A Life of Letters

Supreme Songster

Posted in 1984, Friends by southpawcom on March 9, 2012

If one was not a supreme songster but could still somehow be made to feel like he was, my friend Mike M.– the flaming heterosexual — could do it.

An Impetuous Girl and Them Blessed Tigers

Posted in 1984, Kim, Loves by southpawcom on March 6, 2012

Kim was a third-year reporter with the Port Huron Times Herald in the celebrated fall of 1984. Nearing my 26th birthday, I was six months into my first career job, doing community relations work for a Republican Michigan state senator. By this point we would plan a get-together every month or two, just to tear off each other’s clothing and spend a weekend in each other’s close company.

I faintly remember at the end of the most recent such weekend being hunched over the hood of her small, white car of an unremembered make trying to pry a drive belt back onto a drive pulley, sweat dripping onto the air filter compartment, and ripping my hand open on the engine block. I think I might still have the scar. Cutting the unloosed belt was not something I would even have thought of as a solution, then or or now.

I was living in the “Rock and Roll Household” with Keith W., Mike B., and the famous rock critic and future band front man, Mark R. D., (then a recent alumnus of the “knee-jerk” liberal Michigan State News) for whom Kim suggests George Will as a role model.

I am grateful that in my life I have been congratulated much more often for becoming a father than for not becoming one. But in 1984 (not ’83, as Kim absently datestamps) I certainly would not have felt so.

Brewer’s Droop

Posted in 1984, Friends, Ted by southpawcom on January 12, 2010

In the late ’70s and ’80s, my best friend, Ted, pulled together a band consisting mostly of a handful of his college buddies. The Brothers Bohemian were the raunchiest, most beer-fueled pub band this side of Essex. They could be counted on for a few sets of crowdpleasers, such as The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and The Drifters’ “This Magic Moment,” but their best songs were their high-spirited originals, such as “Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing,” “Brewer’s Droop,” and “You Fill My Basic Needs.” On occasion, I would sit in with them, most usually taking lead vocals on Larry Williams’ “Bad Boy.”

They played a lot in the dorms and around campus when they were attending Eastern Michigan University, but after college ended, it became more difficult to stage shows. One challenge, of course, was getting the band together and away from competing interests, such as fledgling careers and girlfriends and wives. Another was finding a venue to play. But perhaps the biggest challenge was pulling their loyal fans together again, because without them the Bros Boho probably figured they would come off as just another bar band (a quite unlikely circumstance in the estimation of their followers but a risk nonetheless we weren’t willing to expose them to).

By 1984 they were encouraged to go the DIY route and send home-formatted handbills, hastily Xeroxed, and mailed to their  friends. I was fortunate enough to get one, but as you can see I cared just enough to smut it up a bit but then never mailed it back. I am pretty sure I attended anyway.

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