6 January 2007


I financed my first punk rock apartment stereo. It did not cost much but by the time I had paid off the loan to the finance company it cost me a lot more than it should have. I do not remember the brand name but it was made in Japan like a lot of shit was in those days. The stereo was not that loud but when I turned it up to ten the apartment manager showed up at my front door with her growling, spitting dogs. The song I was playing was "Beat On the Brat." With a baseball bat, oh yeah.

The manager said, "Turn your motherfucking stereo up like that one more fucking time you're out."

I said, "What? I can't hear you, man." I rarely paid my rent on time but at least I paid it. You had to murder somebody to get kicked out of that apartment. Some apartment complexes have senior's buldings or family buildings. That apartment complex was several buildings as well. All of the buildings were for the deranged. I have never fit in anyplace like I fit in that apartment.

"God Save the Queen" played through the same stereo when I was evicted from my next punk rock apartment. That apartment's manager probably thought I wanted to move in there because I did not fit in with the deranged people in my last place. Getting my eviction notice when I went to pay the second month's rent was a smart notch in my punk rock history. I would have to train myself and my friends to not piss and vomit off balconies onto other people balconies.

You would think no landlord in their right mind would rent an apartment to me again. Wrong. Landlords rarely look past past the possibility they might have an unrented apartment.

The next apartment was swank. Me and the boys got to watch bridge jumpers from the tower I lived in next with binoculars. One time we saw Curly's dad walking onto the bridge - the side of the narrow bridge that had no sidewalk. He had lost a hubcap, parked his car and walked back to get it. Curly's dad was fucking crazy - just like his son. We thought he would get splatted for sure but he did not get scratched and he got his beloved hubcap.

That building was made of concrete. Even with the apartment manager living right below us I did not get evicted. The stereo played a lot of the Stranglers and it was still in use when the "Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" rocked the punk rock world.

My next apartment was made of Canadian timber. Jimi helped me carry the new stereo I had bought down by the river. I paid for the 100 watt stereo with cash. His Bug would not carry both of us and the stereo straight up the hill because he did not have first gear. The car also lacked a reverse gear, wipers or a heater. We had to drive for miles finding hills with just the right grade the Bug could climb.

The first record I played on my new stereo as we smoked a big spliff was the Clash's "London Calling." Jimi said, "The motherfuckers are getting fucking mellow on us." We did not play it too loud. We were getting a little mellower ourselves. And my friends were getting tired of humping my records from one rip-off apartment to the next.

That stereo lasted me over twenty years. Parts of it were Made In America. Nothing lasts twenty years any more. The roof of the stadium in Dope City barely lasted that long.


SLM said...

"London Calling" was my first album purchase, ever. It's still my favorite recording of all time and I celebrated my 40th birthday yesterday. BC Place wouldn't be so very missed, if they'd just put it out of it's misery, already.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

The boys could sure write songs and the record does stand up tall after nearly three decades, as few do. I still prefer their off the cuff first recording.

It is a little surprizing, given the scads of money being spent preparing for the gigantic Olympic come shot, that BC Place will be home to the opening and closing spectacles.

Anonymous said...


the clash

anne murray

it's been a downhill spiral, next thing ya know, you'll be allowing people to cut in the supermarket queue......oh wait

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

The Downhill Spiral may be a medal event at the 2010 Olympics.