Fall 1998

Fall 1998
by john heisel

	So much has happened since the last issue came out - shows started happening on a regular
basis, with yours truly setting them up. I've seen lots of great bands, including: Fugazi, Sonic
Youth, Managra, Jerkoffs, February Stars Union, As Hercules, Pootinanny, Akarso, Killington Lost,
Sheilbound, Jinx, Meadowlark, Oppressed Logic, The Traitors, Dave Fischoff, Fat Day, Tintoretto,
and The Kossabone Red, among others. 
	I've fallen in love. Her name is Laura, and she's great. We've known each other for a year,
and started going out in February - Valentine's Day. It didn't work, and after a few short weeks it
was over. We still talked, though, sometimes. I asked her to prom, and she went, and things were
rekindled immediately. We started staying up all night talking on the phone again, and it wasn't
long before we were going out again. In the almost three months since, there've been ups and downs,
but it has all been worth it. I'm leaving for college in less than a week and I'm scared of what
might happen to us. But I guess we'll cross that road if it comes. For now, we're making plans to
see each other by looking at schedules of shows we want to see (Hmm, Cletus is playing the Fireside
on 9/5, it's a Saturday, come get me, and we can go) and dance dates at school. 
	Speaking of prom, I had a pretty kickass prom weekend. May 9th was prom, and the day before
I had a choice - I could go to the show I set up, with three local bands, or I could go to Chicago
with my friends to see Fugazi. Guess what I chose to do? May 8th found me in downtown Chicago at
the Congress Theater having my first exposure to Blonde Redhead and Shellac, and loving Fugazi.
I've never been to a punk show where everyone knew all the words and was singing along. It was an
amazing, beautiful experience. Blonde Redhead rocked, and I picked up their latest LP on Touch &
Go, "Fake is Just as Good". Shellac didn't do much for me, but I've listened to their new album and
it seems to be okay. I was surprised that Fugazi didn't have a booth to sell their new album. I
know they're 110% DIY, anti-commercial, etc., but given the fact that every Chicago-area label had
a booth to sell their shit, I was surprised Fugazi wasn't selling their album. I also found it
ironic that 15 years ago, Ian MacKaye led the sXe movement, and now, at the Fugazi show, half the
crowd was smoking and drinking.
	Saturday was prom. I picked up Laura, she looked beautiful, we took pictures, went to my
house, took more pictures, and went to dinner at a French restaurant. Dinner for us and the couple
we went with was $150! Holy shit. We had a good time at prom anyway and, as I said before, things
went wonderfully. After prom, we went to a park, with the intention of sitting on a swing and
talking, enjoying the nice weather, etc., but the police in the park had other ideas. Sort of. Once
I saw the police car there (it is now 1am or so and parks close at like 10) I decided not to stop
and to just drive through to the other exit. I saw his lights come on and pulled over. He asked for
my registration, and I gave it to him. He said, "This doesn't look like a Windstar!" and, well, he
was right. It was a Probe. I was driving my dad's car. Apparently my parents got their
registrations mixed up. The cop admonished us for being out so late, told us he could fine us, but
he was a nice guy and let us go. So we ended up sitting in a Burger King parking lot til 3am or so. 
	Sunday I slept. It was Mother's Day. So I slept to show my appreciation. Mom didn't have to
do anything for me that day.
	Monday was, of course, senior skip day. I had excellent plans - I had procured 3 tickets to
see the Jerry Springer show and drove to Chicago for the second time that weekend, this time with
my friends Bonnie and Tammy. Our tickets were for the afternoon show, but they overbook, and we
almost didn't get seated, even though we were rather early. They mentioned a dress code in the
letter they sent me, but they let anyone with an ID in. The three of us sat in the back of the
studio (which probably only seats 150 people at most) and waited for the spectacle. Jerry
introduced himself, told a few jokes, and answered questions from the audience. As the last
preparatory measure before the show started, a 'stage manager' of sorts directed us in how to
behave. He stood off to the side of the stage and directed us when to stand up, cheer, boo, shout
"Jerry" and other reactions. It makes sense, if you think about it. When you're watching at home,
you agree (usually) with the audience's reaction, but you obviously don't shout at your TV. The
studio audience quite obviously needs to do so. After 5 minutes or so of taping, we got the hang of
our reactions and I didn't really need him to direct me. The topic of the show was something like
"Past Guests Revisited" or something, but it was about lovers. The first scenario was this: a
feisty 20-something black woman told about her relationship with some guy. He was her ex, but she
wanted to get back together with him. The problem? He was living with some other girl. Did that
daunt her? No, of course not. "They just livin together cuz he the father of her baby." Oh, okay.
Aside from a few dumb comments like that, she was one of the smarter people in her segment, because
she knew exactly why she was there and played her role to perfection. Her rival came out and she
looked like she was no older than 16. The first woman accused her of having AIDS, living on
welfare, etc., and they had a fight. They brought out the guy they were fighting over and he was
this gigantic fat slob who thought he was "all that". The first woman's aunt also came out, and the
two of them terrorized the other people on stage. One wondered why she even wanted to get back
together with this moron…then they left the stage and the show took a break. I always thought the
outros and intros would be taped in rapid succession, but there was a 5 minutes break in between
each one, just like if the show was going out live and they were putting in some commercial breaks.
Wacky. The next person on stage was a 17 or 18 year old girl who was pregnant by one stepbrother
and married to the other stepbrother. Her husband was hostile towards his brother and mother. The
girl wanted to fight everyone, which brought out Jerry's sensitive side, reminding her to "think
about the baby!" It was revealed (and edited from the show when it eventually aired) that husband
had molested baby brother when they were younger. And she trusted this guy around her kid?! They
were all fucking insane, but I felt kind of bad for the brother who made this girl pregnant,
because he didn't seem to be enjoying himself. Oh well. People knew what to expect when they signed
up for the show. The final segment was the one all the guys loved - lesbians! The deal was
apparently this - lesbian 1 brought lesbian 2 on the show and dumped her for lesbian 3. Okay,
standard plot scenario. When lesbians 1 and 3 went home, though, was when things got fucked up.
According to lesbian 1, lesbian 3 had a boyfriend and wanted to have a threesome. Well, lesbian 1
wasn't down with that and went back to lesbian 2 to live a peaceful life. Fine. However, according
to lesbians 1 and 2, lesbian 3 keeps calling them and harassing them. So they came back on TV to
straighten it out. When lesbian 2 comes out on stage, the first thing she does is make out with
lesbian 1, causing all the guys to get up in a rousing cheer of "Jerry!" much to the chagrin of the
girls they're with. Later, lesbian 2, being more well endowed than lesbian 3, stands up, pulls her
shirt down and says, "Bitch, at least I got some of these!" which again caused the guys to stand up
and cheer. Following this was a question and answer segment. After the show ended, they taped some
promos. Once we left, I drove around looking for this good Mexican restaurant I found before.
Failing, we drove home, stopping at McDonald's on the way, and seeing a friend who was coming back
from a Bad Religion autograph signing at some record store. Wacky. 
	I haven't had any other weekends quite like that, but I've been keeping busy this summer.
What with my schedule of working at the supermarket Sunday-Thursday, doing a show Friday (and other
nights), and working at the record store some Saturdays, combined with a more-than-healthy dose of
slacking, the zine is late. It's okay, somehow things will work out. I know they will. I leave for
college in less than a week, and it's going to bring about some pretty big changes in my life. I've
already lived away from home for a year when I was an exchange student in Russia, but somehow this
will be different. Obviously because now I'll only be two hours away from home, but now there are a
few things at home for me. The girl I'm in love with is here, I'm involved with setting up shows
here, and I'm helping out at the cool indie record store - what more could I ask for? I guess an
education is the better solution though, because, in four years I'll have a little piece of paper
telling anyone who cares to read it that I can do what I say I can do. I guess it'll help me get a
job. My current dream is to return to Moscow and open a bowling alley. Russians love drinking,
smoking, and sports. What combines the three? Bowling! It should be a fantastic success. And I'll
encourage bands touring Eastern Europe to hit Moscow and play my bowling alley. It'll be the
	Anyway, thanks again for reading this. I appreciated it. We all do.
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