5:08 p.m. - 2013-02-19
I had no clue as to who I was before I ever started high school..first impressions count a lot & i was totally lost in that department. I remember having bright pink nails, a fresh new hair-cut, a flapperish bob, & wearing a white skirt with suspenders over a striped t-shirt which completely made me feel like a "loser" compared to what the popular girls were wearing..stuff from stores whose names I couldn't even pronounce..like Abercrombie & Finch or Fitch or whatever the hell that is? I was always the outcast, the weird artsy freak chick who didn't know how to dress herself. I felt like a complete stranger amongst my classmates, most of them have grown up together & already had their cliques or special groups where newcomers weren't allowed to join. I strolled through the halls wondering WTF is Stussy? I was basically friendless for the first year & known as the girl with the mouse-y voice..which i understand today means someone who is soft-spoken which sounds better to me! I also stuttered quite a bit too but not as bad as Colin Firth's character in "King's Speech"! I started to hate everyone coz they made my life a living hell..i latched on to their outward appearances as a symbol of how terrible they were, not even realizing the obvious parallel between my attitude about them and theirs about me. Their plastic faux Barbie, safe-hued, homogenous clothing choices were expressions of their dull, homogenous psyches.
And there was the Rock Shop that literally saved my creative soul..i went in their one day after school on my way home, curious as what all those rock t-shirts were strewn across the windows of the shop, as i walked in, i saw a girl wearing a short punk red plaid skirt with fishnet stockings & a Sid Vicious t-shirt & 10 eye-let punk boots..i aspired to dress & live in this sort of creativity some day. I went through racks & racks of officially licensed band tees that spanned genres from alternative rock,classic punk rock to hip-hop to metal & psychedelic rock etc..they also sold CDs and vinyl, bongs, incense, rock magazines, spiked belts, doc martens, MOD jackets (the sort that Phil Daniels wore in "Quadrophenia") so much a subculture supermarket, & in a boring political conservative city like Ottawa, it was a damn miracle! While most of the kids were listening to bland Nickleback, I was crazy about PJ Harvey, Nirvana, Hole, Babes In Toyland, 7 Year Bitch, The Ramones, etc..bands that the supposedly "cool" crowd at school never even heard of. I didn't have an older sister or brother, I didn't have friends, so I researched music on my own & discovered bands on my own (i still do), of course i grew up listening to my parents awesome vinyl collection of Bowie, Duran Duran, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash etc..i've already had a good music foundation & a love for anything from the past.
I was more than thrilled at my first purchase from that shop..a Sex Pistols t-shirt with safety pins. I didn't even own a cd of their songs yet, but the t-shirt spoke to me in many words as "this is who i am, if you don't like it, than f**k off!"
Was i a "punk rocker"? after buying Nevermind the Bollocks, i soon discovered that no, i wasn't an angry individual wanting to fuck up society, the songs didn't really sink in. I tried nu-metal, & nu-rap or whatever Insane Clown POsse are? i thought i'd fit in better in school knowing such a band like them, i liked their cover of "Let's Go All the Way" but when i bought their album, i returned it the next day thinking its one of the worst music i've ever heard! Their were loads of magazine covers featuring The Strokes & i was much more suited towards indie music..i became obssessed with The Strokes & Julian Casablancas was my "it" boy. I plastered my bedroom walls with them, i wore pin-striped pants with their t-shirt logo & my ever endless love of converse shoe collections grew. During that period, this music was my only solace from the loneliness and boredom I experienced in my school & my town. I jumped on my bed alone in my room to “Last Night” & felt like Julian was speaking directly to me.
Seeing Virgin Suicides for the first time instilled the love i've had for the 60s & 70s once again..for school dance pre-prom, i wore a similar long white dress i found in a thriftshop just like the ones the Lisbon sisters wore to their dance. I started collecting rock music vinyls, i still have them. And yes i did have a few friends in high school, we were known as the hippy dippy clique..i did have my share of stoner events, getting high from other people's tokin' at concerts..Alice Cooper, White Stripes..but all i wanted to say is "thank-you" to that groovy rock shop that made me feel like me..i don't know if that place still exists today..Ottawa is long gone from my memory..i was, i don’t deny, an average suburban white kid looking for entry-level subversion, & that shop supplied it. And for that I will be forever grateful!