Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Contest: Set To Explode EP on Red Vinyl

The winner of the Set To Explode EP (compliments of Grave Mistake Records) has been awarded to Kevin Maher for his recollection of his punk-rock "Outsiders" moment in highschool.

Thank you so much for all of the great entries from all of you!

"I was introduced to hardcore by the local skateborders in my freshman year of High School, 1988. We lived in a suburb north of Boston and typical of most suburbs of the 1980’s any difference to the norm was not accepted. In fact, my town was completely polarized. You were either a jock/jock supporter or an outcast. The outcasts consisted of the small number of drama club kids and hardcore kids, who did not mix. I was an anomaly in that I was a varsity hockey player, yet I listened to hardcore kid and all of my friends skated. So, more often than not, I was in the middle of a lot of tension.

The summer between my junior and senior year of High School were particularly volatile in town. Specifically, there was a younger jock Mike Roy (whom we called Mike Roids because of his sudden growth “spurt”) who had a habit of jumping kids who were skating in the local shopping center. He always did it when you least expected and was joined by his friends. It happened so many times that kids started carrying weapons on them when they went to skate. By the time the school year started, there was a definite wall between the sides, so to speak.

About midway through September, a verbal war started between my friend Bob and Roids. Bob, like many of us, came from a broken home and, again like many of us, had some trouble with shooting his mouth off. Despite being relatively short, Bob didn’t think twice about starting a fight with a kid much larger than himself and he definitely was quick to talk shit. When Roids came after him, he wouldn’t back down, even when he probably should have. From what I later learned, something had happened between Roids and his girlfriend that clearly involved Bob. The shit talking escalated to an after school brawl with a selected location and everything. Straight out of a fucking movie.

Being a partial insider, I got word that Roids friends were going to “participate” in the fight, with the idea of causing Bob some serious harm. Therefore, we gathered every hardcore kid we could find (literally going house-to-house) to counter the attack. There were only a few of us with cars (me being one of them), but we stuffed those cars with every fringe hardcore kid (and maybe a drama geek or two) we could gather as well as a dozen baseball bats.

On the way to the fight spot (a parking lot in Livingston Street park), I remember blasting Judge in the car and screaming along to the lyrics. It seriously felt like our OUTSIDERS moment was at hand and I was totally ready for a brawl. As my blue Mazda crawled down Livingston Street, to my amazement, I saw what seemed like an endless field of kids. I swear the entire fucking school came for the fight! Bob, while dumb, was not totally out of it, and quickly came to his senses about whether or not to proceed. We parked a safe distance away from the spot and brainstormed on what to do next. After some discussion, I made my way down the long paved road to meet Roids & crew face-to-face. His offer was simple -- have Bob come down and fight one-on-one or else he’ll come for each of us individually.

I walked back to the car and told my friends the news. We were overwhelming on the same page —- Bob must fight Roids, and we’ll all jump in and kick his ass. David (+ crew) vs. Goliath. Never had I felt so united to a mission. We screamed at the top of our lungs, threw the bats in the trunk and jumped into the cars. The cars strolled down the length of the street again to the open lot where all were around. As we approached, Bob stuck his head out the window, screamed “Fuck you Roids” and threw a basketball at his head. Roids dropped. At this point, a crew of jocks jumped at my car, causing me to instinctively hit the gas, swerve around the crowd, and in the direction I just came. People ran after us, but once we hit the main road, we were free at last, laughing and talking about how funny it was when Roids hit the ground.

The next day in school, tensions were super high as everyone waited to see what would happen. As it turns out, Bob disappeared for a few days and when he came back things seemed to have blown over. Roids never followed up on his promise to kick all of our asses, though he did continue to jump the occasional unsuspecting kid.

My senior year was filled with back-and-forth antagonism between us and the football team. We were always outnumbered and I could not wait to graduate. The only thing that saved me from total boredom in High School was going to shows and listening to hardcore with friends. Seeing some of those same jocks later get into hardcore was always puzzling to me. Hardcore seemed to be the place for misfits, not the in crowd.

Thirteen years later, I’ve yet to go to a reunion, though I often wonder what happened to some of those kids that gave us such a hard time. God, I fucking hated high school."

-- Kevin Maher

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