“I know now you never cared about
those days, those fucking days
i know now you never understood
those days will always stay with me
and i, well i wait
maybe its just not coming back
but five years down the line
you won’t see me ashamed”
-Chain of Strength
It’s that time of summer where hot days don’t cool off into the night and sometimes it’s nice to just go for a drive. To have the windows down. To turn the radio up. To sing along like I used to. The same kind of nights where six deep in an old beater car we’d be dirty and sweaty and still so stoked on the show that we’d be doing sing-alongs at the top of our lungs the whole ride home. Stupid kids doing stage dives from front seat to back. Immortal and fully alive. Idealistic and enthusiastic. Nights full of shitty late night food and aimless pool-hopping. Nights where it was not unheard of for thirty deep to meet up at a swimming hole at 2AM.
Along with the fun, I actually believed in things. In a lifestyle. In change. In principles. In Straightedge.
A whole bunch of years later, I still do. I have no doubt my life would have tumbled into an abyss if at thirteen I hadn’t started listening to Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Judge, Lifetime, Bold, etc, and decided that straightedge was for me. Two decades later I still don’t question it. I no longer X my hands and have never gotten a huge XXX tattoo, but I still live and feel the same way I did then. And even now, I can’t watch videos of old shows without that lump in my chest and the urge to raise a fist in the air and point my finger at the stage and scream along at the top of my lungs. Goddamit, stagedives DID make me feel more alive!
I remember how people on the outside would comment on the perceived violence of a stage full of kids pig-piling and screaming. How they always failed to notice the arms around each others shoulders, the smiling screaming faces, the compassion of a crowd willing to protect and police their own. The love and the camaraderie.
The word was scenester. And yeah, we were. We shared beliefs. We shared ideals. We shared the music. We shared those hot sweaty summer nights and words echoing up into rafters.
We were quite a fucking scene indeed…
Long live chugga-chugga and the break down.