I Hate Me, Part. 131,908

Sony tape recorder

Sony tape recorder

It was 1984 and I was in the process of being expelled from Rutgers, Newark. My 0.1 GPA wasn’t cutting any ice with the powers that be and I pretty much stopped giving a shit. I was hanging out at the school radio station a lot. Well radio station is kind of a misnomer, the music we played was pumped into the study halls and rumor had it that it was on cable. I had a radio show “Better Living through Noise” punk fuckin’ rock, two hundred songs in two hours. Through the station and the school newspaper I got tickets to see Black Flag, The Meatpuppets, and Nig-Heist at the Reggae Lounge. The only catch was that I had to interview Henry Rollins. I had nothing against Rollins, even though I was a Dez Cadena man myself. I just wanted to go to the show and get drunk and not worry about anything else, but free tickets were free tickets. My only problem was that I didn’t have a tape recorder, my parents had one that was a proto-boombox and was about the size of a suitcase. I thought I’d just write it down on a pad of paper like a real reporter would. A friend pointed out the shear idiocy of that move so I went to plan C. My friend Joe had a tape recorder, it was an old Sony, flat and about the size of a shoebox with a plug-in mike. Joe’s musical tastes ran to ZZ Top and Styx but he was up for it. I had suggested that Joe wear just t-shirt and jeans, he opted for cords, a satin shirt and a Members Only jacket. We got there late and missed Nig-Heist and The Meatpuppets. Black Flag was real good. After the show we made our way back to the dressing room, we got in and everybody (12-15 band members and friends) just stopped and stared at us. Hours passed. Rollins came up to us and was very cool, “Hey man, we got two shows tonight. One here and one in Connecticut, so I really can’t talk too much.” I stammered a few standard dumbass questions, “How’s the tour?”, “How’s touring with the Meatpuppets?” All the while Joe is sticking the microphone into our faces to get every word. After a few minutes Rollins looked at the tape recorder, “Hey man, that thing ain’t on, I gotta go.” The drive home was silent and I made up a short interview making sure I didn’t sound like a jackass.

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