Through Sound and Time: 1999
My last year of high school was spent trying to figure out how best to spend my time. I still didn’t have a car. I fancied myself a bit like Ferris Bueller in that sense. I even took the occasional “mental health” day off school to catch up on sleep and catch up on reading. I was starting to get into main stream comics by then. I was reading JLA: Year One and Deadeanders. Deadenders was actually one of the first DC Vertigo comics that I really read on a regular basis. It was about a post apocalypse future where the world was hit by a cataclysm that ended the weather and separated the world as they new it into 7 or so sections extending from the center section. It was sort of like Dante’s inferno in that sense, which I didn’t read until my mid twenties.
That year musically was riddled with Dropkick Murphys, Bouncing Souls, and Soul Coughing’s El Oso album. I was delving back in time a bit as well. That year I purchased the Clash’s London Calling, Combat Rock, and their Self Titled Albums. I bought my first bass that year as well. Punk-O-Rama Four came out that year, as well as Warped Tour. I went to my first live concert (folk fests that my father had dragged me out to not counting). The first band I saw live was the Living End. I jumped into my first mosh pit for Dropkick Murphys and my first circle pit was Pennywise, they played a cover of Minor Threat by Minor Threat. I learned a few things that day about concerts. It was also the last day I wore Khakis when I didn’t have to work. My attire was all wrong for an all day concert, Hawaiian Shirt, Khakis (with no belt), and a pair of Soaps freestyle walking shoes. I had no where to put anything I bought and I lost my keys during Anti-flag. I spent most of the concert crowd surfing.
After that I started going to concerts like mad. with my friends John Carr and Ian Harker. I saw Goldfinger, Bloodhound Gang, Bouncing Souls, Blood for Blood, Nofx, H2O, Vision, the Dwarves, and a ton of other bands. I started to get pretty comfortable in the mosh pit. i had always thought that going into a pit meant fighting to keep from getting your ass kicked by all the muscle heads, but it turned out to be a place for of guys just like me looking to have a good time and dance and sing, maybe get out a little aggression. The major focus was comradeship, if someone fell you picked him up, protct the guy tying his shoes, and disregard the assholes til they needed to be removed. Most importantly though it was all about fun.
It’s hard to explain to people who’ve never been in there. I was young and I was trying to figure out who I was in the world, there was a lot of mystery about what the future would bring and I was a little unsettled by the government at the time, I was trying to figure out what was right and what was fair. I knew I’d never hack it in a 9-5 but it seemed like that was the only way to make a living without being a deadbeat. Top this all off with the fact that I was straight-edge. I didn’t know how to talk to girls let alone where to meet them. The one solace was that I had a place to go once the music started playing.
By mid year I had graduated highschool, and I had decided that I was gonna be a professional CCG player for a while before I went to college. That’s right, I started playing Magic: the Gathering for money. I even got through a few rounds at states and things were looking pretty bright on that level. The next year was a swift slap in the face.