was in high school, I listened to Standing on a Beach every day as I got ready for school. It pains me to tell you that because now I don’t think I’d listen to The Cure if you paid me. I also went though this phase where I listened to U2 every night because usually when I listened to them, this guy I totally liked called me and I totally thought I could control the behavior of other people by . . . sitting in my bedroom listening to specific music. Kids are silly.
There was some music I liked after discovering it through guys I liked. (I was totally boy crazy ever since I was in grade school. Now, I wish I’d spent more time on other things back then because there is no point in liking boys when you’re in grade school and should be busy, like, learning how to be a person.) Love and Rockets. And The Cramps. Bad Music for Bad People was pretty much the soundtrack of freshman year. We listened to that shit while eating frosting out of the container and doing paste up of the school paper. (I’m so old I remember actually pasting up a newspaper.)
Then there was the band I discovered on my own. I had a book about music (I have no idea what it was) and I remember reading a paragraph where they were described as sounding like someone coming through a wall with a bloody Black & Decker. I was sold. I bought the band’s first album (on cassette, of course) and was hooked. The Jesus and Mary Chain came to be my very favorite band when I was in high school. I reproduced with reasonable accuracy the cover of Psychocandy (just the lettering) on the back of the denim jacket I wore every day. I was totally in love with Jim Reid.
My love for them extended even to college, when a friend and I drove all the way from Iowa City to see them at the Riviera. We got there so early we were the second people in line. Inside, we lasted in front as long as we could, until the rushing crowd squished us against the stage until we couldn’t breathe and we had to signal to the security guys to pick us up by our arms and usher us to safety. It was fantastic.
I was mortally offended when years later as an adult I heard one of their songs in the movie Lost in Translation, which I didn’t like.
This was my favorite song.
Sometimes I wish I’d been a teenager at a time other than the 80s, and sometimes I’m totally cool with it. When you were a teenager in the 80s, I think you have a certain perspective that I kind of enjoy but can’t really define. You never understand me, man.