Tag Archives: Wire

Advantage in Height

In 1987 I went on a trip to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with some people from McSwells. Steve Raposito, Susan Sear, Martha Groffin, Julie Meanderhall and Bonnie Hauxhurst.

It was my first and only time that I visited North Carolina. The plan came to being one night at McSwells with the principals involved and it seemed like a fun thing to do. We went in two cars. Martha, Steve, Susan and myself in one car, Julie and Bonnie in the other. Bonnie and Julie were a couple at that time.

It was a long, arduous trip down there. We talked about Blue Velvet which was filmed in North Carolina and was released a year earlier so that added a creepy thrill to this vacation.

I think we went down in May before the summer season. We rented a house across the street from the beach and at the time, the outer banks were still somewhat underdeveloped.

One night after having been there for a few days, Martha, Susan, Steve and I decided to do some LSD. Acid was around quite a bit in the 1980’s. Julie and Bonnie didn’t partake. After an hour the four of us were buzzing nicely and decided to venture out to the beach.

It was quite dark out and somehow I was separated from the other three. Martha also became separated. I recall walking on the beach, singing Walking After Midnight and making a pact with the crabs, telling them I wouldn’t step on them if they stayed out of my way. I

t was a good pact and no crabs were stepped on.

It was only a matter of time when the four of us would meet up again in the darkness. I heard Susan and Steve before I saw them and then the three of us were loud enough for Martha to hear us and reconvene.

Steve and Susan were going on about a penis they found which I believe was a toothbrush holder. Martha actually found a penis sculpture in the sand that was about 10 feet long.

It was quite an impressive sculpture. Perhaps the crabs had something to do with it. The sun came up and we wandered back to the house in the light of dawn.

Not many people were stirring and we needed provisions. I went with someone, could have been Steve, could have been Martha to the generals store where a few townsfolk were there starting up their day.

There was a radio playing Roy Orbison, specifically In Dreams which was also featured in Blue Velvet. Behind the counter was an older woman, older to my 24 year old eyes in a bouffant and skirt dancing around, twirling and singing to Roy Orbison.

I turned to Martha or Steve and asked if they were seeing what I was seeing. They were. We bought whatever it is we were buying, probably cigarettes and got out of there as soon as we could, laughing all the way back to the house.

It probably took a day to recover from the trip. But the vacation wasn’t going to last for me anyhow. On a sightseeing trip, while on a ferry I was suffering from sunstroke and while trying to get to some shade and very angry dog snapped at me causing me more distress.

It got a big laugh from the others, that if I wasn’t doing so well before, the dog snapping at me truly was a side splitter.

It didn’t matter much for me anyhow. A day or so later I was getting on a bus to go to Philadelphia to see Wire playing their first US show in a number of years.

Don’t know why that story came up. I was actually going to write about it the other day. Guess I had nothing else to write about.

Small Electric Piece

A Friday night, unlike most Friday nights lately, yet similar to Friday nights from years ago. Just got back from seeing a free show at the South Street Seaport, with a band from my past headlining, Wire. Nowadays Wire is known as post punk, which is another name for New Wave, minus skinny ties I suppose. Still when people asked who is Wire, I generally say they are a punk band from England, class of 1977. It’s a catchphrase that fits the occasion.

I first heard of Wire in 1979 when brother Frank gave me a copy of their third album, 154. I liked it, but for almost a year I only played side one. It was good enough and I had little faith that they could top that one side. Of course eventually I played side two and found it to be as good as side one. I don;t know why I did that. Took me nearly a decade to play side two of Paul McCartney, Ram. Lazy? Remember this was the time when you would actually have to get up, walk over to the record player and flip the disc. I don’t think it was laziness, some strange aesthetics on my part.

I entertain the idea of me being partly responsible for Wire playing McSwells when they reunited. I recall being in the kitchen with Chaz at McSwells, counting out the door money and talking about Wire reforming and doing a tour. Steve Fallon was listening to us and I like to think we prodded him to get the band to do a show in Hoboken. Of course I could be miles off base, but I’m printing the legend. When given the choice to print the fact or the legend, go with the legend. I loved Wire, and got a few friends into them.

Very abstract and arty, and when I met them for an interview a bit standoffish. Bhikku said it best a few weeks ago, never meet your heroes. It was a let down, but I was trying to be hipper than most, and they seemed to see right through it. They weren’t mean or anything like that, and in hindsight, I probably played the role of gushing fan boy. They were good tonight though, not mind blowing and it would have been ok if I skipped it altogether.

But it was a chance to hang with Chaz and Andy and surprise guests, Susan Sher and Steve Saporito. I told Susan about the show a week or so ago in a brief email since she was something of a fan. She told Steve. They’re tight like that. Steve is now a successful movie producer, having had his film Squeezebox in the most recent Tribeca Film Festival. I have had antagonistic relationships with both Sue and Steve and I think I’ve matured. I congratulated Steve on Squeezebox which I meant sincerely when I told a mutual friend who told me about it.

Really, I told the friend to tell Steve I meant it sincerely, no cynicism or sarcasm attached. The friend took it as cynicism and sarcasm. I’ve known Steve for about 20 years, even fell in love with him for a few minutes back then. He didn’t feel the same hence the sarcasm and cynicism from my part. But time heals most wounds and I’ve moved on and so has he. I don’t love him like that anymore, and since it’s been a long time I’ve seen him it’s almost like meeting again for the first time, with a mutual history between us.

I know I’ve written about him previously so do a search for Saporito if you’re so inclined. Wire was ok, better than they were in the 1980’s. Back then they wouldn’t perform the songs that everyone knew, instead having a Wire cover band open up the shows playing the 5 year oldies so Wire could concentrate on their newer material which in hindsight wasn’t up to snuff. Now they mix some oldies in with the new stuff which is good for the older set like Chaz, Andy Susan, Steve and myself.

We rattled our walkers along to Being Sucked In Again and 12XU. A funny thing, my hand always had a beer in it, much like last weekend. Who was buying I couldn’t tell yet gave gratitude each time. I couldn’t help but feel that as good as Wire was, maybe it would have been better if they stayed broken up. Bands like Wire and Gang of Four on these reunion tours for me turn into catching up with friends I haven’t seen in years, yelling to each other about what we’re up to lately.

Twenty years ago the bad would be the focus, now it’s ‘so whats going on with you?’ or ‘have you heard from so and so?’. I guess that’s the nature of the beast. 3 years ago, Gang of Four reunited and played Irving Plaza, I hung out in the back talking shit with an old friend that I hadn’t seen in sometime. We never caught up before the show and never did after the show. It was during the show, yelling, drinking and partying that we caught up, just don’t ask me what was said. Same thing tonight.

I have no idea what Susan is up to, and my relationship with her is even more antagonistic than my relationship with Steve. Steve I know is going to Los Angeles next week. I really do wish him well.

What Keeps Mankind Alive?

It’s another beautiful day. Nice breezes, clear skies, quite nice. Last night I watched The Savages. I know I said I was going to wait for Bill, but there was nothing else on so I watched the DVD instead. It was very good and recommended especially if you had a cantankerous parent or elder in your life. Both Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman were great as was Philip Bosco, who played the father. It hit home on many levels and definitely worth watching again.

I do have to return it sometime, but I have a feeling it will turn up on cable over and over. Never saw Laura Linney in a part like this. So far away from Mary Ann Singleton. And my doppleganger, Phil Hoffman, was in the back seat compared to Laura Linney’s superb acting. Expertly acted and directed. See it even if you didn’t or don’t have a cantankerous elder in your life.

Today was a rather frustrating day. I almost wrote stupid day. Next week I have oral surgery which I’m getting anxious about. I emailed my dentist about how much it would cost and would there be difficulty eating afterwards. She recommended a light meal beforehand, then to chew on the side of my mouth that won’t be cut up. And it was going to cost $600.00.

The last visit was April and I submitted my forms to the insurance company from work. They approved the first scaling and planing on the right side of my mouth, but denied the claim for the left side. I called Oxford Insurance with their United Health care Plan and they needed to know the ADA Code for next week’s surgery.

So I called NYU and got the run around, finally getting a phone number for Astrid and leaving 2 voice mails for her to call me back. She never called, I still have no clue. I know it’s not a big thing like heart surgery or treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, but if it’s frustrating for something ‘minor’ like oral surgery, I can’t imagine what hoops other people have to jump through regarding their illnesses and procedures. And I know, I am lucky to have insurance.

It’s just that I’m trying to be on a budget and have the cash on hand to pay for what they are planning to do. I don’t think I’m getting implants. If they don’t take, and sometimes they don’t, I’d be screwed and out a certain amount of dollars. I’m leaning towards dentures, which would be in the back I think. Or rather, I hope. Other than that, people are really annoying.

Nine times out of ten, as I’m walking at a brisk pace down the street, I always find people planting themselves right in my path, and it usually winds up in a tight squeeze trying to avoid them. The goal of walking across town is to not touch anyone and in crowded midtown Manhattan that in itself is a feat. Then there are the people who decide that the top of a staircase is definitely the very best place to have a conversation. Oh I am just so fed up with people.

In work related news, I had to tell Moe Stooge that Vivek has rented Moe’s office and he’ll have to move into a cube. Moe is a jerk, and as politely as I told him the score, he got all uppity saying he had a deal with Vivek. I told him his deal was with Vivek, not with me and he has to move. I don’t expect Moe Stooge to take the cube. He’s not bringing in any money to the company, though he claims to have a deal in the works and if he has to move, he’ll take the deal somewhere else. I think Moe is bullshitting.

And how was your day, dear?

Wire is playing South Street Seaport on May 30, My Bloody Valentine is at Roseland in September. Many other good shows are coming up. Something to look forward to I think. Wire is a free show, My Bloody Valentine will require tickets.

And here’s some Tom Waits tour info.