In high school I became friends with a lot of cool but strange people. My sister called me a wierdo magnet. One friend I had my senior year was a guy whose family was from the Phillipines. His mom and dad told me repeated stories of tremendous wealth in their homeland, stolen by political opponents. Apparently they were just kicking it in Provo while they waited for a regime change back home so they could go back to their palace.
Anyway, this guy, lets call him Honcho for no particular reason, (His real name rhymes with mine) had some peculiar talents which may or may not have stemmed from being born something like 35 weeks early. He was so premature that he made the cover of The National Enquirer. I'm serious. I've seen the magazine in his scrapbook. He was born in Provo in 1975 at the UVRMC hospital while his Phillipine royalty parents studied at BYU.
One of his talents was that he could play any song on the piano, having heard it only once. He had never had a piano lesson in his life, and couldn't read music, but he could improvise anything.
I had lots of fun testing his skill with obscure songs from my CD collection. He played everything I threw at him. Of course I started with crap like The Phantom of the Opera, then moved on to better stuff like U2. I thought for sure I would get him with The Cocteau Twins, but it didn't phase him. I couldn't believe his ability.
So I did what anybody would have done in this situation. I entered our high schools battle of the bands contest. With Honcho as my ace in the hole, how could I go wrong?
Honcho was really into synth pop and John Hughes films, so naturally we looked at covering bands like The Thompson Twins and The Psychedelic Furs. Eventually we settled on a New Order tune called Every Little Counts. It's lyric pretty much summarizes my high school experience-- four years of hoping to be accepted by people I couldn't stand. It has lines like "Eventhough you're stupid I still follow you," and "I think you are a pig, you should be in a zoo."
I wish I could say that I stood up at the mike and sang my heart out, musically giving the finger to all the jocks in the front row. I wish I could say that Honcho had played the keys off of the synthesizer like that homo in Erasure. I wish I could say I won the contest and the affections of the quarterbacks girlfriend. Hell, I wish I had skied the K-12 on one ski while being chased by a deranged paperboy.
Here's what actually happened: The student body president Sunny Jim Caldwell put us on stage as the opening act, but he started us ten minutes before the show was supposed to start. In spite of the fact that most people hadn't even arrived yet, I was too shy to sing clearly into the mike. Not even the effers in the front row heard me call them stupid. I had forgotten to sequence the ending of the song into the synth, so Honcho improvised with a couple of chords, and then I walked offstage in my too-small David Early mechanics shirt from goodwill and my too-tight H.I.S. jeans I bought at Shopko with my head hung like Charlie Brown. My long bangs were hanging in my eyes. That was it. My moment in the sun.
I just realized something though. I didn't suck. I was just so far ahead of my time that the world wasn't ready to recieve the awesomeness that was Honcho and Dave.
I think I inadvertently started Emo.
So when you see a bunch of guys wearing girls pants and makeup, and a bunch of girls who look like they could beat the crap out of them standing outside some venue waiting to see a band with a name like Death Hearse of Joy, you should probably blame me. It's my fault.