Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Earworm: Volcano Girls

I was hoping to save this up for a special occasion, but screw it. Earworms are really hard to come by this week. I'll take the cheap route and go with Veruca Salt this time. I'm breaking out the big guns with today's story.

The following story is true, but years of telling and retelling it have gotten more and more intricate. I'll boil it down to its purest essence.

I adore Veruca Salt's first two albums. They're filled with hazy memories of times that went by far too quickly. The end of high school and the beginning of college were a blur of life alternating between fun and pure misery. I like my memories that way. It makes life seem a little more magical.

Veruca Salt's Eight Arms to Hold You is my last great memory from my sophomore year of college. When the album came out, I had stopped concentrating on my studies and focused on having a good time. Oddly enough, that didn't involve the typical college experience of drinking and drugs. Instead, I got into writing record reviews for the school newspaper. I was all over that paper during my final semester, splitting my time between it and the reorganization of the college-radio station. I was never happier. I got to do what I loved, focus on music and not go to class. Looking back, I really should have gone to class. Stay in school, kids!

"Volcano Girls" was the lead single from Eight Arms to Hold You, and it was the greatest thing that I had heard in ages. I was at the point where just because something was new didn't mean that it was good. The whole album was great, however, and I gave it a glowing review.

A few weeks later, Veruca Salt as the opening support for post-grunge, alt-rock heroes Bush. I hate them. Every song sounds the same except for "Glycerine." That one I like.

But I digress. My editor came to me with the opportunity to go backstage and meet the bands. I jumped at the chance, having never done anything like that before. Plus I had a huge crush on Louise Post. We arrived at the show, got our press passes and headed to the green room. The rider for Veruca Salt must have been pretty simple. I remember there being lots of pretzels and Rolling Rock. Knowing that I would be starstruck, I brought my promo copy of the album and had everyone sign it. I was in heaven.

After intermission was over, none of us particularly cared to watch the headliners, so we stayed backstage in the girls' dressing room. I don't recall whose idea it was, but at some point the four of us all went to the other side of the arena to wish Bush luck as they went onstage. Everyone came out except for Gavin Rossdale. He was nowhere to be seen. Finally, after about five minutes of everyone else being on stage, Gavin stumbled through the door and headed toward the stage. I don't know what he was on, but he took a severe turn, running straight into me. At that point, he reared back and shoved me into the wall, telling me to watch where I was going. There was nothing sober about that moment. Drunken, British accents are still charming though, so I couldn't stay mad at my new arch-nemesis for long. The show was terrible as expected, and I had a story to tell the grandkids.

Of course, if I could do it all over again, I would have stuck with my studies. It was hard finishing college right before I turned 30, but at least I did it. I missed out on some great experiences, but I also learned some important life lessons and everything that I went through made me who I am today.

Listen to this. I have gone from telling one of my favorite stories to sounding like a motivational speaker hired by a school's guidance counselor. Luckily I woke up in time to not live in a van down by the river. Give a hoot, don't pollute. Only you can prevent forest fires.

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