Friday, April 14, 2006

A Different Sort of Digitization Project...

Written Jan. 15, 2006 (Rev. April 14)

So I found this beat-up Maxell cassette buried in a box in my garage three weeks ago.

The tape was in extremely poor condition – the polymer coating had, thanks to two hot Ohio summers, bonded to the recording tape. Worse, a container of hair gel had apparently exploded, and the gooey stuff had made its way into the casing.

In an effort to preserve this extremely rare recording for posterity, I attempted an emergency conservation treatment and an analog/digital format migration. It survived the case extraction, the hand-cleaning of the recording surface, and the 125-degree oven. I was able to stabilize the tape long enough to get three plays out of it.

Sadly, the last known “mix-tape” of Dick Pickles rehearsals and show rarities was pronounced D.O.A. late last night. Completely deteriorated, probably due to whatever toxic shit was in the hair gel.

I played in the Dick Pickles in high school. This was what I'd call the good shit – the dangerous, vulgar, brutal, and controversial. Actually, that pretty much describes me as a teenager.

Let's put it this way...I once played this tape for a girl I was dating. She thought I was a nice guy, compassionate, intelligent, mature, etc. How the hell did she think I got that way? Sunday School and fucking Pep Rallies? Please. I'm almost certain the reason the relationship went nowhere was because of this tape.

Like I said, the good shit.

Since I can't make the recordings available on this site, I thought I'd preserve a bit of personal history here. This will almost certainly be offensive to several readers, so please remember that this tape documented who I was in 1994 through 1996, not who I am now. It may give some folks some insight into the ol' Zenfo Pro as a rather strange, demented, and seemingly invincible angst-ridden teenager.

Hey, if you forget where you come from, you'll never get where you're going....

# # #

Is That My C#ck in Your Mouth (Or R U Just Glad to See Me?) - Dick Pickles, 1996

Despite the rather, er, creative song title, I believe the the song was meant to be a protest song. Yeah, I wrote this powerful acoustic ballad with our sometime bass player in the Feb. 1996.

The rest is a bit hazy. We were very drunk – one of those three-day binges. I think there was an inflatable sex doll involved. Some cow tipping. Possibly codeine and firearms. I do remember topless girls and chocolate syrup.

That was a lot of fun. Stupid, but fun.

C'mon. You didn't think I was some innocent, shoe-gazing wallflower when I was in high school, did you? How I survived that part of my life and still managed to be coherant enough to pull off a 3.0 in high school is beyond me...

Playaz Go Down – "G-Spot", DJ [???], and DP

I know this was recorded at a rap show in which two of the DP crew (including yours truly) decided to plug guitars into a mixer and crunch a few Drop-D riffs over some Mobb Deep samples.

"G-Spot" was a female version of Tupac Shakur. This tiny black teenager sang gospel in church on Sundays and rapped about multiple orgasms on Saturdays. She had one or two in front of the crowd that night - not kidding. The first time I listened to this track, honestly, I was... um... overwhelmed by the pure, unadulterated sexual energy of her raspy voice and the simple, breathy chorus:

Your dick will do the trick/ but your tongue will get me sprung
My job as backing vocalist was to simply talk dirty, moan, and grunt. And to mimic a certain sex act. Not a bad gig. If I hadn't been so loaded with malt liquor and hadn't cleared a four-footer several times, I'd probably remember more.

The only thing I remember is the fact that she pointed out that I was the only white boy she wanted to make her toy that night. She did show me her very interesting piercing...the thong/piercing obviously negated her need for a regular sex partner.

I almost regret not pursuing that offer...almost. I heard she may have died of an overdose in a housing project a few years ago.

F#ckless Wonder/Want Your Candy/Minor Threat – Dick Pickles, Bat Cave, 1995

The Bat Cave was a nickname given to our rehearsal space in my parents' basement. Everybody was frustrated, hung over, and at each other's throats. Our drummer didn't have a kit, so we built one out of trashcans. And our vocalist/lead guitarist pulled a David Bowie, choosing to dry-hump a futon instead of actually sticking with one song. There was a rather nasty fungus involved.

Nuke the Academy – Me, solo, acoustic. Undated.

We wrote this song about the girls who attended the private school in my hometown. The private school was founded after the fall of Jim Crow to allow rich white people the opportunity to keep their kids from being tainted by non-whites. The electrified version was rather intense; this version sounded like Jim Croce covering Black Sabbath – not very good.

It had to have been recorded in Spring of 1996, because it's clear from the conversations in the background that DP had already broken up. I also realized something I must've blacked out - I think I may have been in the bedroom of one of my best friend's girlfriends. Recognize the voice. I know we didn't go all the way (it sounds so juvenile to actually write that), but I'm pretty sure we were both naked and had gone farther than I remember wanting to go. I do know it was out of spite. He'd pissed me off. Borrowed my guitar without asking. So I hit on his girl. And we took a few photos. There's also another girl's voice on the tape as well...think this was a brown-out moment...

Stupid Jack Daniels.

Shit, Shit, Shit – Dick Pickles. Undated live recording.

No fucking clue if I even bothered to tune my ol' Telecaster on this one. No sense in lying – we were all high on various controlled substances. And it sounds like it. I remember jumping off the makeshift stage in this horse barn, hitting a low beam, and knocking myself out cold. I also remember some kid throwing up because he'd dropped too many hits off a blotter. I may or may not have intentionally urinated on him in an attempt to wake him up.

And then there was this girl known as the Missionary. Born-Again who obviously believed that she was "saving herslef for marriage" by offering everything but her vagina to any guy who treated her nicely. I know she'd been raped by her uncle. She was 14. Don't know why she was there. Her friend - a walking, talking STD of a woman - gave a friend of mine the Clap. That really sucked.

A Country Boy Can Survive – Me, Dan ?, Limp Dick

Oh, now this is interesting. A Hank Williams, Jr., cover. Acoustic. Sadly, I can't remember who the fuck Limp Dick was. May have been a dealer. Limp Dick's a great nickname for dealers.

Shutdaf#ckup, Cracka – “Nat F#cking Turner and DP”

This was an impromptu recording of a black friend and occasional bandmate who had been scolded by a white student teacher for correcting her when she used the phrase “The N Word” in in what was supposed to be a frank discussion about racial slurs. This guy hated white teachers who were afraid to say the word nigger in an academic discussion.

If You Can't Say nigga because you think you somehow bigga than Biggie... then I knows you thinkin' Coon when you back at the motherfuckin' sorority. So instead of pulling trains for fraternities and talkin' bout how you care about my brothas in penitentiaries, shutdafuckup cracka before I smack tha kappa outcha mouth.

I've lost touch with "Nat Fucking Turner," but I've heard rumors that he still refuses to let white people use "the N Word."


Miz BoheMia said...

Hell, I'm starting to realize I'm not the total bastard I think I am.

I think that judgement really comes just from you. I read your post... can make for funny anecdotes, for shake-your-head-moments-when-now-that-we-are-older-and-"wiser"-we-would-proclaim "What where we thinking"... but I see nothing shameful, nothing embarassing... not at all. We all fuck up at some point or other.

Back to the top sentence... for me, that realization is still a rollercoaster ride. Last night I had a crash of a down moment. I hate crashing but I do every so often. Can feel brutal.

Out of that came a list of probably 30 terms detailing what shit I am and today, after a semi-good night's sleep I am better, somewhat fragile but working my way back to that sentence... until perhaps the next crash but at least I know now how to get up... at one point that may have taken too long...

Baby steps...

From one who reads you and loves doing so I find you to be a man with integrity and compassion, much nobility and strength, intelligent and well-spoken... and the list goes on.

Don't be so hard on yourself and hey, we are not stupid and you are not fooling us and "making us" like you. We do because we see you and we like what we see, all of it 'cause it's what makes you you... that's what Loverboy used to say to me...

Great and powerful post Jason! Much love and hugs coming your way amigo mio!

The ZenFo Pro said...

Hey, thanks so much, hon!

Yeah, I figured out a few years ago that I'm my own worst judge. It's something I fight as well. I've gotten much better, actually. I was down in the dumps a bit myself last night... I made a pretty big mistake this week at work, assuming that someone had a similar past to mine and could handle a rather emotionally draining but delicacy-required task. No fucking clue I'd sent somebody into an unhealthy, dangerous situation that they weren't prepared for...

Fuck, sometimes I wish I could go into details here, but...sigh...

Nothing shameful at all. Just who I was. You're right. The key to remember is the farther one gets from the trauma, the fewer the crashes become. It burns itself out with time and healing. I've had only one PTSD flashback in the last six months and no nightmares related to what caused my PTSD (put yourself in violent situations with violent people...some to do with this post, mostly as a result of being in abusive and emotionally manipulative relationships.)

Hey, take care of yourself, chica! The much love is definitely appreciated. Feel better soon:) You can cover a lot of ground with those baby steps ... trust me... :)

Boot Camp Tori said...

Motherfucker I know you! And I know that motherfuckin pothead fucking drummer of yours and those psyko mofos you ran with.

And I'm not fucking dead. Who told you that? I don't live in a damn project. I GOT MINE.

Maybe this rings a bell:

"Jason you crazy. Put tha bald head between my legs and show me you like chocolate."

You cant hide from us niggaz from the Bushes kid. You still Meh-urrin boy :)

Or how bout he fact that I remember when you was a crazy shavedhead goateed kid or that i remember that ugly ass pece of shit dodge shadow or that i remember you pissin on Granville Herdans mom's car at a party in cumberland? or the you got shot atin a food lion parking lot.

I was reading R-Town blogs and saw the ugliest fucking white boy I've ever known wishing some woman happy birthday. Damn G you look like you grown up. And you looking FINE!

Sistaz loved you so ifyoud stayed away from those rich white girls you wouldnt of had the problems you did. I heard you were dead, so look a sista up sometime. Reunion's next summer.

The ZenFo Pro said...

For anyone not familiar with the community where I grew up, this will probably sound a bit like an Eminem impersonation.

Pardon my language, chica, but... HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

I'm so sorry I missed your IM this morning...was in the shower when you posted. If you're who I think you are (I had to run and dig for high school yearbooks), then this probably confirms your suspicions:

Baby doll, you need to recognize dat ass is mine. The devil and I made a deal. He can take my soul to hell, if I can be up in that piece of heaven. [Something like that should be written in your yearbook. You didn't sign mine.]

How about another one:

Yo mama so nasty her nipples got afro puffs. Yo dad's so fat, your house got stretch marks. Your mama's so greasy, they call her Jiffy Lube.

You ditched my after-graduation party to go to a hotel room with a friend of mine. You stripped but wouldn't go skinny-dipping out in Rice because you didn't want to mess up your perm. And I was one of three white people who you ever let touch your extensions...that I know of, at least.

You found me through...hmmm...Belle of the Brawl??? Now that's a small damned world. Lol...I thought I was the only one who made it out alive.

I actually heard the rumor of my untimely demise, but, yeah, a bit more responsible than I was in the past.

You're MARRIED?!? And a MOM?!? Damn.

Damn straight I represent. Us white folk gotta sneak in the Man's house, unlock the door... so we can all rob that motherfucker.

Let said...

Shouldn't you two get a room or something?

The ZenFo Pro said...

LMAO, chica. It is a small damned world.

I did, actually, end up being two hours late for a business meeting Sat. because Tori and I had a hot, steamy conversation...about taxes, children, and the high school reunion I'm NOT going to this year ;)


Sorry...had an awesome weekend...this was a major highlight. No way to explain what it's like to find out a high school buddy isn't dead...and has been reading this thing.