I like this day and I’ll tell you why. It’s the one day when you can look at a teenager and ascertain just who they think they are. Today is the day that they will dawn what they consider to be their best/image changing/life altering/new look/this is who I am now outfit.
It’s time for people to know I discovered the Grateful Dead this summer!
And I will ride by and laugh at them.
Now before you all go getting your Fundies. in a bunch, let me tell you something. On my first day of grade 9, I wore a leather jacket, a skull and crossbones ear ring and a thin pair of baggy pants with cartoon pictures of Popeye all over them.
I can’t quite recall what I was trying to say about myself back then (I don’t think I even liked Popeye) but I do know what that says about me now. It says that I’ve paid my dues and I’ve won my fair share of awkward teen choice awards so I now reserve the right to be the one shaking my head and laughing.
I could go on and on about the things I’ve seen. The release of the Matrix back in 1999 produced an achingly embarrassing crop of Neo wannabes.
And just last year I witnessed so many girls in near identical outfits it was like watching Village of the Spray-Tanned Damned in Rolled Up Jean Shorts.
You WILL take us to Hollister.
But there are 2 things I see every year. The first is the handful of kids that have decided to go punk. This year’s punk protégé was sporting a blue Mohawk and a t-shirt with the symbol from the London Underground on it.
Fuck, it’s like he looked punker up in a dictionary. A word in your soon to be pierced ear little Lars, girls haven’t liked boys with funny coloured hair since Dookie came out and no one’s been shocked by a Mohawk since the mid 80s. (Apart from your grandmother and she thinks you should be wearing a shirt and tie to Red Lobster.) For more on what you as a teenage punk should be doing, see the late great Feargal Sharkey.
The second thing I see every year is a handful of kids discovering rock & roll. Despite what modern parents and Kideo say kids can’t rock and roll.
These guys are in no position to make any decisions regarding rock & roll and I don’t think they should be allowed around children.
But once they hit puberty they start to figure it out and many of them decide to express their newfound interest in the genre by donning a selection from what I like to call the rock & roll t-shirt hall of shame. I see one of these 5 t-shirts every year. And high school is just the beginning. Lovers of the rock & roll lifestyle will continue to phone in their rock & roll style with one of these babies right up through college and into adulthood. Here’s the first week of school set list:
Monday: The Jack Daniels shirt.
I like Jack Daniels but man do I hate this shirt. I’m assuming that when a rock & roll guy puts it on, he sees himself as a hard drinkin’ sonofabitch like Slash from GNFNR or Johnny Cash. He pictures himself alone in a dusty dive bar pounding shots with impunity or backstage after a gig hurling an empty bottle at a band mate or manger. (That just made me think of that episode of Growing Pains where Ben goes to see his idol, rock star Jonathan Keith and he turns out to be a huge dick.)
Bonus: That was Brad Pitt!
Double Bonus: What was with that bouncer dude’s face??!!
There was a guy in my Grade 9 metal shop class that used to where the Jack Daniels shirt. Someone asked him why he wore it and he said that he loved Jack Daniels and that he drank a mickey of it every morning before school. Everyone laughed and for the rest of the year everyone called him J. D. Cool. I still couldn’t tell you his real name. That about sums up that shirt.
Tuesday: The Johnny Cash Finger Shirt.
Speaking of the Man In Black, there’s this doozy. I mean yeah Johnny Cash was a great song writer and yeah here he is giving everyone the finger which tends to equal rock & roll too but I don’t know. Something tells me Johnny Cash hated this picture and something also tells me he’d hate the kind of people who wear it. Do you really think Johnny Cash high-fived anyone for doing a shot?
Bonus: Johnny Cash Jack Daniels t-shirt!
Wednesday: The CBGB’s shirt.
Yes! The shirt that screams I love Punk Rock! (Or Country Blue Grass & Blues depending on how you read it). I’m not sure where kids keep getting this shirt. CBGB closed about 4 years ago and last I heard it’s now a cheap women’s clothing store. I can’t quite figure out why someone would want to wear a shirt advertising a place they’d never been too that no longer exists. Although most rock & roll shirt guys’ CBGB knowledge seems to begin and end with the Ramones played there. Well the Ramones played the Horseshoe as well and guess what? It still exists.
Why not go down there and check out some local bands and pick up one of their t-shirts? At least it’s more rock & roll then going to Back Stage Pass in the mall.
Thursday: The Ramones shirt.
I like the Ramones too. I’m not a huge, huge fan but they were a good band. I’d even wear this shirt. If I didn’t see it on about 100 shitheads a day.
Good band, decent shirt but that about sums it up.
Friday: The Nirvana shirt.
Nirvana was a decent band and Kurt was a decent musician but does he really deserve this John Lennonesque rock & roll god status? For what? For saving another generation of mall rats from having to listen to more Warrant albums?
And at least John Lennon didn’t shoot himself. Maybe I’m being hard on Kurt but I can’t believe he left his daughter to be raised by that drug addicted mess of a wife.
And guess what? Now she’s a drug addict too. If you really want to pay tribute to the legacy that Kurt Cobain left why not pick up a pair of Kurt Cobain Converse with his diary written all over them. I’m sure he’d really appreciate that.