This installment is pretty special to me. Lane and Jon Wurster are two of the funniest, most amazing people on the planet, not that either would own up to it. Lane was one of the very first people I met in Chapel Hill, before I moved here, and I remember thinking that if everyone in Chapel Hill was half as nice as Lane, I couldn’t go wrong. For the record, I would pay some serious money for a photo of Lane in the war paint and puffy shirt. I hope everyone can fully enjoy this chunk of Jon and Lane’s music memories as much as I do and as always, please let me know if you (yes, you) would like to participate in a future installment. I take nearly anybody who can tell a cool story, so send me an email at karen [at] karenbalcom [dot] com.
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Two songs that come to mind right away are “Urgent” by Foreigner and “Heat of the Moment” by Asia. I liked neither. Whenever the former comes on the radio I’m transported back to my older brother’s Honda Civic in the winter of ’82 on our way to school. I still think there is nothing crueler than making a teenager get up at six AM to brave freezing winter weather to go to school. I barely graduated and I turned out great. I mean, look how good I right.
When I hear the Asia song I’m back in my friend Matt Thorn’s powder blue Rabbit the following year. We’re bound for the mall to see what exciting new wave LPs have made their way into Music Scene since we visited last week. I play along with Carl Palmer as he does that Ronettes beat but I hit the dashboard too hard and knock out a portion of the Rabbit’s humble stereo system. Matt is rightfully upset with me.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school:
1. A section of Adam Ant’s shirt that I caught at his show at the Tower Theater, winter of ’82.
2. A “Rio” t-shirt I got autographed by three members of Duran Duran at the Mann Music Center, summer of ’83.
3. A postcard from Michael Stipe.
I don’t think I have any of these anymore.
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: With the exception of a few songs I never liked metal. Though I’m sure there’s good stuff I associate it with many of the super closed-minded creeps with whom I went to school. I know that is petty but I’m sticking to it.
Best high school make-out song: I don’t think I kissed a girl ’til way after high school.
Best show or concert you saw in high school:
1. U2 at the Tower Theater, May 13. 1983.
2. Ramones at Drexel University, Feb, 1983.
3. R.E.M (opening for the Police) at JFK Stadium, August, 1983.
4. Robert Hazard at Ursinus College, Nov, 1982.
Souderton Area High School, Souderton, PA Class of 1982, Currently: I do advertising and design for The Splinter Group
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: That would have to be Adam and the Ants. During my senior year, there was a Radio/TV Production class in which you could shoot your own music video in the A/V Room. I wasn’t enrolled in the class, but I somehow talked the teacher into letting me shoot one for Adam’s “Stand and Deliver”. My brother and our friend Matt Thorn were in it too — as back-up swashbucklers. Full make-up, lip-synching and bad dancing. The shoot ran a bit long and I remember catching a lot of crap for showing up to my Chemistry class in leather pants, a puffy shirt and war paint.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Probably the ticket stub from “seeing” Aerosmith at The Spectrum when I was 15. My neighbor was two years older than me and he was a big Aerosmith fan. He got tickets to the show (I think it was either the ‘Draw the Line’ or ‘Night in the Ruts’ tour) and we were going to drive to Philly for the show in his ’67 Camaro. But my parents were nervous about “all of the bad things that can happen at rock concerts” and didn’t want me to go. After a stand-off they proposed a family night in the city in which we’d all stay in a hotel right next to the arena. That way my buddy and I could see the show and then safely walk back to the hotel afterwards. So we drive to city with my folks and brother, check into the hotel and Dave and I walk over to the stadium. There’s a huge crowd out front and people begin trying to crash down the doors. I’m about 125 pounds at this point and I’m being moved throughout the crowd without using my feet. It’s just a huge panicked wave of stoned people. And mounted police. The police horses start bucking. Dave and I get separated. I am trying to be “cool” but I’m really scared. I’ve never really seen people on hard drugs before and it seems like a terrible dream. We finally get inside and I find Dave at our seats. Golden Earring was the opening band and they played their hit “Radar Love” twice, at the beginning and end of their set. After a fifteen minute intermission Aerosmith finally comes on stage. This is it. What we’ve all been waiting for. They rip through the first song and then someone in the crowd throws a bottle at Joe Perry’s head and the band stops playing. “Philadelphia, you’ve got a fucking problem!” says Steven Tyler. They walk off stage. The show is over. It’s 8:15. Don’t you hate when your parents are right?
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I’m torn between AC/DC and Rush on this one. There were lots of parties my junior year at which AC/DC seemed to have been the constant soundtrack. The football players and wrestlers would all play air guitar and pump their fists to that “Dirty Knees and the Thunder Chief” song. I never really got it. The guy I rode to school with my sophomore year was pretty into Rush. No wait, that was the name of the inhalant he had in his glove compartment.
Best high school make-out song: Stevie Nicks’ “Leather and Lace”. Like most guys, I got into hard-core bondage during my junior year. What with all the Amish and Mennonite girls in our town, “Leather and Lace” really spoke to me.
Best show or concert you saw in high school: There was this amazing/bizarre show at a New Jersey horse race track (Liberty Race Track) in 1981. The Police, The Go-Go’s, The Specials (!!!), Oingo Boingo & The Coasters.Six of us packed into our tiny Honda Civic and drove a hours to see the show. The Specials were incredible. A friend of mine “fell asleep” during the show and we covered his face with cigarette butts and trash we found. That’s what friends are for, right?
Get a FREE eBook sampler of Karen's bestselling books.