Column: Hearing gunshots and feeling like I’m on a train won’t ruin our greatest moments

During the coldest days of DC’s winter, the post office would announce that a letter I mailed had arrived in Baltimore two hours later. Baltimore’s APB would reply that the letter had arrived, too, and we’d have a chat with the fellow named Jim who was with us all the way from Md. I’ve since realized it was my obsession with travel that made Jim become my travel identity.

One time Jim was with us, and I was moving a big box of supplies into our hotel, and he made a comment about how my hotel was small. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a dark chuckle for me to hear. I was hermetically sealed, enclosed within my personal pink prison.

But that goes back to my first band, my first skin, my first love. After punk broke out, our girlfriends took over for a spell. But back in the old days, my Mom put her foot down and said, “No you can’t go clubbing!” when my then-bandmates and I were 14 or 15. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for that group of 14-year-olds to wind up out there at a club, possibly breaking the law in the process. A young Motherfuckin’ Monster, a young Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.

I watched AM-FM’s news coverage of Hurricane Andrew a couple of times, hoping to be taken out, smeared in mud, by a soldier or a cop. And when I’d hear shots in the background, I’d say the most northern thing on my lips would be “Is it real?”

I’ve read and heard rants from some fans of Queen who don’t like the band’s current lineup, and other fans who do like the current lineup, even though they’re unhappy with the band. I consider myself a true Queen fan, since I was one of those would-be Bobs or Rollers who got in over my head in the early days of punk and punk-rock. They won’t have a gripe with me if they decide to hang their head and never sing “The Show Must Go On” to the tune of “We Will Rock You.”

Right now I’m a fan of bands like Haim, whose songs are incredibly emotional and listenable, and who don’t get rushed into churning out music.

And those folks here in Baltimore, I hope they get to witness some of our bigger celebrations of a big concert of theirs. The Courtney Love party of the Week is definitely one.

Because many years ago, a band called the Datsuns was the best thing going. If you had a chance to see their concert, it was the equivalent of opening for our Beatles. I was going to move from Trac to the Datsuns, despite our manager’s advice about what I was doing. He told me to “stick it out” until Motley Crue came to town, at which point I’d probably have changed my mind and dropped our new front man, or at least abandoned him for the stage.

That never happened, and after a few months we had a bunch of record contracts in the mail. They were the first gigs I’d been able to rent a house to entertain. And I started daydreaming about moving out of Trac and on to more permanent digs (doing so was a mistake).

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