Ah, the summer of 1997. I had just graduated from WPI, and was enjoying my first academic free summer.
I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but somehow, an impromptu road trip to Cleveland to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was planned. The participants in this trip were myself, Matt, our friend Heather, and Adam D. (now of Killswitch Engage fame).
There are many memories of this trip, including Matt getting a flat tire in the leftmost lane of a busy, traffic-laden 4 lane highway just before getting into Cleveland, requiring him to make his way through three lanes of traffic to put the spare on. And then having to bring his car in to get a new tire. Also, much to Heather’s chagrin, Matt, Adam, and I sang along with the entirety of Pink Floyd’s The Wall double album. We also swung through Canada and visited Niagara Falls on the way home.
Being the summer of ’97, Sublime was just getting popular, and their song, Wrong Way, was being featured heavily on the radio and music video channels (when they still showed videos). So the first time I saw one of those highway signs that said “Wrong Way”, I sang, “Annie’s 12 years old, in two more she’ll be a whore…” I didn’t sing the lyrics with the song title, because it was implied. Adam laughed, and so I started doing it whenever we saw one of those signs, and Adam laughed every time, again, much to Heather’s chagrin. I did it throughout the trip, and although even I was getting annoyed, I had started something that was no longer under my control.
That trip to Cleveland was awesome. As Ian Hunter once claimed, Cleveland does indeed rock.
R.I.P. Bradley Nowell. Your band was nothing special, but any song that contains the lyrics, “a cigarette pressed between her lips while I’m staring at her tits” will always hold a special place in my heart.