I have the most surreal experience. The Last Amazon figured that I would be a soft touch and handed me a list of possible CD’s that she would like to have for her trip to the east coast as I was walking out the door. I didn’t take a look at the list until I arrived at work.
It was Déjà vu all over again, circa 1976 thru to the early 80's. The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Blondie, The Clash, Boomtown Rats, Television, Richard Hell, Dead Kennedys, The Heartbreakers, Generation X, in fact, all she was missing was really Patti Smith and Ian Dury. I really loved that Easter album though it is probably a blessing that Patti Smith didn’t make the list as I can’t have her humming the opening to Gloria in her dreaded and loathed religion class at her very proper Catholic school. Nor do I need to hear her sing “Ssex, drugs and rock’n’roll are all my brain and body need” as she goes about her household chores.
I had been listening to Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Nico, the Velvet Underground and the New York Dolls in the mid-seventies as I was trying desperately to come of age. All that angst, decadance and anger appealed to my soul. Then came the Sex Pistols and it was like a revelation. No more area rock or heavy metal with orchestral arrangements. It was fresh, bold, and haughty. Music that was really the sound of my generation just like rock’n’roll was suppose to be. No more old guys trolling on stage singing the songs of a previous generation though it should be noted that the same old guys of then have still never gotten off the stage and I do note the irony of Sid Vicious singing “My Way”.
I am sure that the Last Amazon would be green with envy if I told I first saw the Ramones in a club called CBGB’s and so I had to go and see them again when they came to Toronto and played at the Old New Yorker theatre on Yonge Street or how I met Billy Idol when he was with a group called Generation X and he tried to chat me up and impress me backstage at the Masonic Temple. It was working until he tossed his cookies at my feet. Note to all young aspiring male musicians; you cannot pull women unless you can hold your liquor. Imagine my surprise when I saw the same cookie tossing poser on a TV screen in a bar in New York singing Rebel Yell. No doubt she would have a few choice words for my teenage judgment when I decided at the last minute to go to another club when a UK group came to town to play at one of my favourite haunts and missed hearing the Police play before the North American release of “Roxanne”.
The Last Amazon has been told how her parents met in the parking lot behind Yonge at Dundas on the way to an afterhours club but the truth was we actually met when he was the door man at a club called Nutz & Bolts where he used to let me in for free when I wore my red leather dress or my leopard skin & chains outfit. My poor mother never got over the strange males in threads, make-up and leathers that use to show up at the door to wisk me away from home periodically.
I have all the music on her list on the old computer and in a few boxes of albums hidden away in the storage closet but I am sure that she doesn’t have a clue as to what one does with a album, so I went out to HMV at lunch and took a stroll down memory lane with her list clutched in my hand. I came to two conclusions. I was a very angry teen and to purchase the same music for your teenage daughter that you purchased as a teen - is an act that borders of blasphemy. So instead, I decided to make her CD's of all my favourites from the mp3 files stored on my old computer. Thank the Lord that tonight she is going to see some group called the Killers that I have never heard of. No generation should have to take on the mantle of their mothers and each generation needs something to claim as their very own.