Friday, September 24, 2010

Being a Punk. What could be Better?

The two things I love most in the world -- besides my husband and my cat -- are music and run/tri training. If I find something out there that combines those two things, what could possibly be better? Not much.

So when I found that something, it seems to be the ultimate irony that its primary product is something I really DON'T get excited about: clothing (no, seriously). Basically, for me to get excited about clothing, it has to be way cooler or way more functional than anything I already have. And that goes doubly if it's a t-shirt. Because I have more t-shirts than you can shake a stick at. And I have given away more t-shirts than you can shake a stick at (where does that expression come from anyway?). I have boxes of t-shirts that have never been worn. And here's the deal: I don't WANT any more.

Until I saw my new t-shirt. To understand why I had to have it, I have to tell you about my first obsession. This is the obsession that came before all the other ones. The one that came before my college obsession with being a fast swimmer. The one that preceded my marathon running OCD of the 1990s. And yes, this is the one before Turin Brakes (the band I yearly fly across the Atlantic to see and my current musical obsession).

The obsession was with a band called Cheap Trick. I was 13 and in my proverbial teeny-bopper years. Or year. Cheap Trick was the second-ever "rock concert" I attended. Although I can't remember, I'm sure I begged my mother (on my knees and hysterically crying) to let me go. Somehow, I won that battle, and it turned out to be the "greatest thing that ever happened to me!!" Seriously. During the concert, the singer, Robin Zander, tossed a Kiss album cover out into the audience, and who caught it? ME! that's right. I was the one who waved it around, the envy of every teen girl in the audience (which was pretty much everyone IN the audience). Yep, that was me. The smug one. If I could go back in time, I would clobber me for that behavior. That year - that ONE year - I would acquire four - that's FOUR (4) - Cheap Trick t-shirts. And I bragged about the fact that I actually HAD four Cheap Trick t-shirts. One for almost every day of the high school week. One of them had the band logo done in glitter. Yes, I said GLITTER. I don't know where those t-shirts are now, but I wish I still had them. They would be "totally retro."

Thank heavens for the internet. Because I found something even better. One day while surfing the blogosphere, I found what is perhaps the funniest athlete blog I've ever read. (Stay with me here.) The blog is "Punk Rock Tri Guy" and it's written by Ron. Ron does marathons, ironmans, you name it -- if it's an endurance event, he'll eventually do it -- and blog about it. And he's a brilliant writer who makes everything sound fun and funny. I routinely laugh (yes, out loud) at his articles (remember the way you USED to laugh at early Seinfeld episodes?).

But before I read a single word of Punk Rock Tri Guy's blog, I was hooked instantly by the t-shirt he was wearing in a photo. It was my Cheap Trick t-shirt! Except, no, wait! It was the iconic Cheap Trick logo with the band name replaced by the word "Runner." In another photo, he was wearing the t-shirt of another past favorite band of mine, the Ramones. I think the first or second comment I ever wrote on his blog was something about having the "same Ramones shirt" he had. Except... again, it WASN'T a Ramones t-shirt!! it was the Ramones logo with the "Johnny Joey Dee Dee" replaced with "Swim Bike Run" -- a triathlon shirt masquerading as the coolest punk band of all time.

That's when I saw it: Ron was the founder of a clothing company called "Punk Rock Racing" (duh, that's why he's "Punk Rock Tri Guy"), and they have even more cool t-shirts, not to mention other stuff. I may be only one person, but I will bring the "athletes disguised as punk rockers" revolution to Cleveland, the "birthplace of rock and roll." And, then I'll take on a new cause. Like, if the Ramones can make it into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, why not Cheap Trick?

1 comment:

  1. As a self proclaimed music snob I have always wondered why a band as good as Cheap Trick resides outside the gates of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of fame whereas bands like ABBA & Genesis have recently been inducted into its hallowed halls. Yes, I know Phil Collins played (sans credit) on George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” but Rick Neilson & Bun E. Carlos played with John Lennon on the Double Fantasy demo sessions.

    One could argue that The Flying Burritos Brothers should have been inducted before the Eagles and Joan Jett certainly is more deserving than Blondie (who was never punk in my opinion BUT I do like them). Metallica is in but Kiss is out? I harbor a deep hatred for “Rush” but would have thought they would have been inducted before Madonna.

    At the end of the day, the Hall has become irrelevant, unnecessary and is quite possibly one of the most un-rock things ever. Having said this, if I’m ever in town it will be the first thing I will visit. I mean, where else can you see a blood stained bass guitar played by Sid Vicious and Dusty Springfield’s outfit from the “Son of a Preacher Man” performance on the Ed Sullivan show?

    Thanks for the kind words.

    All the best,


    PS – I doubt they actually have the outfit on display but I wanted to be sure to mention Dusty.