germfree adolescents 10.9.04
last night we found ms. new top in the wilds of brooklyn; and went to moe's bar in fort greene. along the way, or really, downstairs from thoren's apartment, we found mike, hetha louise's soon-to-be boyfriend-for-life. we dragged him to moe's too. pixel was there, jamie was there, sixo was there, silver was there.
when we got to thoren's place, we sat and watched the end of the debate. on the floor next to the television were cd's, and curious to find out more about this fella, i took a look--
and saw a cover that is familiar because i have tried to place it for years. the image of the dark skinned singer and her braces and punked out natty hair was just as i remembered it-- it was the x-ray spex, the green cover, the band and album name i could never remember. mostly because i thought the title was teenage adolescents, which i knew made no sense when i asked everyone i knew if they knew the tune.
listening to a song only once sometimes leaves and impression in my head, defined, sharp, but not sharp enough that i can recall what the song is so i could buy the album. i thought i had honed the skill well- watching 120 minutes every sunday night before pulling all nighters to finish monday's homework. picking up song titles on the radio. thinking up possible titles after hearing the chorus of an unnamed song.
the same thing happened when i saw pearl jam's alive video, before it became popular; i walked around school singing the song appropriately mushmouthed. cas-nice and regina had no idea what i was talking about.
the one and only time i heard the x-ray spex was on the floor of maya's apartment-- and not the tall maya descha and craig know, a small cute kid who hated being called maya the bee, like the cartoon. it was one of the first times, and perhaps the first time, i had gotten good and drunk. off of wine coolers. it was 1991 or so, hanging out with ellen and whoever else we were friends with back in the day. it was a foggy night and maya's apartment looked over the emptying streets at 77th and lexington, as i stumbled over words and hummed along to the song "germfree adolescents," yelling things into the other room.
being that the song itself is fairly mellow i never linked it with loud punk rock; ellen didn't know the five words of the song i knew, nor did abe, veronica, or any of the other kids i walked up to. i must have sounded like a dealer-- "hey, hey, man, listen to this-- you know this song man?"
i did forget about looking for the song but it's the kind of tune that finds its way into your head yearly-- simple, sweet, obviously sloppy but intentionally so-- so sloppy it feels genuine, sharp. i don't listen to much of the punk rock and late 70's imported british music. it's only these days that i'm going back to the clash (and the bay city rollers, but that has nothing to do with this conversation). but the not knowing felt like a little gap in knowledge; and i take my music identification seriously.
and 13 years later, it's on my laptop. hot.