The Bad Guy


It was April of 1992 and I was 19. Seven months earlier Nirvana had released “Nevermind.” At the time, kids were wearing flannel, folks still took bands like Dinosaur, jr and Ministry seriously, Mark Wahlberg still described his first name as “Marky”, and I was a freshman in college. It was a dark time when music began to suck in new and different ways than it had sucked before. Not to say that I was above any of that, but I did have some bright spots in my music collection, too. One of those bright spots was Fugazi. If they were playing anywhere I could drive to and still get to class on time the next day, I’d go.

Some might accuse me of being like a Deadhead in that respect, but I disagree on the grounds that I know of no college kids who flunked out of school on account of too many Fugazi shows. The Dead had a VASTLY different effect on college freshman. A frosh at my school who went to see the Dead during their first semester had a 60% chance of not returning for the second semester. If you never followed the winding path down Shakedown Street, you were usually OK, but woe to those that did succumb to the lengthy, free-form wank of the Grateful Dead. I saw it happen every Fall. Like this guy who I met on my first day of freshman orientation. We bonded because we were wearing identical Naked Raygun shirts the day we met and both of us had a love for NYHC. He was a devout adherent of the straight edge way and an extremely cool person when I met him.

Then the Dead played a show in Boston.

The campus of my already small school became a ghost town of sorts. Everyone was at the Boston Garden getting their weed on, and that straight edge guy went down there too. When he returned on Sunday he was clutching a bong. Faster than you can say “nailed to the X” that straight edge guy was listening to Phish, wearing tie-dye, not going to class, and smoking a lot of weed. Him and so many others became casualties of that weekend and were never heard from after the first semester. Me? I have always had an immunity to the Dead. I just never got into them.

And now that I have gone off on a lengthy, off-topic introduction, I will get to telling the actual anecdote.

It was a Friday night and I was at a Fugazi show at Bennington College (Lunachicks opened, in case that sort of thing interests you). Standing towards the back of the auditorium during their set, I noticed all these young women smiling in my direction. The first time it happened I smiled back and thought to myself “Hey, I guess I still got it!” Soon after the first time, three more women…HOT women….Waved, smiled and blew kisses in my direction. Then it happened again…And again…And again. This went on for another five minutes and I started feeling cocky. “Lookin’ good, my man! Lookin’ GOOD!!!” I said to myself.

Then my eyes locked on to one of the women looking in my direction. I turned around and my eyes followed her gaze. When I had made a complete 180-degree turn I came face-to-face with the real object of her attention…Michael Stipe was standing directly behind me (yes, Michael Stipe of REM).

With my ego deflated I rubbed my eyes, turned around and enjoyed the rest of the show.


May 6, 2007 - Posted by | Fugazi, grateful dead, hippies, music, straight edge, weed


  1. The image is broken … I assume it was one of Fugazi doing what they do best?

    You know I’m with you on the issue of the Dead … goths just cannot abide hippies, and I may wear more color these days, but I’m still very much a goth in that respect!

    I’ll have to call you and see if I knew that guy or if he was before my time.

    Comment by geltsgirl | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  2. It was two years before your time, though I’m sure there were plenty of similar cases in your freshman class.

    Comment by thebadguy | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  3. Goths…hippies…. – it’s all the same patchouli.

    Comment by Myrtle | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  4. I disagree. Crusty punks have more in common with hippies than Goths do. Mind you, I have seen some horrible goth jam bands in my time, but not enough for me to worry about the potential for a hippie-goth crossover scene.

    Comment by thebadguy | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  5. I dont know….There’s a lot of similarities between goths and hippies:

    2)Cheap weed
    3)Above mentioned patchouli
    4)Mysticism bullshit
    5)The dancing (The typical “The phones for you, the phones for me, the phones for God, I dropped a contact” move)
    6)Being wussies
    7)Bad wine

    Shall I continue? šŸ™‚

    Comment by Myrtle | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  6. 1) You can find beads ANYWHERE. Are those folks at Mardi Gras hippies because they’re wearing a lot beads?
    2) Cheap, shitty weed is a nationwide epidemic, not a goth & hippie centric one.
    3) I’ve never dated a goth chick who wore patchouli…And I have dated A LOT of goth chicks.
    4)”Mysticism bullshit.” OK, you have a point there, but it’s SO not annoying coming from a hot woman in a corset pushing her breasts up to meet your eyes. Seriously, I don’t judge the religion of the person I’m dating. If I don’t agree, I tend to keep my mouth shut about it…Unless I slip up. Then I have to apologize for weeks until she thinks I mean it.
    5) Everyone looks stupid when they dance.
    6) Hippies can throw down, unlike many goths I know.
    7) Homeless people like bad wine. Does that make them goths, too?

    Comment by thebadguy | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  7. I was at that same Fugazi show. Thanks for the read!

    Comment by KevinHoskins | August 5, 2014 | Reply

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