A few weeks ago I came home from work to the sound of weird punk rock coming from upstairs. I knew my old man was home and I thought he was watching some horror movie but the music was pretty familiar. When I asked what it was, he told me he had started watching What We Do Is Secret and promptly turned it off. I had no idea what it was about so he gave me the basic rundown: it was a movie about the Germs.
So let me tell you, I was a little punk kid when I was growing up and I dabbled with Germs but most of what I listened to was because I was hearing it through someone else - like in someone's car or at someone's house. I hardly owned any music from my teen years because it was all on comps or tapes or I didn't buy it because I knew somebody had it.
I had first heard of the Germs when I told the story of how Pat Smear tried to get Oni and me on the Foo Fighters bus back in '96. We only knew him as "former member of Nirvana" Pat Smear at the time and we commented on his super awesome bright neon green pants. That prompted him to try and get us on the bus to show us more pants. WHAT!!! We were stopped by a security guard before we could even get one foot on. He apologized, ran to a window and proceeded to show us many of his crazy pants out the window! That was amazing to me at the time because it was one of my first shows (without adult supervision - whoa rebel) and a former member of Nirvana was actually talking to us!
Later, when I told that story to someone, they told me: He wasn't just a former member of Nirvana, he was a member of Germs. Germs? Huh? Uh, duh, the most influential punk band from L.A. Huh? Yeah, I was clueless but you know I wasn't really into that kind of punk at the time. At that time, I was into The Queers, Screeching Weasel, The Donnas, Teen Idols and pretty much everyone on Lookout! Records and I was pretty open to whoever my friends played. I had one friend in particular, RM, who played stuff that was more along the lines of Germs and I know it was through him that I heard them. Our other friends gave him grief for listening to stuff like that and Subhumans and The Exploited, etc but I didn't care. I have a pretty open mind when it comes to a lot of stuff, especially music.
So when I heard the weird noises coming from upstairs that day, it definitely sounded like I was back in RM's basement sitting around listening to music. So why not watch the movie?
I did a little IMDb-ing and discovered that my *secret* boy-next-door crush Shane West (from such greatest hits as A Walk To Remember) plays the one and only Darby Crash. Okay - I HAD to watch it now. Especially since I also read that Shane is the new lead singer for the newly re-formed Germs. WHAT. Okay - definitely had to watch.
One Saturday afternoon, I sat down and watched it. And I LOVED IT. Weird acting, bad wigs and Bijou Philips aside, it was great watching Shane West as Darby Crash. Just like watching Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious, Shane West played this role to perfection. I was swept away in the romance of Darby Crash. I felt like was a teenager again and I was part of his Germs philosophy. His words cut through me. I was rooting for him and I was crushed when he overdosed (even though I already knew that was coming). He kept reminding me of someone I know and maybe that's why I got so emotionally invested. It was hard to watch at times because there are quite a few similarities between Darby and my friend but Shane West really took me there and I wished I had been born earlier to have experienced the punk scene in L.A.
Ugh. Did I really say that? Yes. But I'm glad I didn't experience that because I'm experiencing great things now.
Anyways back to Shane West.
I felt this weird universal connection to something greater than myself. I felt like Darby's words made sense. In fact, I felt like I would be the Pat Smear to Darby Crash. Pat seemed to really grasp what Darby was talking about and their relationship was rooted some place deep. Before I had even realized it, I was feeling like I was missing that person in my life. Like, you know, someone I could connect with on an adventurous level. Sure, I have a very VERY close confidant and I love him dearly but I miss the old reckless days too...