I was one of three Punks in my junior high school, at least the ones who looked the part.
I moved in the summer of ’83. The kids from my old neighborhood were still about late seventies rock and the “cool” ones were about the Sugar Hill Gang. I couldn’t really get with either one. I had a thing for the Kinks and I was definitely impressed with Van Halen but the Punk stuff my dad was listening to was so new and perfect. Right after I moved, I met CJM. He was just getting into bands like the Sex Pistols and the Dead Kennedys through some kids he knew from Philly. I jumped right on that. I thought only people my dad’s age were listening to Punk, so hearing another 14 year old playing it ruled. I remember the first haircut I got that summer, it had to be something new, it had to be Punk. No more parted in the middle feathered back on the sides. There was this hair stylist at the local strip mall that CJM was fully hung up on. Jackie really was hot and she was from the UK so the accent was perfect. I figured this chick had to know what I needed.
I sat down in the chair and she put the smock over me while asking what kind of cut I was looking for. You would figure that would be the perfect time for an answer right? Any man reading this knows that was impossible. Here I am this 14 year old wanna-be Punk looking up at this extremely cute, English hair dresser... thank God for the smock if you know what I mean –how the hell can I answer the question? She smirked a bit, shook her head with a smile and started cutting. I was fully in fantasy land watching her circle around me running her fingers through my hair. By the time she was done I was totally out of it.
At that moment, I loved my hair. Then I got home, looked in the mirror and realized that I fully had a “New Wave Dave” thing going on. I wanted it off, but I didn’t want anyone to think that Jackie had done something wrong, so I dealt with it. School started a week later and I thought I would never hear the end of it. Aside from the other two Punks who really only had your basic eighties spikes, no one looked the slightest bit out of the ordinary. I walked into jock and rich kid hell looking like I played the keyboards for Howard Jones. That first week I dealt with relentless torture from the jocks and dirtballs, humiliating laughter from all the popular girls and dirty looks from the teacher’s aides. It couldn’t be more perfect. Friday afternoon came and I couldn’t wait for my dad to come over and drop that sweet con-money in my hands –I went directly to the drug store, bought a box of jet black hair dye dumped in my hair and started cutting. After some tough maneuvering of the hand held mirror, I emerged with a black hacked very wide Mohawk. I couldn’t wait for Monday.
That following week was the beginning of it all. We all have our own way we ‘got in’; exposure to the music, a funny haircut, whatever. The way the kids and the administration in my school handled what they saw in me truly made me what I was. There were some fights in the hallways and of course the mental torture but the real problem was the administration. The people who are supposed to understand and work with teenage angst were the very people causing the biggest problem. Anything that went wrong was immediately the fault of the Punks. I swear my locker was searched daily. It was bullshit. Every time I put a new lock on they would cut it off in hopes of finding the next drug cache. And they wondered why we had such bad attitudes. As time went on the two other Punks got more and more nuts in style and attitude. More kids started getting into it as well. I’d say by Christmas that year there were around six or seven of us. One of the originators started growing in his hair and listening to Motley Crue. The other one, Scott, became a good friend of mine and was the first person I ever saw with Liberty Spikes.
That year marked a major turning point for me. I’ll never forget it, even though my parents said I would. Most of the people I hung out with didn’t go to my school. Scott was an exception, but he and CJM didn’t really get along to well over time so we kinda grew apart. Christine was someone from my school that I stayed in touch with. She went out with CJM for a while. I used to love going to her house, her parents were off the boat German and had no problem with us drinking as long as we did it there. Crazy right?? We were so young! Her sister traveled a lot and would always bring back new music. She was responsible for hooking us up with the Damned, 45 Grave, Crass, TSOL and Social Distortion to name a few. The parties there were insane. I met one of my cousins, Troy at one of these parties. I know that sounds nuts but it’s true. What’s even crazier is that long before I met my wife, she went out with him. It's wild to take a minute, sit back and think about the crazy road that brought us to where we are now and all the different influences along the way...
(You can find tesco at Blank Forever)