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where's iggy when you need him?
meet you at the clock tower
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
pop culture

Once a screwed up kid, always a screwed up kid, right?

I don't have to work very hard to put myself right back into a fifteen-year-old frame of mind. It goes without saying how difficult it would be to put myself back into my fifteen-year-old body, so I won't go into that here. What I'm saying is simple: I'm still angry about the fact that none of my peers really understood what was so great about Ozzy, I still hate corduroys, and even though I cut my hair off years ago, it still pisses me off when they use a long-haired, dope-smoking metalhead to represent the Bad Guy in an after-school special.

No, seriously - I'm not over it.

I'm not clinging to trace elements of pubescent anxiety, and I'm not that angry with anyone in particular anymore (well, ok, maybe I'd still like to see a couple of chumps punished for their overwhelming stupidity). I am annoyed at myself for giving my best tour shirts to my high school sweetheart. What was I thinking? Sure, when you're young, a silk-screened print of Ronnie James Dio's face ALWAYS looks better when stretched over the chest of an seventeen-year-old girl (who also happens to be willing to be seen in public with you) - but, still, WHY oh why did I give away my black Scorpions jersey?

Not that I'm shouldering loads of regret - I don't regret picking up a guitar instead of a football, nor do I regret having REALLY long hair for thirteen years. I'm glad I never got my ass kicked in a serious fistfight, and I'm equally glad that I never had to kick anyone's ass myself. I loved comic books, I loved Metal, and not much has changed in the last fifteen years. Those were the interests that differentiated me in my youth, and ironically enough, they're the same interests that brand my forehead with a giant, glowing "market to me" bullseye in my adult life.

I guess that pisses me off too - as a youngster I was consistently forced into defending my right to love larger-than-life characters, fantastic stories of the supernatural, and giant-sounding music. I mean, for the love of God, I was already obsessing over Gene Simmons when most of my peers were still focused on boogers and Ring Dings. Now, I walk into a video store and it's The Grinch, Shrek, and Planet of the Apes...all of them just shrieking at me from these giant posters. We GET you, man! You're just LOVING this, right? C'mon and get that Blockbuster combo, you know you want it!

To quote Bill the Cat, Phbbbtht.

I gotta do something about this. I need to have my Michael J. Fox moment; a boyhood fantasy of rock guitar, damsels in distress, hip, cunning wit, and salvation through blind, dumb luck. All I need is Reverend Jim Ignatowski to drive up in a stolen Delorian just for me, and I can start to MAKE SOME S**T HAPPEN!

Will somebody please tell me just what the hell this column is about? Something set me off this morning, now, what was it? Was it Matt Lauer again? Was he doing that nervous, twitchy thing with his eyes? I swear, sometimes I just want to throw my cereal bowl at the television.

Now I remember. It was NPR. I was in my car, driving to work, and they were reporting about some kids at a Massachusetts high school who had been plotting a Columbine-like shooting spree. That's right. The Responsible Administration had Uncovered the Plot with their Superior Intellect and Caring Observation. A reporter was interviewing a neighbor of the suspected Ring Leader, and requested that the neighbor describe the kid in custody.

Well, let's see, he was real quiet like - but he was into crazy stuff, Devil-worship and all. He liked that Headbangin' stuff, you know? He’d go out into the woods and read all these crazy books and listen to his headbangin' music. A real PSYCHO.

Ok, so, if this kid was really going to mess some people up, I'm glad they 'caught' him before he could do anything. Still, I'm defensive. Once again the weirdo headbanger is the bad guy, and he must be nuts, because he likes to read in the woods too. I haven't followed up on this story, and the kid might have been a real wingnut - there's plenty of 'em in these Massachussetts towns, believe me. Anger Management 101 should be a required course in the public schools around here.

The interview with the neighbor reminded me just how terrified of imagination some people are, and that what a lot of people want is an utterly predictable, uniform existence. I should be thankful that I was tuning into some actual news for once instead of listening to Stern (this is what I do when he's not interviewing Bill Shatner, Ozzy, or a porn star). It lit my pilot light, which had blown out at some point in the last couple of months.

It's hard to be full of piss and vinegar when your world is being rocked by disasters and propaganda, but it's good to know that, even though I'm a little bit older, I've retained my rights and abilities to be a defensive, angsty, and reactionary juvenile.



Brown eyes, brown hair, bluejeans and a T-shirt. Digs loud guitars and good design. Easily hypnotized by green-eyed blondes, shiny leather, B-movies, and brightly packaged foods. He's got a bustle in his hedgerow - but he is NOT alarmed.

more about jeff miller


something in the coffee
bean there, done that
by jeff miller
topic: pop culture
published: 6.19.01

careful with that axe
hi my name is jeff, and i have a guitar problem
by jeff miller
topic: pop culture
published: 4.11.01


matt morin
12.12.01 @ 12:25a

Jeff, you just made me want to play "Number of the Beast" really, really loud.

jeff miller
12.12.01 @ 9:12a

Then I've accomplished moe than I ever could have hoped.

mike julianelle
12.12.01 @ 10:02a

Jeff, if the stereotyping of longhairs pisses you off, check out the documentary "Paradise Lost about a murder in West Memphis, Arkansas that gets pinned on a few Metal-head types who love to wear black. Chilling stuff.

Dio has rocked for a long, long time...

jeff miller
12.12.01 @ 10:05a

I'll check it out, thanks :>)

Also, thanks to my critiquers for their feedback - helpful stuff that makes Intrepid work!

russ carr
12.12.01 @ 1:51p

What puts this all in perspective was a ballad I heard today during the morning commute. Ozzy Osbourne was singing a song about being a dreamer and wishing everyone could just get along. It was Ozzy channeling John Lennon and it frrrreaked me out, baby.

matt morin
12.12.01 @ 2:00p

We're all going off the rails on a crazy train.

jeff miller
12.12.01 @ 2:01p

Listen, you can't get too weirded out by Ozz when he does that - he's just setting a backdrop for the mania that's flowing through his veins.

Also, you've got to take the Prozac and Sharon Osbourne into account - those are the determining factors of Ozzy's life.

joe procopio
12.12.01 @ 3:54p

I've been warning you about the devil's music for years now, Miller.

Actually, it was the whole frilly hair and pink tights thing that turned me off.

Punk, metal, and today, rap, are the principal art form used most to express dissent against the establishment, a practice much less in vogue today than it was years ago. This is why we must protect these art forms before they're co-opted like pop was.

BTW, I think it's too late for rap.

mike julianelle
12.12.01 @ 4:00p

Thank you for adding that last line, I was about to puke.

jeff miller
12.12.01 @ 4:05p

We protect and preserve the Rock by playing it loud with the car windows open, picking up our guitars and making them go, and by tampering with and disabling muzak systems everywhere. Go Joe!

joe procopio
12.12.01 @ 4:07p

Let's not forget drinking copious amounts of alcohol and screaming "Whooooooo!" in the middle of the street late at night.

russ carr
12.12.01 @ 4:19p

Hm. Sounds like IMNYC from all I've heard.

jeff miller
12.12.01 @ 4:24p

$*%$&^%$ I WISH I could've gone to that!!! @#$@^#

mike julianelle
12.12.01 @ 4:25p

Boston's will be fun. Especially if Joe brings his soon-to-be-bloodied mouth.

joe procopio
12.19.01 @ 12:42p

I keep hearing all this talk and then all these excuses. How close to Boston do I have to travel to get this fight underway?

michelle von euw
12.19.01 @ 4:30p

How close, Joe? How about Brookline? I bet you could show up on Julianelle's doorstep.

Anyway, we should host IntrepidBoston during the warmer months, giving more incentive for people to attend. (Unlike the baseball owners -- who held their WINTER meeting here.)

mike julianelle
12.19.01 @ 4:35p

Drunk in the sun. Sounds good!

michelle von euw
12.19.01 @ 4:38p

That could be our motto!

mike julianelle
12.19.01 @ 4:41p

Being that you, me, maybe Jael, maybe Adam will be there, we should time how long it takes for the conversation to turn to all movies, all night. Smasho.

michelle von euw
12.19.01 @ 4:44p

Or Buffy.

Oh, dear. We could be scaring people off.

mike julianelle
12.19.01 @ 4:48p

I don't think the scaring people off part comes till we've had a few. Then they'll be running.

matt morin
12.19.01 @ 4:56p

No, I'm already running.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 9:17a

Boston is pretty much a sludge pit in the winter - I am a gree...warmer is better. April? May? Summertime? I'll meet you all at Kelly's in Reveah fa some fried claaaams.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 9:35a


Chuck I had a double-burrrrga!!

adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 9:47a

Oh, man. The best thing about Kelly's is parking, like, a mile away so you can walk off all the clam strips on the way back to the car. That and one of America's last bastions of high hair.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 9:50a

Yeah, the atmosphere around that place is hysterical. They have a few more Kelly's now, in Saugus and Natick (inside Jordan's Furniture), but the one in Reveah is BY FAR the best.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 9:51a

Yup. Right up there with LobstaLand and Woodman's. All the Noath Shoah fried food you can eat.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 9:59a

One of my favorite places to eat in Boston, or the Boston area, is the Border Cafe in Cambridge. Yum.

adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 10:39a

I don't know. I always found the Border overrated and overcrowded. Good margaritas, though.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 10:40a

Definitely overcrowded, but I like the area and some of the food is great. And cheap.

michelle von euw
12.20.01 @ 10:46a

Border's OK. It's never that crowded during lunch or right after work.

You know what is better than Border's in Harvard Square? Grendels. Talk about cheap good food!

And I love Kelly's, but only the original. And Sully's on Castle Island. Ummmmm, greasy fried seafood.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 10:49a

Never been to Grendels or Sully's. One of the reasons I like Border's so much is the style of food. Cajun rules.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 11:43a

Grendels is a cool place - it's gonna be hard to pick a place for the BIG EVENT. Something downtown would be fun, but Cambridge has a lot of charm too. Screw it. Let's go to the Foxy Lady in Providence.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 11:45a

Yeah, maybe we can catch a glimpse of Mo Vaughn.

michelle von euw
12.20.01 @ 12:46p

Damnit, we'd have to go to the Foxy Lady in the offseason to see the big guy. I think he may be busy in May.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 12:53p

Yeah, busy crying.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 1:22p


adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 2:05p

I think we could tear Jillians apart. Or disrupt a few bachelorette parties next door at Jake's.
The problem is, aside from Shay's and the Hong Kong, all my favorite haunts in Harvard Square are gone.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 2:09p

No more Rat. That's what it's come to. We could freak out some out-of-towners by taking them to Man Ray...

adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 2:19p

Jeez. You'd freak me out going to Man Ray. And I lived in Boston for 6 years.
No more Rat? Try no more Crimson. No more Spaghetti Club. No more Grafton St. And especially no more Bow & Arrow.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 2:32p

Don't forget Narcissus. Or, Narsyphilis, as we used to call it...You'd be more likely to see me standing on the other side of the street in front of TT's, watching the Man Ray freakshow from afar.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 2:33p

Thank God no more Spaghetti Club! Crimson's gone?! Since when?!

I've never been to Jake's. We could try something with a patio, like The Rattlesnake, depending on the season.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 2:36p

Last time I was at the Rattlesnake, I had a great view of a construction zone. They had the whole side of one of those buildings ripped apart and exposed. It was about 150 degrees in the sun - all the waitresses were all hot and sweaty....wait a minute....the Rattlesnake might be good after all....

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 2:40p

Well, we'd be talking spring anyways, not summer, right? Which begs the question: why are we bothering to discuss it now, other than to reminisce about places I am too busy visiting to reminisce about.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 2:43p

I'm doing it to avoid doing my job. What more do I need to say?

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 2:48p

Oh yeah, that too. So, how about the Roxy?


jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 2:50p

As long as we stay out of Allston, I'll be happy. Looks like my company is helping me avoid work now - the holiday office party is about to start.


adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 2:56p

What's wrong with Allston? The Kinvarah has a very nice back porch. Which, now that I think about it, might be perfect for us.
It bothers me that I know so much about the bars in a city that I haven't lived in for three years.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 3:00p

Oddly enough, I've been to every bar within spitting distance of Kinvarah, but never in there. Ever been to O'Brien's? Charming. We could huddle there, under a table.

adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 3:46p

Never been there. But the place on No. Harvard across the street used to show The Simpsons during happy hour. That was fun. Kinvarah's good. If we're talking about the same one.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 3:49p

That's Common Ground. And yeah, we're talking about the same Kinvarah.

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 3:55p

If you guys only knew how many times I've played in every one of those stinking allston holes...They cease to be very fun when you know what's going on behind the scenes.

See - now I'm avoiding my company's politically-incorect "Christmas" part. Jeez. Are companies even ALLOWED to have Christmas parties anymore? I mean, these people have SANTAS hanging on the walls.

Please - get me out of here.

michelle von euw
12.20.01 @ 3:57p

White Horse isn't too bad. But Allston in general makes me feel old.

Crimson was my place to watch Tournament games during work hours. I mourn its passing.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 3:57p

Hey Jeff, what's your band's name? Not that I've ever inadvertently seen you play, but I kight recognize the name...

michelle von euw
12.20.01 @ 3:58p

Poor Jeff and the Santas! I survived the slew of office parties, and the best thing about every single one of them was the Open Bar.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 3:59p

White Horse! Sunset? Lotsa beers on tap.

michelle von euw
12.20.01 @ 3:59p

You wanna avoid Allston? I'll make you all come Buck Mulligans for IntrepidBoston.

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 4:04p

The Bostonites are busy on the site today, eh? Both present and past Bostonites.

michelle von euw
12.20.01 @ 4:04p

Yes, we are.

Speaking of Bostonites, does anyone watch 24? Did anyone catch that the bag lady in LA had a Boston accent?

mike julianelle
12.20.01 @ 4:05p

Did not catch the bag lady, but 24 RULES! RULES!!!!

adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 4:27p

Mmmmm...Sunset Grill and Tap. My friend Bill and I have a rule (yet to be broken) that any place with "Tap" in the name has to have good beer.

jael mchenry
12.20.01 @ 5:18p


(Adam has clearly never been to the Janesville Tap, the drinking establishment in my hometown of 800 residents. Of course the only time I was there was during an ill-fated Trick-or-Treat trip when I was probably 10. What was I doing trick-or-treating in a bar? Now that's an excellent question.)

jeff miller
12.20.01 @ 5:37p

Well, I did used to haunt the sunset quite a bit....but I think the Boston Beer Works has better beer. And bigger tables.

For Michael - my band's name is Unwelcome Wagon (www.unwelcomewagon.com coming soon, of course). We're in the process of booking our CD release show, looks like the first weekend in March. I'll be shamelessly self-promoting like a madman.

adam kraemer
12.20.01 @ 6:36p

Why don't we do IntrepidBoston that weekend?

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