I am SO excited about today’s RNRHS, featuring one of my favorite writers, Celia Rivenbark. Celia and I are old friends. We go way back. Okay, that’s a total lie. You see, I don’t fantasize about island vacations or hunky men who aren’t my husband–I imagine that I am good friends with people who are exceedingly interesting and crazy talented. Did I tell you about the summer I spent on the Cape with Katharine Hepburn and John Cusack? No? Yeah, well, that never happened either. Celia and I are new friends, brought together by the wonders of cyberspace and a mutual love of Carolina basketball, all of it made better with a sprinkling of foul-mouthed tendencies. We might be long-lost sisters, but if that were really true and I got the mildly amusing gene, she got the punch-drunk funny gene. Her writing is hilarious and insightful and I adore every word, plus she is chock full of valuable real-life-sister advice. Without Celia, I never would have discovered the joy and great sense of accomplishment a girl gets from filling up a Ped-Egg.

Celia Rivenbark

Wallace-Rose Hill High School, Duplin County, NC, Class of ’74, Currently: Syndicated humor columnist and author of six books including “Bless Your Heart, Tramp,” “We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier,” and “You Can’t Drink All Day if you Don’t Start in the Morning.

Band that reminds me of high school: Derek & the Dominos/Layla. I bought the album for fifty cents from the cutest boy in high school because he was starving and wanted to buy two ice cream sandwiches. I had wanted the album forever but it was too pricey for me. Paul Dixon, wherever you are, thanks for a sweet deal for us both. Best. Album. Ever. Honorable mention: Traffic’s Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. Delicious. Still listen to it at least once a week when I’m ridin’ around.

Favorite music memorabilia: I had a black and orange glow-in-the dark poster of Janis Joplin. It was oversized and dominated the space over my bed for my entire high school years. I didn’t have a black light but imagined it would’ve looked even more awesome if I’d had one. Second favorite: A poster of Richard Nixon smoking a huge joint. He had bloodshot eyes and it said “Peace with honor” underneath. My parents were liberals so they loved both of these posters, btw.

Band I hated that others loved: That’s easy; Bread. When I first heard “Baby I’m A Want You,” I vomited. WTF does “I’m-A” mean? Nobody talks like that. My friends thought Bread was a soulful band. I thought they were a-holes.

Best concert during high school: Humble Pie and King Crimson, Dorton Arena, Raleigh, N.C, circa 1970. Unbelievable. My boyfriend at the time conned his dad into taking about eight of us in his big-ass station wagon. A few in the party dropped some microdot in the bathroom as soon as we got there. I heard this made the concert more intense but I would have no personal knowledge of that of course. My ears rang for weeks and I couldn’t have been happier.

Best makeout song: Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.” Epic is all I can say about that.

Visit Celia’s website at celiarivenbark.com.

In honor of Sub Pop’s release of the new Obits records, “Moody, Standard, and Poor” (best album title in a very long time, in my opinion), Sohrab Habibion and Greg Simpson from the band are graciously sharing their high school music memories. This is Obits’ second record and everything I’ve heard from it is great–an effortless and stripped-down blend of garage rock and surf influences. They are also an amazing live band, not surprising given their rock pedigree: a lineage that includes Edsel, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, and Pitchfork. Edsel was one of my favorite bands for a long time and one of the very few that managed to combine mind-blowing music with people you actually wanted to hang around…not a lot of bands can stake that claim.  Be sure to click on the links to Sohrab’s votes for the best shows he saw in high school–he dug up some very cool, old flyers.  And speaking of cool, who else has a mom who helped them promote a 7 Seconds show at their local community center?  Wait, hold on, there’s more…who else had a band that opened the very same 7 Seconds show with Dave Grohl behind the kit?   That one will out-cool all of us every time.

Sohrab Habibion

Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA, Class of ’87, Currently: Play guitar and sing in Obits, compose music for soundtracks and commercials, design book covers and music packages.

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Rites of Spring. I played that record over and over again and used to recite the lyrics to my mom. Also Sonic Youth’s EVOL was on heavy rotation though, for some reason, I would only ever listen to it on headphones. My mom actually bought me that record after reading a review of it in the Washington Post. I was appropriately dubious when I put it on, but by the time “Tom Violence” was halfway through I was completely hooked.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: A flyer for a Dag Nasty, Rites of Spring, Embrace and Beefeater show at Georgetown University on December 4, 1985. It’s in my parents’ basement, in a box, getting moldy, along with hundreds of other photocopied relics. I’m still bummed my mom wouldn’t let me go to that show. She was usually really generous with letting me see bands play during the school week but, for whatever reason, I couldn’t go to that and no amount of begging, pleading or explaining how important it was to me would change her mind.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love:  Journey, Boston, Styx, Kansas, etc. That music still makes me irrationally upset. When I hear “More Than A Feeling” I just want to spit on somebody. The over-processed distorted guitar playing that awful power chord riff, the rock’n’roll show tunes style of singing and the music school chord changes. I can’t take it. But, oddly, and I have no explanation for this, I don’t mind Foreigner. Go figure.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: Circle Jerks, COC, Marginal Man & Madhouse at the Wilson Center, Washington DC, January 5, 1985

— tied with —

Hüsker Dü & Dumptruck at the 9:30 Club, Washington DC, May 12, 1985

— tied with —

Embrace, Gray Matter & Rites of Spring at Food For Thought, Washington DC, July 1985

— tied with —

My band, Kids For Cash, playing with our friends, P.M.S., opening for our heroes, 7 Seconds at a show I put on with my mom’s help at the local community center, Burke, VA, Sept. 20, 1985. Quirky side note: Dave Grohl played drums in Kids For Cash for this show. And, for the record, he was great then. Totally spazzy, but incredible.

Optional bonus question:  Best high school make-out song: Side 1 of UK/DK: The Original Soundtrack. You get The Exploited, The Adicts and Chaos U.K. right off the bat. Sexy stuff.

Greg Simpson

Louisa County High School, Mineral, VA, Class of ’78, Currently: Musician / Graphic Designer

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: When the Levee Breaks – Led Zeppelin

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: “Disco Sucks” t-shirt

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Bread

Best show or concert you saw in high school: Neil Young

Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: Radar Love – Golding Earring

Thomas Juliano rockin' it in middle school and today.

When Thomas Juliano first sent me his answers to the RNRHS questions, he insisted that this very process was itself, exactly like high school. He thought everyone else’s answers were way cooler than his, although he later added, “I think half of these people were actually listening to Human League and The Outfield. Thelonious Monk my arse!”.   He really shouldn’t give himself a hard time about the whole Rush thing.  Lots of guys liked Rush in high school–the only question is whether any of them saw any action during this phase of their lives.  I seem to remember a mention of Rush being a male chastity belt in a previous RNRHS…  One thing most people don’t know about Thomas is that aside from being funny as hell, an amazing guitarist (he plays in Seven Mary Three), and an expert Lego builder, he is also the best-ever dinner guest.   He has this thing about wanting to clean your kitchen for you.  Seriously.  Steve and I once sat at our bar and drank wine while we watched him wash dishes.  He even wiped down the counters.  Sound promising, eh, ladies?  Sounds like he may have risen above the whole Rush thing.

Thomas Juliano

Holy Cross High School, Queens, NY, Class of 1984, Currently: playing guitar for a living.

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: “The Spirit of Radio” Rush. I know, I know. Shut up! Don’t judge me!

Favorite piece of music memorabilia from high school: My life size poster of Jimi Hendrix that hung right next to my giant poster of Led Zeppelin across from my giant poster of The Who.

Also, my Bob Dylan concert tee that I stole from my much cooler sister.  She is a few years older than me, and if it weren’t for her exceptional musical taste, I would never have heard Neil Young’s “Harvest”

Band you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Hair bands like Def Leppard. Bands that misspelled the words deaf and leopard.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: My first gig was in junior high school. We rocked all 20 of those kids in that gymnasium.

We had 3 guitar players and no bass player. We played songs from AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  We sounded absolutely terrible, but I’ve been trying to have a show like that again for years.

I guess that Van Halen concert I saw at the Garden in 1984 was pretty cool as well. (David Lee Roth era) I know, I know. Shut up!

The Optional Question: Best high school make-out song?  Make out? In high school!? Did I mention I liked Rush?

Today’s RNRHS comes from Minneapolis music legend, Chris Osgood.  When I started interning at Twin/Tone Records in 1987, I was just an eager, U of M sophomore from the suburbs of St. Paul.  I had led a somewhat sheltered musical existence.  I thought the Urban Guerrillas were dangerous.  I didn’t know a lot about Chris Osgood or his band, The Suicide Commandos, but I was smart enough to know the most important piece of information–all of those bands I loved? The Replacements? Soul Asylum? Husker Du? The Suburbs? Well, they may have never existed without the Commandos, a band that created an all-new, loud and fast rock landscape in Minneapolis, just as the Ramones did in NY and The Sex Pistols did in England. The first time I met Paul Westerberg, I was introduced by Chris, backstage at a Replacements show. It was like being introduced to Al Pacino by Jack Nicholson. No question, both men worthy of untold amounts of praise and worship for what they do so well, but it was apparent in Westerberg’s eyes that Chris was the real rock star backstage that night. THAT was cool.

Chris Osgood

Minnetonka High School, Minnetonka, MN, Class of ‘72, Currently: I play guitar and sing in a Punk Rock Band called The Suicide Commandos. We formed in 1975. I am the Vice President of Community Relations at McNally Smith College of Music, St.Paul, MN and I am the Executive Director of the McNally Smith College of Music Foundation. I also import wine from France. I work with seven producers in SW France.

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Delaney & Bonnie, any song

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Rod Stewart’s Spinada wine bottle (I still have it somewhere!)

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Black Sabbath

Best show or concert you saw in high school: A tie: The Faces and The Grease Band, The Rolling Stones and Steve Wonder. (I saw The Doors and The Bonzo Dog Band in Junior High, so they don’t count!)

I had a band in High School w/my girlfriend Carol Flaig (along w/future Commando Dave Ahl and bassist Henry Neils). “Sue Veneer and the Mementos”. We played all over MN and WI every weekend and did a lot of Delaney and Bonnie songs because of the double male-female vocals. My Peter Case-like “sneak-out” story is actually a “sneak-in” story- We’d go down to the West Bank on Tuesday nights for Dime Beer Night at the Triangle Bar and listen to Roy Alstead and the Mill City Band, which is why I play guitar the funny way I do! My buddy X-Boy lead singer Casey Macpherson actually snuck out of his bedroom and clambered down the side of his house to see The Rolling Stones at Excelsior Amusement Park ca. 1965. He could hear them playing from his bedroom!

Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: We found all music very romantic in high school! Mwaaah!

Today’s RNRHS from Scott Carle is jam-packed with music memories, and yet, I know that Scott exercised restraint. Not sure if I’ve ever met a bigger music FAN.  Beyond the fact that he’s an unbelievable musician and has been in a bazillion bands, the man lives and breathes music. Who else sets up a music memorabilia exhibit for his birthday party? And it wasn’t just a few 45s on a table…he had an entire party room at Duke full of posters, rare vinyl, t-shirts, photographs, ticket stubs, ratty faded flyers pulled from a kiosk on Franklin Street with the staples still in it. Incredible!

Scott Carle

Northern High School, Durham, N.C., Class of ’79, Currently: Work for a small business (commercial door pivots) owned by a close friend and longtime supporter of my 30 year run in the music business…Jeff Hales..thanks! Also manage a unique coffee shop – C Store in the Bella Union at Duke owned by Sam Clowney (guitarist w/ the Veldt and Parklife). Teach  drum lessons.  Travel overseas. Still play and record on a regular basis.  Most recently was with Lost in the Trees.  Play with Calico Haunts, Jason Merritt, Bullcity. Was also with Collapsis, the B-sides and Marat. And most certainly do shows with Dillon Fence whenever we get the chance.

Band or song that reminds me of high school: The first thing that comes to mind is Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street”    Many mornings this would be on the radio on the drive to school in someone’s 70’s Camaro or Firebird.  This song came out of the gate and we all just loved it.  When I heard the Foo Fighters cover, I loved it again.   Radio in the 70’s was incredible.  If you look back at the charts it was full of so many genres. One big album that affected everyone was “Some Girls” by the Stones.  Everywhere…every party, every car was “Beast of Burden”..”Miss You”…”Shattered”…and it was like that in every American town, no doubt.    I , along with many friends, fellow athletes and bandmates were into all the music at that time….every week at the Greensboro Coliseum there were shows: Pink Floyd,Queen, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Blue Oyster Cult, Earth Wind and Fire, Alice Cooper, Rush, ELO, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, etc.  The radio was exploding with everyone from Van Halen, Todd Rundgren, KISS, the Bee Gees, Meat Loaf, Stevie Wonder, ABBA, the Knack, Boston, Deep Purple….we were playing vinyl by the Runaways, Yes, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac, Lynryd Skynyrd, UFO, Black Sabbath, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix,Grand Funk, Zappa and many others.  Then you had things on the radio like Andy Gibb, Olivia Newton John ( w/ Travolta!), Foghat and Leif Garrett!   “Dark Side of the Moon” was still a major and beautiful album…even though it came out years before, it’s impact was gigantic.

Back to the question…..the band that reminds me most of those years is Led Zeppelin…no question about it.  Like Cameron Crowe and millions of others,  Zeppelin was the one for me.   And besides the Rafferty tune the song that really did it for me then was Alice Cooper’s “Billon Dollar Babies” with Alice and Donovan on vocals. This tune blew my mind and still does today.  I can only wonder how many times I’ve listened to that one. My friend , David Ferguson had a cool sister who had that Alice record on 8-track tape.  And my high school band was called “Oasis”…..David was on bass.  We didn’t really like the name…we did covers of Frampton, the Cars, Nugent, Heart, Steve Miller, etc.  A guy named Eddie Stephens played guitar….he was light years ahead of us….he was pretty much Roy Clark…to this day he’s the finest musician I know….can play any instrument extremely well.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia: The poster was KISS.  Bought from Spencers at Northgate Mall …shot from their “Alive” period….intense poster….and it was everywhere. Should mention:  there was a head shop (one of the 1st) called “The Joint” in Durham… had amazing posters for sale in the back.  Giant 6-foot-tall ones….I had the Zeppelin and Rush ones….along with one of all the guitar heroes ( Townsend, Page, Jimi, Richards, Clapton, Mason, Frehley, Blackmore, Beck). Still have it. The most admired shirt I saw in high school was a Zeppelin shirt with their photos on the back from Zeppelin lll….I only saw that shirt on one person and I wished I had one. Where is it Keith McClintock?     The shirt I wore out was a Ted Nugent shirt w/ him on guitar outlined in cosmic blue.  Keep in mind that was when Ted was not mouthing off, just delivering the goods with relentless shows with bands like Montrose opening.  Shirt is still in very good condition.

Band I hated that everyone else liked: Did not have a band I hated but disco (although I liked some of it) was not feeling or sounding great at the time. Saturday Night Fever was huge..I liked the Bee Gees but some of the other songs in the movie weren’t all that . I appreciate them more now. Plus the movie to a teenager was quite depressing at the time…it left me with a bad feeling. As far as songs go that were popular….I couldn’t get into things like Robert John’s “Sad Eyes”   or even the Commodores “Once Twice Three Times a Lady” and these were huge songs.  And I love the Faces and early Rod Stewart but his monstrous hit “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”  was not on my list.  Ugh.

Best concert : Oh my.    Unbelievably it was my first show.  We had a youth group at our swim and raquet club in Durham where I spent my summers and each Wednesday we’d get together and listen to music…cook food….Mark Cromer (who went on to play football at Oklahoma) played drums to Elton’s”The Bitch Is Back” and blew my mind. I eventually bought his drum kit and became a disciple of John Bonham, Keith Moon and Carl Palmer.  Anyway, one week the lady who led our group announced that the following week she had chartered a bus to Greensboro and purchased tickets for all 30 of us to see a concert in the Coliseum.  We all had never been to a show and in those days shows were pretty much 18 and up….we were just entering high school.  Well, the concert was THE WHO. What an introduction.  It was beyond intense.  The new album was “The Who By Numbers” (single was “Squeezebox”).  Reggae band opened.  Festival seating only. We sat under the guardrails in the back corner lower level. Daltrey….Townsend….Entwistle…Moon. They did all of “Tommy”  and most of ” Who’s Next”.    We all were electrified ….emotionally, physically, collectively.  After that I / we were never the same.  We went outside trying to see the bus or limos leave.  The Who were long gone probably but hundreds of us were there…still shaking from the excitement.  I remember telling Scott Wells: “we’re coming back to these things”  These concerts!

Hundreds later….club shows…following the Bad Brains and Janes Addiction around the country…..U2, Stones, Floyd, McCartney, Dead   stadium shows….theater shows with Missing Persons, My Bloody Valentine….countless local shows ….hardcore gigs w/ Corrosion of Conformity, Descendents, Circle Jerks..local Connells shows, Veldt, Sex Police, Pressure Boys, 3PM, Superchunk , REM, Drivin and Cryin…The Who still was the one.  And it defines that time of being in high school and being exposed to music and finding it at a time in our lives that are not so easy.

Some honorable mentions ( from that time period ) would have to be : KISS at Dorton arena (Rock and Roll Over tour )…heartracing intense show from the 3rd row, complete with a guy’s head catching on fire in the audience right next to us…he was trying to blow fire like Gene Simmons …but inhaled instead of exhaling.  The original Pumpkinhead. That’s another story. I had face make up on…Peter Criss.  Other shows from that era….Rush on the Hemispheres tour!  Aerosmith on the “Rocks” tour and Van Halen at Carter Finley Stadium…festival show w/ the Outlaws, Poco and Boston.  VH ll had just come out and Eddie and the band left everyone nothing. Mind blowing performance.

Best High School Make-out song: from memory…walked into a party at the infamous Van household…they had 12 kids!   Good parties.  One night with people laying all around the basement…making out….I think it may have been “Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates.  Good song. And good for that.

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