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No Nostalgia Sundays: Exorcising The Spirits Of ’77

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Exorcising The Spirits Of ’77

I’m a punk kid—-always have been and always will be. I may dress a little nicer and hide my tattoos a little better, but at my core, I still hold the punk rock ethos dear. It molded me in my formative years and proved the launching pad for which I got into other schools of music, art, and literature.

When I got into punk rock as a teenager, there was an unhealthy dose of hero worship that came along with it. I wanted to be just like all of the cats that I listened to on wax, particularly the 1977 ones: Joe Strummer, Johnny Thunders, James Chance, et al were my teachers, and I was an apt pupil. Aesthetically, musically, and, most importantly, philosophically, I tried to follow suit as best as I could. In hindsight, I missed a few key things.

For one, most of these guys either died tragically or withered away into anti-prolific obscurity. For two, it wasn’t 1977 and I wasn’t in New York or London, man. That didn’t matter though: I was for all intents and purposes an honorary member of that time and place, at least as far as I was concerned.

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Spirit Of ’77

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(Composed in Oakland, California circa late 2007).

I wanna move like Johnny—
here and there and everywhere,
with the thunder jetting down around—
there’s a little bit of heartbreaker
in this little boy.

I wanna watch it burn like Richard—
add a little of my own hell
to the smoldering mess
we’ve gladly gotten ourselves into,
just so I can deny it like Tom—
Accidental Arsonist.

I wanna take chances like James—
with sharp, well-dressed abandon.
No wave too big to drown in.
No sir.

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