In the haze of my sickness of recent days, I’ve been listening to a lot of music. It’s not like I can do much else. This afternoon, I’ve turned my obsessions over to The Stooges.
The opening lines to “Search and Destroy” drag me kicking and screaming back to the mid 1980s, when destruction was my idea of a job well done.
I’m a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm
I’m a runaway son of the nuclear A-bomb
I am a world’s forgotten boy
The one who searches and destroys.
I used to hate everyone and everything back then. Burning objects and plowing rocks through glass wasn’t simple destruction. It was something to be done with craftsmanship and pride.
In the concrete storage room off the basement in my old Revere house I’d collect beer bottles from the frequent parties I’d have down there. Every time the pile got big enough, and it never took long, I’d go in there, light up a cigarette and start throwing rocks.
If there was a large pile of broken glass on the floor at the end, I would consider it a good day’s work.
It would be like an afternoon of chopping wood, only… different.
I played a lot of records on my shitty little stereo system while I did that. The Ramones always got me in the mood for breaking things.
Van Halen’s “Fair Warning” album always did the trick, too. It’s been said that Eddie Van Halen wasn’t in a happy place during the recording of that record 30 years ago, and the darkness is all over his playing. I guess that’s why it’s my favorite Van Halen album.
I don’t break things anymore. Not out of anger or depression, anyway.
But I still listen to the music and it still makes me feel better.
I like to think of it as progress.