Monday, March 24, 2008

she's so dull

keep art alive; art by joshua petker

"oh, you know her, "miss groupie supreme"
yeah, you know her, "vera vogue" on parade
red eye shadow! green mascara!
yuck! she's too much

she looks like she don't know better
a case of partial extreme
dressed in a robert hall sweater
acting like a soap opera queen

yeah, she's so dull, come on rip her to shreds."

rip her to shreds ~ blondie

it was my first trip away from home that did not involve family of some sort. a school trip, all of us piled in a much too hot bus that smelled of sweat, bubble yum, and adolescence. i held the tape player between my knees, squishing in closer to christina so we could both hear, finally snapping the headphones in two. matt turned around and popped his head over the seats, asked what we were listening to. i let him take my half of the headphones and he started belting out blondie's rip her to shreds.

he had music in him which was probably what i liked about him. the stereotypical son of a preacher man, i suppose, rebelling in the only way you can when you are that young. though i think his father had music in him, too; i'd seen the way he lingered a bit too long when the choirs were practicing, and i knew he'd bought matt his first guitar.

years later i would hear this song often. the seventies were part of my own perceived rebellion, or more than that, part of me taking my first steps into becoming myself. it was 1989, and i would climb up on a stage to dance with james to this song, or spin around on an old rollar skating rink turned dancefloor, with kate.

and yeah, there were girls who fit this song who graced the same streets of hollywood that we did. and yeah, there were probably girls who sang it thinking of me, and my friends. it is always so easy to rip someone to shreds. but, honestly i much prefer to laugh at this song, and the memory of a twelve year old rockabilly boy singing it on a school bus, or a cross-dressing bookstore clerk doing his thing on a raised platform.


  1. oh my matt haawking... I remember you dressing me up in a shrley temple polka dot dress just covering my ruffled butt for church to view him....

    and my oh my..that picture of you and james where it looks like you are trying to pull his wig off...

  2. oh my stars, i remember dressing you up like that...all that time we spent on your hair, and the whole get-up.

  3. dressing up for church just to show him off...yeah, i had it bad for him. first memorable crush, i think.

    he had a stray cats cover band.

    i thought i'd lost the photo album with all our 1970 pictures, but i just found it at my mom's last night.

  4. awwww. the 1970 pic album...

    yes yes you did... I was maybe maybe 10 couldn't figure out your likin a yucky ole boy.
    you know only me would talk church and a transvestite in the same go round.