Bill, the Star of "…You know we belong "And when we say, Yip-eeyo-ki-ay," With that, the crowd of Bill. The star of the show. The kid who got to sing Bill. The kid with one arm. Fuck, how I thought I hated "Guess what, Dad," "What?" said my "Our chorus is putting "Well, if it isn’t "But it’s a good "If it isn’t How But I did anyway, as I hosed "It’s Oklahoma," "Uh-huh," he said, "And they haven’t "You? Get Gordon MacRae’s "I could sing as good My father said nothing as "I guess maybe you "Fuckwad," I mumbled "What’d you just "Nothing," I said "You’re damn right "Sorry I’m nothing," "That’s okay," But they never did, either. "George," said "Really?" I said "Sure," he answered, I looked at my teacher, "I dunno," I answered, "Hubert? Is that your "No," I answered. "Then who’s Hubert?" "I dunno," I replied, Mr. Cott laughed and told Later that afternoon, I "I don’t know," As Shawn and I sat and talked The kid with the one arm. Bill. "Aw, fuck," said "How do you know?" "He’s the captain "Hi guys," Bill We said nothing. "How are you guys doing?" "Are you talking to "No, morons, I’m "Oh," I said. "Of course I’m "We’re fine," "Great," said "We want to be Curly Bill just looked at me. "What’s so funny?" "What’s so funny?" "Curly could be a Jew," "Ha," said Bill. "And he could look Poor Shawn. "You guys are losers," They got those parts. And Whatever. Rehearsals for Oklahoma Our favorite parts of those Shawn had no such luck with During this time, I was "That guy is a killing But we were used to hearing And every coach would say The same with football. Bill was also great on trumpet. One day, after one of those "How’s it going, "Do you even know my "Why should I?" "Because besides being "So?" said Bill. "Well, my name is George," Then I stuck my hand out Then I realized what’d But it was too late. My right arm was already And Bill didn’t have "What are you trying "Sorry," I managed "I’m gonna kick Then he did. After alternating "Please stop," "Fuck you," was "I’m really sorry," "The only thing you’ll Bill continued to kick my Finally the week came where The one that scared me. So the week rolls around Then the big night comes I even saw Bill twitching Finally, the overture ended, "There’s a bright After a few "ooohs" "The corn is as high We all then joined in on The show continued and by "Oooook-lahoma, where After a standing ovation, "You did okay," Bill said nothing. "You have to prove As his father talked to And I felt terrible. Then Bill looked over and On the way out to our brown "George," he said, "Uh-huh," I said, "Well I’m glad "Fuckwad," I mumbled "What’d you say?" "Fuckwad," I said "That’s what I The next day at school I He saw me smiling at him, "What are you smiling "In a land of men with "What are you talking "Nothing," I told NOWCORE! The Matraca Berg has a new CD Useless I.D. is a real man’s Down By Law have a new CD Living Legacy is Starr has a new self-released Finally, Furious George,
I sang, as I watched Susan and her ninth-grade breasts heave with every gasp
of air, "where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…"
to the land," Susan and her harem of junior high school harlots sang, "and
that land we belong to is grand!"
me and my pal Shawn bellowed as we watched in amazement as Eve Bloomburg, who
had bigger breasts than Susan, did a cartwheel, "we’re saying you’re
doing fine Oklahoma, Oklahoma, OK!"
about 300 students gathered in the auditorium for the afternoon assembly applauded
wildly. Not for us, I’m sure, but for the chicks. Well, and him.
opposite Susan. The kid who beat me and about 10 others out for the starring
role. The kid who was captain of the football team. The kid who was the star
of the baseball team. The kid who was captain of the wrestling team. The kid
who played first trumpet.
I said to my father one Sunday afternoon, while he was busy watching me first
hose out the two-car garage we had in Greenwich, CT, followed by the bicycle
father, as he sat in the shade under the large rock we had in the side yard,
on a lawn chair, sipping iced tea.
on a play, and guess what play it is?"
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, I’m not interested,"
play," I insisted.
to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and you don’t have the
Robert Morse role, don’t bother telling me about it."
out the corners of the filthy garage, watching spiderwebs, sparkplugs and dead
mice wash by.
more interested in making sure I hosed down the walls as well as the floor.
picked the lead yet, so maybe I’ll get it!" I exclaimed.
part? Never," he scowled, as he poured himself another iced tea. "Maybe
you could get the Rod Steiger role, Jud, because he was ugly. But I doubt you
could even sing half that well."
as Jud!" I yelled at my father, who was, as usual, pissing me off.
he watched me continue to hose out his parking space.
should play Jud," he finally said, "because then you would
under my breath.
say?" my father yelled.
you said nothing. That’s because you are nothing. I have nothing for a
son. A useless nothing," he bitched.
I moaned as I began moving out bicycles from the other garage so I could hose
my father replied, "I have two other sons. Maybe they’ll amount to
something. Maybe even get Robert Morse’s role in How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Trying."
Mr. Cott, our chorus teacher, "you have a really powerful tenor voice.
You could be the lead in this musical."
to the old and balding guy with the big black glasses. "I could be a lead?"
assuredly, "your voice is so pure. How do you sing such high notes?"
sitting behind his desk after class, with just me in the room. Alone.
"but my stepmother says it has something to do with a guy named Hubert."
"My father is named Lester."
Mr. Cott asked.
"but his last name starts with a T, because she always calls him by his
first name and last initial. She just says something about me not ever going
to reach him."
me to run off to the auditorium, where rehearsals for Oklahoma were to
found myself sitting next to my pal, Shawn, who spelled his name like a girl.
I used to ask why he didn’t spell it S-E-A-N, like James Bond did.
he’d tell me, "but I think it’s because my parents really wanted
about how we were both going to try out for Curly, he walked in.
Shawn, with his flaming red Irish afro, pasty white face and red lips making
him look like a clown. "Looks like Bill is going out for Curly as well."
I asked him.
of everything, and gets laid more than a carpet. Of course he’s gonna go
for Curly," answered Shawn. "Why else would he be here?"
he said, looking in our direction.
us?" Shawn finally said.
talking to the wall," he replied.
talking to you, you little pansies," said Bill.
said Shawn, "How are you?"
Bill, "I’m gonna be Curly in Oklahoma! What parts are you guys
going for? The farmers’ wives?"
too!" I blurted out.
I asked the one-armed kid who was much taller than both Shawn and I, and who
was wearing a longsleeved white shirt, with one sleeve pinned back at the elbow.
asked Bill, "Well, one of you looks like a circus clown, and the other,
well, you’re a little Jew."
I yelled. "After all, he was named after his curly hair. Like mine!"
like a circus clown!" said Shawn.
said Bill, and with that, left us geeks to go talk to Susan, who was trying
out for the Shirley Jones role, and Eve, who was going after Little Ado Annie.
Bill got the role of Curly. I remember the next day Mr. Cott announcing who
got what role. When I asked him why I was cast as just a nameless farmer, and
Shawn as "Man Number Two," Mr. Cott smiled and just said, "Ask
lasted at least three months. During that time, every weekday after school
we rehearsed like crazy. Even though Shawn and I just had a few lines here and
there, we were required to be at every rehearsal because we sang on almost every
afternoons came when it was time to square-dance with the chicks in the chorus.
I had this thing for a girl named Winnie Wilson, and Shawn liked Stephanie Carr.
When it came time to dance, we’d try to get as close to these females and
their chests as possible. Once I even grabbed Winnie’s tit. I told her
it was an accident, and I was reaching for her hand. I think she knew I was
lying, but smiled anyway.
Stephanie. She’d dance as far away from him as she could, and joked under
her breath to Winnie that Shawn was an "Oklahomo."
also on the wrestling team with Captain Bill, the one-armed "killing machine,"
as our coach used to call him. Bill would wrestle the same way every match.
When the match would start off, wrestlers in the standing position, Bill would
throw his nub into the opponents neck, and trip him with his opposite foot.
Then, when the guy was on the ground, Bill would get him in a headlock with
his half-an-arm, and turn him over. Then he’d pin him. The whole match
usually only lasted 30 or so seconds.
machine," Coach used to tell all of us, "why can’t any of you
little pussies do half as well as that? And Bill only has one arm!"
that. The one-arm bit. Those of us who were on the baseball and football teams
heard the same thing. Actually, I wasn’t on either. Varsity, anyway. I
was JV. That meant I was on the B-grade team. I didn’t want to be there
at all, but it was my father’s brilliant idea that I become an "athlete."
Anyway, I never really got to play, I just sat on the bench most of the time,
if I wasn’t getting other teammates water and towels and stuff.
the same thing. Why couldn’t any of us be like Bill, the one-armed kid?
And all of them had a point. Bill was amazing. If he was in centerfield and
a ball was hit in his direction, he’d catch it with the mitt, throw the
ball up in the air while tucking the mitt under his chin, then throw the ball
to whatever base it had to go to. And he never fucking missed.
He’d never miss. He was the quarterback, and after he was hiked the ball,
he’d throw that pigskin like it was a homing missile. Incredible.
And he let everyone know it. During marching band and orchestra rehearsals,
he’d play solos and Chuck Mangione songs during warmup, just to show off.
All the girls would always fawn over him, and it made a lot of us sick. I remember
once bitching about it to my dad, who told me I was sick for being jealous of
a kid with one arm, and that if I didn’t shut up I might only be able to
see out of one eye.
long afternoon rehearsals, one where I actually got to feel Winnie’s ass,
and a fine Canadian ass it was, I found myself alone in the boys’ room
Jew?" said Bill.
real name?" I asked him.
in chorus with you, I’m also playing football, baseball and wrestling with
you," I explained.
"So are lots of other guys."
to shake his.
to do, Jew?" yelled Bill, and with that, jabbed his nub into my throat
to wheeze out, but it was too late. I saw fury in Bill’s eyes.
your faggot ass," he told me.
his nub and his fist to my face, he tripped me with his left leg, and then got
on top of me.
I literally cried, as tears rolled down the sides of my face.
his reply, as he actually nub-slapped me on each side of my face, over and over.
I cried, "really, I am. I didn’t mean to make any comment about your
be missing," yelled Bill, as he stood up and started kicking me, "is
ass, and finally left me on the floor in a bloody pulp. After I finished crying,
I was too ashamed to take the bus home, so I walked.
we were to perform four shows. Three of them were during school hours. Two at
other schools, and one at ours. Then there was the night show.
Because my stepmother, brothers and sisters would be there, as well as my dad.
And I didn’t want them to see me onstage. In a bit part. Wearing brown
corduroy pants instead of jeans, because my dad and stepmom were too cheap to
buy them for me. Even though I’d saved up five dollars in allowance money
and we do all the daytime shows. Bill, of course, does a great job as Curly,
and the rest of the cast did just as well. I actually have fun with Winnie,
and at one point Stephanie actually begins to like Shawn, and they do hold hands
during the square dance scenes.
along. And we’re all nervous. The whole ninth-grade chorus. Everyone. Our
parents are there to see us.
around before the show.
the curtains went up and our final and most important show began.
golden haze on the meadow," sang Bill, as the audience was exposed to him
in his cowboy hat and one arm all at once, "there’s a bright golden
haze on the meadow."
and "awwws," Bill
as an elephant’s eye, and it looks like it’s climbing clear up to
the sky," he sang.
"Oh What A Beautiful Morning," and the crowd went nuts. They clapped,
whistled and sincerely enjoyed it.
the end of the whole thing, after Jud gets killed and Curly marries Laurie,
the whole place was singing along.
the wind comes sweeping down the plains," we heard everyone sing along
with us, and we smiled.
lots of our parents came backstage. I watched as Shawn hugged his mom and dad,
who both had curly red Irish hair like him, and I smiled as Winnie introduced
me to her mother and brother. I also watched as Bill’s dad came backstage
to congratulate his son.
he said to his one-armed kid, "but next time I think you can do better."
that having one arm doesn’t make you any worse than anyone else,"
his father went on to explain.
him, I could see one single tear well up in Bill’s eye.
saw me looking at him. The look on his face is something I’ll never forget.
paneled Chrysler station wagon, my father pulled me aside in the junior high
school parking lot and talked to me alone.
"that kid who played Curly, he had one arm."
thinking about how Bill’s dad must be disappointed in everything his son
does. From football to baseball to band.
your chorus didn’t do How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,"
my father explained. "A one-armed Robert Morse would have been simply terrible."
to him once again.
thought," he said, and with that he hit me in the mouth so hard my gums
saw Bill in the cafeteria, seated at a table full of cheerleaders. And I smiled.
and just in the very corners of his mouth, smiled back.
about?" asked Shawn.
two arms, the one-armed man is still king," I said.
about?" asked Shawn.
him, and with that, motioned for him to follow me to a table where Winnie and
Stephanie were sitting, waiting for us to join them.
Punk Rock Evolution is the name of a new K-Tel compilation. K-Tel! As in all
those disco compilations, and other really awful poop I used to see commercials
for in the 1970s. Jeezus. Now they’re doing "punk." But it gets
better. Their idea of punk is so far off it’s like thinking a bicycle is
a bus. The bands on this absolute piece of dogshit are not that bad, but just
the fact that they call it punk really rubs me the wrong way. Included here
are emo (read pussy) bands that include the Promise Ring, Drive Like Jehu, Knapsack,
Jawbox, Seaweed, etc. While the tunes are okay, the quote on the back of this
baby is great. "It isn’t the way it sounds. It’s the way it feels."
–Josh Hooten of Punk Planet. Number one, it’s exactly how it sounds,
and number two, isn’t Punk Planet a fanzine that has even more problems
with major labels than Maximumrocknroll? I can’t wait for the Crusty Punk
on RCA called Lying to the Moon & Other Stories. The cute woman with
a rack not only has bare feet on the cover of this thing, there is a closeup
of her fingers and toes on the back. And I’m supposed to listen
to this thing? Ha!
band, all the way from Haifa, Israel. Their new CD entitled Get In the Pita
Bread Pit on Falafel Records absolutely kicks fried vegetable ball butt.
Sounding like NOFX with talent, Bad Religion without the drugs and Green Day
on a mean day, these guys are the best thing to come out of Israel since a missile
aimed at Palestine. Songs include "Lost In Space," "Have A Nice
Life," "Run" and many, many more. I recently caught their act
at CBGB, where I was not only blown away by their music, but their bad accents
as well. Punk rock! Oi! Vey!
on Go-Kart called Fly The Flag. These guys have been around so long that
it’s hard to say anything new about them. Yes, they rock. Yes, they’re
smart. Yes, the new stuff is very good. Yes, I’ll go see them when they’re
in town next. No, Hunter is no longer the drummer. Yes, they are touring with
the Buzzcocks who also signed to Go-Kart. No, I don’t know why the Buzzcocks
the name of the new CD from Steel Pulse, on Tuff Gong. I figure they’ve
been around for like 20 years. They do reggae, and when I played this thing,
my dog P.J. rolled up a huge spliff and smoked the ganja while dancing around
on the carpet. Now I got a pothead for a dog. Help.
CD called New Improved Bootleg. This EP with five songs kicks so much
ass, when I heard it I almost cried. "New Improved God" and "Passion
Play Lady" remind me so much of the early Crüe, as well as Ratt, Poison
and even Hendrix and Blue Oyster Cult, I feel 17 again. Which, of course, for
me, was last year. Their live version of "Homework" at CBGB on this
thing is the bomb. When lead singer Zane Fix starts singing "Swanee River,"
I about spit beer out of my nose. Get this. It’s metal. It’s punk.
It’s I dunno. Just great.
a lame-ass pussy band if there ever was one, has a live CD out on V.M.L. Records.
It was recorded at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago, 5/30/98. Recorded with just
one mic, connected to a DAT machine, it doesn’t sound that bad. But hearing
the singer curse and sing out of key is so painful it’s funny. They do
lots of their songs here, like "Orbit," "Betty Crocker, Punk
Rocker" and "Gilligan," plus a cover of "Old McDonald Had
a Farm." If I wasn’t in the band, I’d really tell you how much
they suck. Plus, their singer is short.
Bill, the Star of
"…You know we belong
"And when we say, Yip-eeyo-ki-ay,"
With that, the crowd of
Bill. The star of the show.
The kid who got to sing
The kid with one arm.
Fuck, how I thought I hated
"Guess what, Dad,"
"What?" said my
"Our chorus is putting
"Well, if it isn’t
"But it’s a good
"If it isn’t How
But I did anyway, as I hosed
"Uh-huh," he said,
"And they haven’t
"You? Get Gordon MacRae’s
"I could sing as good
My father said nothing as
"I guess maybe you
"Fuckwad," I mumbled
"What’d you just
"Nothing," I said
"You’re damn right
"Sorry I’m nothing,"
But they never did, either.
"Really?" I said
"Sure," he answered,
I looked at my teacher,
"I dunno," I answered,
"Hubert? Is that your
"No," I answered.
"Then who’s Hubert?"
"I dunno," I replied,
Mr. Cott laughed and told
Later that afternoon, I
"I don’t know,"
As Shawn and I sat and talked
The kid with the one arm.
"Aw, fuck," said
"How do you know?"
"He’s the captain
"Hi guys," Bill
We said nothing.
"How are you guys doing?"
"Are you talking to
"No, morons, I’m
"Oh," I said.
"Of course I’m
"We want to be Curly
Bill just looked at me.
"What’s so funny?"
"What’s so funny?"
"Curly could be a Jew,"
"Ha," said Bill.
"And he could look
"You guys are losers,"
They got those parts. And
Rehearsals for Oklahoma
Our favorite parts of those
Shawn had no such luck with
During this time, I was
"That guy is a killing
But we were used to hearing
And every coach would say
The same with football.
Bill was also great on trumpet.
One day, after one of those
"How’s it going,
"Do you even know my
"Why should I?"
"Because besides being
"So?" said Bill.
"Well, my name is George,"
Then I stuck my hand out
Then I realized what’d
But it was too late.
My right arm was already
And Bill didn’t have
"What are you trying
"Sorry," I managed
"I’m gonna kick
Then he did. After alternating
"Fuck you," was
"I’m really sorry,"
"The only thing you’ll
Bill continued to kick my
Finally the week came where
The one that scared me.
So the week rolls around
Then the big night comes
I even saw Bill twitching
Finally, the overture ended,
"There’s a bright
After a few "ooohs"
"The corn is as high
We all then joined in on
The show continued and by
After a standing ovation,
"You did okay,"
Bill said nothing.
"You have to prove
As his father talked to
And I felt terrible.
Then Bill looked over and
On the way out to our brown
"George," he said,
"Uh-huh," I said,
"Well I’m glad
"Fuckwad," I mumbled
"What’d you say?"
"Fuckwad," I said
"That’s what I
The next day at school I
He saw me smiling at him,
"What are you smiling
"In a land of men with
"What are you talking
"Nothing," I told
Matraca Berg has a new CD
Useless I.D. is a real man’s
Down By Law have a new CD
Living Legacy is
Starr has a new self-released
Finally, Furious George,