sweet and bitter WHEELING AND DEALING


I saw something unexpected today. Billy Idol got a star on Hollywood Blvd. and Mr. Henry Rollins was the presenter. I saw the photograph on a site. Now and then I do like to reflect on my punk rock glory days.


I think upon these two characters that influenced us by their music or words in a big way. I knew them, as many of us did, as youths with deep and high ideals that I once respected.

I met Billy after he left Generation X.

He visited Hollywood.  A group of us youthful rebellious punks were talking about music. We were in the back of a liquor store waiting for some beer because we were not 21 yet. Someone was WHEELING AND DEALING with the booze scheme.  Billy and I were talking about the Beatles and how much he loved them. He then cried on my shoulder stating to me that he missed his mates back home.

The beer arrived and a friend of mine whisked him away and that was the only time I met him. Over the years when I see him or hear his music, I often reflect back upon that sweet young kid who was kind of lost.

Henry was a wild youth too. He was kind of funny and thoughtful when I first met him. Yet as time went on our friendship soured. I think it was due to a subscription to Flipside Fanzine he never received because his letter fell behind my desk. Maybe the critical reviews I did of him in Black Flag were thought to be unfunny. His lack of humor made it easy to accelerate into doom.

Funny how a guy from England and a guy from DC can be standing on the grounds whereas young punks, who grew up here, used to run wild on those same streets. Then no need, or sense of fame or fortune.

Once equals as friends and fans of the punk scene, they got bigger, and we got smaller. Yet I think I am happy with my place in the world, and I hope they are too.

The sweet and bitter is what punk rock left me. As a punk rock fanatic,

That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise

~ The apartment (by Billy Wilder, 1960)

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