Through Sound and Time pt 3: 1997
As I began to develop a taste for music, I picked up a job at the local comic shoppe. Legends Deptford in the Deptford mall soon became my second home. My manager at the time was Marc Leone. I idolized this cat! He was in with the ladies, he knew a fuck ton about music and he was a pretty supportive guy to a young, Zac Clark. I remember when I really started forming a decent music library he said that it was cool to watch me sort of decide that I was going punk. Now that didn’t mean that I was all about spiking up my hair or accessorizing via Hot Topic or anything like that. I just started listening to faster music picked up some Chuck Taylors and that was about it. But that was a few years later.
1997 I was 17. I didn’t have a car yet as I barely had a job. I had just given up my job at the Old Country Buffet and Legends was the place to be. I have picked up Smash Mouth’s Fush You Mang on Tape! Yep on tape! And I was rocking to the ska beat! Reel Big Fish’s Turn the Radio Off was one of my favourite new songs and I did a lot of my clothign shopping at Shifty’s. I wore corduroys instead of jeans, and I played a lot of Magic: The Gathering. This was also the year I decided it was time to lay down the Boy Scout dream. I went into full on geek mode!
Things changed for me musically when I purchased Harvey Danger’s Where have all the Merrymakers Gone?. This was the first I bought an album and was totally blown away by the songs I didn’t buy the record for. Songs like Jack the Lion. Or Terminal Annex. My personal fav being Wrecking Ball. This the kind of music I was not listening to. There was really nothing just like it. I mean they had their hand roots deeply in punk but then there was the complexity of the lyrics and the music (instrumentally speaking).
I had just started reading Kingdom Come by Mark Waid. Like I said previously I wasn’t classically tutored as far as reading went. If Salvatore was my Salinger, then Waid was my Orwell. And I was sure of one thing, if Big Brother had superpowers things would be a lot worse.
But the book that really blew my mind that year was Kraven’s Last Hunt. Spider-man. I know it sounds silly, but this book single-handedly threw me for a loop. I’d hate to ruin it for you but the villain pulls a Cobain. I was not expecting that. He’d beaten Spider-man assumed his role as Spider-man and after everything was over he didn’t have anything left to do. So he put a shotgun in his mouth and ended it. I had never seen anything remotely close to that in a comic. Talk about a spirtual awakening. Why are we here? What does it all mean? What do I want from my life? So many questions for a kid in 11th grade.