Punk Rock Girl
From the archives…
I’ve been thinking.
I know, a dangerous thing, especially for one who maintains a blog on the W.W.W. and updates it on a regular basis. But I can’t help it; if I don’t get these thoughts out of my head and onto e-paper I’ll have to actually talk to someone real, and that is infinitely more dangerous, so…
…I’ve been thinking.
About the different groups of people I hung out with during my ‘formative years’, and what kind of influence they had on my musical tastes and prejudices. There were many different groups and each had a profound influence on who and what I listen to.
But I just want to talk about one today. Her name is Tammy, and she was about as rock and roll as it gets. Spiky hair, ripped fishnets, dark eyeliner, leather jacket, some politically incorrect tee-shirt, smoked too much and drank like a fish (didn‘t we all?). A real Goth-punk chick, but in a very cool way. She was espousing the virtues of David Bowie before it was cool, and she shared a love for the more adventurous music of the day, which was primarily punk and underground ‘new wave’, a term I absolutely loathe.
During those halcyon days way back in the 1980’s, I’m sure most of my old friends would agree, getting ready to go out partying took some preparation. For me, it was lacing up those knee high Yugoslavian army boots. Took ages, man. Ripped jeans, a white or black tee-shirt (I believe my tee-de-jour said “EAT THE RICH”), black leather jacket (‘natch!) and a doo-rag, or bandana covering my head. With our respective boyfriends and girlfriends (I always got the psycho chicks!) we would go to underground dance clubs like the now defunct Matches and RPM, dance under the strobes to bands like Fad Gadget, The Sisters Of Mercy and Tones On Tail, smoke and drink too much, usually throw up and then go home. Man, were those some good times…yeah, good times.
Actually, they were. I’m not being funny. Really. Everything except the throwing up, that usually wasn’t too much fun. But come on, we were in our teens, we were freakin’ invincible, IMMORTAL!
But, as I’m often want to do, I digress.
So back to Tammy. My mother is fond of reminding me of an incident Tammy and I had with my Grandmother, one of the most prissy, Victorian proper “ladies” who ever walked this earth. Whenever I ate dinner at her house she would make me say, “I am replete, may I leave the table?” instead of my usual “GOD I’m stuffed, I gotta go pinch a loaf!” response. Get the point? She was old school baby, and she didn’t take kindly to freaks.
Of course, being the guy I am I decided it would be a good idea to bring Tammy to meet dear Nana. Can’t quite recall the circumstances leading up to that meeting, but it happened nonetheless. I thought it would be fun to see Nana’s reaction. Tammy didn’t dress up for the event, either (again, my memory is a tad hazy on some of the details, so forgive me if I’m wrong, Tam), wearing the same clothes she always wore, as described above. Meeting my grandmother was a little bit like meeting the queen; usually a very formal affair, with lots of protocol. Bow slightly, always address her initially as Mrs. Fletcher, then each subsequent time you address her in later conversation you will use “’Ma’am.” Do not, under any circumstances chew gum. Do not turn your back on her. Always wear gloves in her presence. Do not, under any circumstances, fart in her presence.
Bottom line was that I knew Tammy would just ‘be Tammy’, and I was ready for some real fun.
But something strange and unexpected happened. My Grandmother LOVED Tammy. Actually adored her. They sat there chatting about God-knows-what while I was left on the other side of the couch, bored and sucking on stale peppermints. Tammy must have really impressed her, because as we were leaving my Nana gave her $20.00! Not me, her favorite blue-eyed doting grandson, but Tammy, this ripped stocking spiky-haired rock and roll freaky chick I thought for sure would have given my Nana a freakin’ heart attack, or a stroke at the very least!
But she gave her $20 instead.
Tammy is now married to another friend, Steve, and are now living in New Zealand (please explain someday, Tam?). She tells me she doesn’t smoke, burned all of her punk rock garb, had a beautiful baby and is a responsible citizen concerned with saving the earth from it’s impending doom at the hands of the intergalactic space warriors, the Unarians.
Actually, I made that last bit up, but the rest is true.
Damn Molson Canadian!
*(By the way, the photo at the top of this post is NOT Tammy, just a crude facsimile.)