Monday, March 23, 2009
Hold on Me
I’m afraid this entry may start sounding like a twelve-step meeting. OK, today’s musical track was the opening song for The Sponges—the new wave/punk rock bank Scot started ‘round about 1979. The song, “Alcohol,” was a soundtrack for the days.
Certainly at the time, Scot and I were imbibing regularly. This song brings the blog around to The Roosevelt, and the amazing, crazy-assed time we had trying to run a nightclub during the height of the San Francisco Punk scene. Just like the real hippies, the real punk scene consisted of about 300 people who would support the various events and venues that came and went. The Roosevelt was one of those venues.
I was working as a waitress at The Roosevelt—a Civic Center bar and grill owned by a Greek angel named Perry. The place closed down every Friday at 3:00 PM and didn’t reopen until 11:00 Monday morning. Scot and I convinced Perry to let us book Punk and New Wave acts in her place over the weekends while she was closed anyway. She had her own story going on, and so for her own reasons, let us do it. Her Greek friends used to call the shows, “Perry’s Rock Parties.”
Back to “Alcohol.” I honestly find this song heartbreaking, despite the fact that at the time it was this sort of joyous opening statement. Substitute the word alcohol with ‘addiction’ or how about ‘attachment’, and the word ‘pain’ suddenly comes sharply into focus. We had a lot of fun back then. I’m glad we survived. For now, I find myself seeking a more moderate path. Truth be told, I still am faced with both addiction and attachment.
A quick word about The Sponges. The Sponges line up went like this: Scot Halpin-bass and vocals, Joe Belch-guitar and vocals, Leland Monagle-drums, and Robin Young-featured vocalist (this meant I came on in the middle of the set, did three songs--and left). I don’t blame Scot for this. I had a terrible time with things like coming in on time. I’ve seen some pictures lately of me around this time in some very short, shorts. I may get up the courage to play one of my songs, but looking back at this picture, I think my appeal may have had more to do with my legs than my voice. This was our first official studio recording. The studio was in the garage of a San Francisco Victorian. We were all in different rooms. You can hear Joe counting things down, way off in another room.