Friday, November 25, 2011

Never Mind Cosmic Hearse, Here's The Evil Eye

Fuck you. I don’t care if the Sex Pistols are a “starter punk” band. It has been twenty years since my best friend in middle school came by one morning with a tape he thought I should hear. For the past few months, both of us had been curious about what exactly punk rock entailed. One of the skater punk kids we knew told us to check out Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. This was something we had to check out together, so we made a pact that whoever got their copy first would wait until he saw the other before listening to it.

Charlie didn’t live up to that part of the deal, but he was put off by the cover artwork at first. If I recall, he just wanted to be sure that the pink background was the only ‘faggot-y’ thing about this album before I heard it. I probably would have done the same thing. It didn’t really matter, since he had the tape in his hand and was able to confirm the music’s decidedly ‘heterosexual’ status. He put the tape in the stereo and turned up the volume. The sound that began exploding from the speakers was the musical realization of what was going on inside my head. Whatever lyrics I could pick out were a direct line to the truth. Maybe I didn’t know what the Pistols meant by “God Save the Queen” at the time, but I sure understood the ugly simplicity of a statement like “there’s no future for you.” That was heavier than any Metallica song. I was transfixed, from the sound of the jackboots at the beginning of “Holidays in the Sun” all the way to Johnny Rotten’s “goodbye, A&M!” at the end of “EMI.” At that moment, Never Mind the Bollocks was the greatest rock ‘n’ roll album of all-time. The pink background was the furthest thing from my mind.

Life had just drastically changed. I no longer had to spend each morning thinking of a new reason to stay alive one more day. Punk rock was a damn good reason to remain above ground. I didn’t drink as much before going to school. The nightmares began to dissipate. As long as I had the Sex Pistols, life was not that bad. Listening to them before and after school was a million times better than therapy. The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag were soon to follow.

For me, Never Mind the Bollocks was the beginning of a process towards finding myself (“…my beautiful self”), or at least a less mentally disturbed version. I’m not sure where I would have wound up without it. Click here if you are a kid in need of that kind of guidance, or if you simply have to re-affirm a few things.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fuckin' A!!!!!