Saturday, November 26, 2011


The first record i ever owned was Green Day's Nimrod.

It was 1998 and i was nine, in grade four. My friend Thomas, who was much smarter than me, recommended it. I didn't really know how to get a CD, so he gave it to me for Christmas.

I fucking loved that record. It was raw (comparatively speaking), there were heaps of swear words, and it made me think (for the first time) that shit could be done differently to how it was done by my parents.

Cos we only had one stereo, I had to ask permission to listen to it, cos Mum and Dad didn't much care for it. They usually let me though. So there I would be, in the living room, with the door closed, reading the liner notes. I would try and work out what the fuck they were singing about, knowing vaguely it was about stuff i didn't understand yet - and yet i would always get this shiver of excitement when i heard the work 'fuck'.

This was at a time when baggy pants, skate shoes, and chain wallets were the epitome of cool for ten year old, so i of course wanted in.

I slowly, through nagging and closet negotiation, managed to get my hands on some baggier pants, some shoes that kinda-sorta-looked like skate shoes - but i never got a chain wallet cos Mum said they were dumb. She was right, but i wasn't to know.

The final touch was a skateboard, and gelled up hair.

Very, very briefly, I was cool. Nimrod was the catalyst for change - that made me realise things could be largely defined by what I was interested in, and what i wanted to wear.

Afterwards, because everyone who liked Green Day liked the The Living End and The Offspring, I figured I would too. I didn't, in fact i hated it.

Music drifted away for a while. I got into computer games and a bit of bike riding. Until I heard Metallica for the first time, Green Day had been the only band I ever gave a fuck about.

I like to think they started something that (despite a bit of a lull between 10 and 15) set the course to ultimately change my life.

I remember thinking, when I heard Dead Kennedys for the first time, and other bands like Minor Threat, after years of listening to nothing but pounding blast beats and walls of guitar that, maybe, maybe, i had come full circle.

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