Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 20: Baby, I’m-a What You?

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

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