Sunday, February 13, 2011

Any Old Business? The Day D. Boon Died

It was December 22, 1985.
A Sunday. I was home for
Christmas and had watched
the Vikings lose to the Philadelphia
Eagles and then I had gone
to the Sterling Twin theater
to watch Rocky IV. I know these
things because everything then
seemed important and so I tried
to keep a journal of that time. In the
funny pages of that morning's paper
Calvin and Hobbes built a snow fort,
and Calvin declared, "Together, a
veritable fist of defiance, we stand
immune to any onslaught!
We are invincible!"

Somewhere else in the world
that day, Paul Wolfowitz celebrated
his 42nd birthday by drinking the blood
of a poor woodcutter's only son.
There was no internet, of course,
no cellphones or iPods. I didn't even
yet own a Walkman. I was bored out
of my mind. I considered myself young
enough, though, that the world might
still be whatever I dreamed it might be.
All the same, the birth of Christ
couldn't happen fast enough that year.

News traveled swiftly, just not as swiftly
as it does now. D. Boon was already dead
by the time I went up to my room to listen to
records that night, but I didn't know that yet.
He was only twenty-seven years old,
and he had been one of the most
alive human beings I had ever seen.

A friend had to walk across town the
next morning to deliver the news.
I remember that I sat on the couch,
stunned and silent, while my friend paced
and ranted. "Do you realize," he said,
"that we could probably go out and knock
on every door in this town and not manage
to turn up a single Minuteman record?
Tell me that's not fucked. Explain to me
how that's not totally fucked."

This was now a long time ago,
and we were still young and fierce
about the things we loved and had
discovered that made us feel almost
comfortable with our difference,
but I nonetheless couldn't tell him.
I couldn't explain to him, and all
these years later I still could not
tell him, still could not explain
how that was not totally fucked.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for that. I saw the Minutemen only once, about six months before D. Boon's demise. They were the middle act, playing between Chris D. and the Divine Horsemen and the headliner, John Cale. I went to see Chris D., but was completely taken with the Minutemen. Sure their music could be crazy and uneven (There were no outtakes on their albums), but they gelled it was just perfect - animated, engaging and cerebral. I've seen Firehose and Watt many times since and I still love Double Nickels - one of my favorite albums - I don't care if no one else owns it.

    I enjoy your blog. My friend Mark Garry turned me on to it.

    Best,

    David

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  2. Thanks so much, David. Chris D. and the Divine Horsemen! Wow. That's one I'd completely forgotten about --were they before or after the Flesh Eaters? And spot on about Double Nickels; I don't travel without it.

    Mark Garry is a damn fine fellow to have as a friend.

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