May 9, 2004 at 1:48 pm #46970
I’ve never seen this piece of fiction before:
DINOSAUR JR – BYRON COLEY DOES LUNCH :aliensmile:
A small, birdlike hand, with fingers unfurled, comes snaking fast across the table. SMACK! It deals a resounding blow to my cheek and people at other booths turn toward ours. "Wake up, girl!" Jay Mascis sneers. "We were always into the Cure."
"It’s true," Lou Barren adds, tossing a glass full of strawberuy yeastshake into my lap. "My dad’s cousin used to go out with Robert Smith’s mom. Robbie even spent a summer with my family once in the early seventies."
"Northampton has always been a Cure town," some moron pipes in from near my left elbow. just at that moment the turbanned, clog-wearing waitperson decides she doesn’t like my looks and clocks me with a huge ceramic teapot. I go out like a goddamn gigolo.
When I come to, a pixie is holding my hand and I’m floating somewhere above central Massachusetts. "It’s true," she says. Her eyes twinkle. "Even when they were younger those boys were very into the Cure."
She waves her little wand and I "see" Jay and his lumberjack dad walking into Northampton, Massachusetts’ Main Stret Records. Jay tugs his dad’s beard and whispers something in his car. His dad takes his axe and splits the sales desk in twain. "Do you have a copy of Boys Don’t Cry?" he bellows. "You need another, Mr. Mascis?" a meek clerk asks. Jay’s dad puts his hands on his hips, throws back his head and laughs like a steroid-packed burro.
A sprinkle of pink dust gets in my eyes. When I rub it away the scene has changed. Four figures with long dreads, each lock capped with a large clothespin, are huddled around some musical instruments in a subway station. Three of the huddlers are skinny as picks, the fourth is rather more substantial and has a paint-splattered homemade shirt that reads "Mr. Pink Eyes".
"Look," Pink Eyes says, pointing his finger at one of the smaller guys. "If you fuck up that change in ‘Love Cats’ once more you’ll be playing Western Mass. Hard Core matinees your whole life."
"It’s simple," he adds. Picking up a guitar he strums some notes. "What’s the problem, Mascis? Maybe you’re just not cut out for street busking in Cambridge." He kicks a little pair of bongos that have the words "Clothespin Jr." stencilled on their side. Striding back and forth, the clothespins in his ‘doo clack against each other menacingly. "Jesus, you guys are pathetic. Do you want a bigger cut of the food, is that it? ‘Cause if that’s it, forget it. I get half. That’s final."
"No, Gerard," one of them finally mumbles. "It’s just…"
"ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just what" Pink Eyes growls.
"We just want to do some of the earlier Cure stuff. Stuff from Boys DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Cry." It comes out as a sniffle.
"Fuck that," says Pink Eyes. "No backsliding. Next you’ll be wanting to do that stupid Frampton cover again."
The three thin ones smile pathetically and my eyes get dusty again.
Now the setting has altered, but the faces are the same. Pink Eyes is sitting behind a huge oak desk, wearing a three piece suit. His girth is impressive and his hair is beautifully shaped. The rest of ’em are still skinny and hairy (though lacking clothespins) and they cower in rickety folding chairs while Pink Eyes fires up a cigar with an ornate crystal lighter. "You see this baby," Pink Eyes says, gesturing with the huge trinket. "This was a little token of affection from Salem. You think those gals would bother to stay with me if I weren’t always right? Kee~rist, they’d walk like jailbirds the second I gave ’em a bad piece of advice. And they’re still here and that means I’m always right. Read my lips — No Frampton covers."
"B-b-b-but Gerard," one of the rakes sputters. "Frampton and the Cure… they’re like the same thing only at different times."
Pink Eyes sights down his stogie. "No Frampton. Period," he says as the scene fades out.
My vision clears in a record store. It smells like New York City and I’m hovering over the divider card marked "CURE". Two hands reach out for the section simultaneously. One belongs to Mascis, clad in Robert Smith/Smasb Hits T-shirt, the other mitt is attached to a gangly blonde wearing a huge Madonna button on his tails-out Banion button-down. They look at each other as their hands touch.
"Guh head," mascis mutters.
"Thanks," the blonde says, pawing through the section like a hungry goat, pulling about half the records out of the bin while muttering, "Oh shit. Great. Great. Etc. Etc." Finally he has a stack of about twenty LPs. He turns to Mascis and says, "Your turn."
Mascis begins to poke tentatively through the remaining discs, but he’s really trying to get a surreptitious peck at what he missed out on. Eventually he gives up, looks up at the tall guy and says, "The Cure really rock. Y’know?"
"Yeah. Totally," the blonde answers. "It’s like the rock the way Frampton would if he was still around. Or the way Madonna does. It’s like they’re Frampton-The Group, and Madonna is Frampton-The Chick.
It’s just .."
"I know," Mascis says. "I know…"
"Hey man," the tall one says. "My name’s Thurston and I’ve got this band. You should come see us tonight. We’re like Frampton-era Humble Pie mixed with the Cure back in the Small Wonder days."
Mascis’ eyes roll back in his head and he sinks to the floor. I start towards him, but the pixie grabs my wrist and shakes her head. When I turn around the scene’s changed again.
Mascis and the two other skinny guys are standing on a huge stage, bathed in coloured spots, taking bows while the air is split with applause. They depart for the wings and a galeforce roar fills the hall. Flaming lighters and matches are held aloft by thousands of invisible hands and the pulse of feet stomping in unison makes everything quiver.
After endless, thudding minutes the three emerge from behind the curtains. Accompanying them is a shockingly pasty man wearing a dark suit, precariously balancing a head of hair as large as a small cow.
"Thanks people," Mascis shouts in the microphone. "Thanks a goddamn load. We’re back. And it gives me enormous satisfaction to introduce a good friend of ours, Robert Smith. Now, Robbie and I…"
At that moment a horrendously loud ringing, like an air-raid siren but worse, cuts the aether. It pauses for a second then starts again. Jay starts screaming obscenities and a frothing Smith follows suit. The lights slowly darken.
I open my peepers and the phone is ringing. I pick up the receiver and look at it. Finally I put it to my ear. It’s Pistol Pat Naylor from Blast First US. She sounds drunk and she wants me to guess what band Dinosaur Jr. do a cover of on their next record. 1 tell her I’ve got no fuckin’ idea and slam the phone down.
YÃ¢â‚¬â„¢know, I’ll bet it’s Madonna.
Byron Coley is Jazz Editor of Forced Exposure (PO Box 1611, Waltham, MA02254, USA) and author of biographies of Chuck Norris and Motley Crue, both.
Reproduced from The Catalogue April 1989May 9, 2004 at 3:22 pm #101712
Byron Coley also wrote the liner notes for ‘Ear Bleeding Country’….May 10, 2004 at 5:22 am #101713
weirdness … :aliensmile:
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