Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 31: Depeche Mode and Shag Carpet on the Ceiling

People often assume that I chose high school and music as a recurring topic for my blog because I have a “thing” about high school. Sure, I have a “thing” about high school just like I have a “thing” about old boyfriends and Steely Dan. No–I chose the topic because it’s a universal theme.  No matter who you were at that time in your life–Muffy or Biff, burnout or brain, punk-rock girl or priss–you get it. When you hear “that song”, it takes you there.  Today’s RNRHS from my good pal Steve Foxbury is a great one, chock full of icons from many musical eras, clearly a fully realized step back in time.

It’s a bit complicated, but in the interest of time, my name is Steven Foxbury

Bishop Moore, Orlando, FL, Class of ’91, Currently: Failed Life Coach (ed’s note: also in an amazing band called The Battle Sigh–check them out here)

Band or song that reminds you most of high school: I’ve always loved music on a very deep level, but not necessarily cool music. My wife has always had a knack for liking cool music, her marriage to me excepted, but me? Not so much. For instance, I absolutely thought that Toad the Wet Sprocket was going to be considered the band of my generation – my generation being the one that came of age in the midst of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, et al. Though these choices may result in my permanent banning from the cool club, these made up the soundtrack to those blissful, pimpled years.

Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd: This was the first song that I learned to play on guitar. My friend, Todd, taught me the intro lead and to this day, it’s one of maybe three lead guitar parts that I know. The theme to the Andy Griffith Show might be one of the others. I’m sure that by now, most readers have moved onto something far more interesting.

Over the Hills and Far Away: Holy shit, did I love Led Zeppelin! The late 80’s are not counted among music’s many golden eras, so I found myself turning to classic rock during that hour of need. So enamored was I with Led Zeppelin, that I drew a giant Icarus mural on my bedroom wall and swore to have it tattooed on my left arm the day that I turned 18. Luckily, that tattoo would have been around $300 and I think that I was 25 before I had $300 at any one time and by then, I had changed my position on this matter.

Stream of consciousness Honorable Mentions: Fishbone, Party at Ground Zero, U.G.L.Y. | The Smiths, pretty much all of it | Roxy Music, Avalon + To Turn You On | Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mother’s Milk | Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking | REM – wow, I can’t believe I’m only now getting to them. They were gods to me in high school. I think I’ll stop now.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Bobby Brown is the only guy that leaps to mind. I dated a girl who was really into him and it just never made sense to me (neither did Kirk Cameron for that matter). He had a song where I think he called girls Roni’s? What the hell does that even mean?

Best show or concert that you saw in high school: Lenny Kravitz and The Cult playing for free in Gainesville. Lenny Kravitz was the opener. He had a broken arm and still put on a better show than most of the able bodied performers I’ve seen. I had to play a show once with a broken elbow and felt about as lively as Bing Crosby on his farewell tour. I don’t remember much of The Cult’s performance except for a vague feeling that they were pretty great as well and that security kept coming on over the PA before their set to say that, “The Cult will not play until everyone in the crowd takes five steps back.” I guess they were worried about Gainsvillieans being trampled due to their awesomeness.

Best high-school make-out song: Hands down – “Somebody”, Depeche Mode: I drove a 1981 white Ford Econoline conversion van in high school, which meant that as a 16 year-old, I would pick up dates in a 1981 white Ford Econoline conversion van. It had corduroy seats, wood paneling and wall to wall to fucking ceiling shag carpeting. Fathers made well-conveyed eyeball threats as I led their daughters away from their homes and their childhoods.

And oh, what mix-tapes would sound from the van’s many, many speakers. The mix-tape roster was a fickle beast, but Somebody by Depeche Mode always made the cut. I made my wife a mix-tape a couple years ago for Christmas and you can bet your sweet ass that Somebody was on it.

Visit the website for Steven’s band The Battle Sigh at:

5 Comments on “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 31: Depeche Mode and Shag Carpet on the Ceiling

  1. Nice! I was at that Gainesvile Kravitz/Cult show, too!

    (And yes, I saw Toad the Wet Sprocket more times than I can count, in all corners of Florida)

    • Dane, trying to figure out how you have managed to be so many places over the years!

      • I guess I should write a book about my travels/exploits from that (what feels like) other lifetime ago? 😉

        (That free Cult/Kravitz show in Gainesville coincided with my 2 1/2 yrs of living and going to school in Orlando….just before I came to Mammoth)

        (God, I miss those “gypsy” days)

  2. I always enjoy reading these posts but this one was particularly hilarious. I can actually see the van. I’ve been in one of those. And I know the exact eyeball threat. Too funny.

  3. Fishbone. Amazing. Saw them at the Roxy in Atlanta every time they came to town and even journeyed to Athens a couple of time to see their shows…

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