CHILLLLLLLLLLL. I wrote this on April 2, 2013.
Every day in April I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day I will write a post dealing with an issue that is near and dear to me that starts with the letter of the Alphabet the corresponds with the day of the month. Neat right? Today is April 2nd so the letter of the day is B.
B is for Boston
Man I hate Boston. I grew up 25 miles away but always wished I was 225 miles away in New York City. My mom likes to remind me that as early as 5 years old I told her I was going to move to New York City. Where I came from that was a ridiculous notion. Nobody moved away. They might escape for 2 or 4 years at a college as far away as maybe Western Massachusetts or even Rhode Island but everybody came home. I never thought of Massachusetts as home. Just a place where I was doing time til I could get the fuck out. Sorta like a poison prison for ideas and adventure. As soon as I could escape the watchful eyes of my parents I started exploring the seedier sides of Lowell, and then on to Boston. The first time I made it to NYC I was 15 years old and took an Amtrak with my buddy after I got out of summer school. My first real NYC experience after dropping my bags off was getting mugged in Times Square. My last authentic NYC experience of that trip was spending 10 days in the trauma unit at New York Hospital. But that’s a story for another day.
I ended up moving to NYC permanently just after my 21st birthday. I’ve never lived anywhere else. I somehow knew this was home before I even really knew what home was. Guess I was just born that way. Once I got here, I didn’t really have any desire to go home. Most of my extended family in Lowell took every opportunity they could to tell me that I wouldn’t last in NYC and that I’d be back soon – so after a few holidays I just stopped going back there. The only reason I ever went home was to see my best friend Mike Magee aka DJ Muthafuckin Stitch! When he moved to NYC in 1997 then I knew there was no reason for me to ever go back. My parents liked to come visit the city, and my sisters were living in Cali and Florida so I was finally able to say FUCK THAT PLACE. Then my dad got sick so I made over a hundred trips back up there over a 3 year period to spend as much time as I could with him. Once he died I vowed to go back as infrequently as possible. Less than a year later I ended up starting my band Tragedy and, as luck would have it, Boston become our 2nd biggest city to play in the USA. I couldn’t fucking escape that city. But I did my best. Pretty much every time Tragedy would play up there me and Phil aka Barry Glibb would drive through the night back to NYC right after the gig. I might have to perform in Boston, but I sure as shit didn’t have to wake up there.
Wonder why I hated it so much? I like to call it “Kentucky on the Charles” For all the smarty pants universities they got there it’s home to more ignorance and overt racism than anywhere else I’ve ever been north of the Mason Dixon. And everyone up there has small dick syndrome. How else can you explain them rallying behind the Red Sux and hating the Yankees so much. They know they are living in a city that by any reasonable measurement is NYC-on-training-wheels. It’s funny – I never really hated it until I left. I mean I knew I didn’t wanna grow old there, but once I left for the first time I knew there was no way I was gonna stick around any longer than I had to. When I was 11 or 12 I asked my mom one day why the people on TV didn’t sound like we did. That’s when I learned about accents. I started a years long commitment to pronounce my Rs and not make one syllable words into two syllables. Still, every now and then if I’m really fuckin’ drunk or really fuckin’ tired I’ll lapse back into Masshole mode and talk like Mahky Fahkin Makh in the Depahted!
So why do I hate it? Maybe it’s because for a good stretch every time I went back there I would end up in some sort of fight or physical altercation. Like the time I was fag-bashed in a pool hall for having long hair and wearing red pants. “Only fahkin faggots from Noo Yawk think they can wear red pants in Bahstin!” was the last thing I remember hearing that night. Thank God Stitch was there to save my ass. Best best friend ever! There were way too many nights like that.
The last straw though was when I went back for my grandfather’s funeral. Afterwards I needed to get drunk so me and Stitch met up in Cambridge and then finally ended up on Landsdowne Street – pretty much the last place you should go drinking – nothing but clubs and bars and drunken douche canoes. Me and Stitch tied one on and were having a great time until last call when a bouncer ended up yanking a beer from my hand as I was trying to finish it. That’s how they do it up there. We spilled out on to the street with the rest of the Yah-Doods and made our way towards the train. Just after we crossed the the bridge over the Mass Pike and were about to hit Kenmore Square a car pulled up behind us and someone opened their door into Stitch’s back violently knocking him to the ground. As I turned around to try and figure out what the fuck had just happened I got punched in the face and then knocked to the ground by two guys. I managed to get up and punch one of the dudes in the face before I was overwhelmed and was getting the shit kicked out of me. Stitch never had a chance either and he was getting worked over by two more dudes. Almost as quickly as it started though, it was over. The police had rolled in and come to our rescue. Imagine that. At first I thought we were all gonna end up in the pokey for fighting so I started yelling to the cops “WE DIDN”T DO SHIT – THESE FUCKING GUYS JUST ATTACKED US FOR NO REASON!!! WE DIDN’T DO SHIT!!!!” The cop calmed me down and said “We know, buddy, we saw the whole thing. These guys are going to jail. You’re gonna be fine.” After we collected ourselves the cop asked me if I could make a quick ID of one of the the guys who attacked me. I said sure so he brought me over to a patrol car and shined a flashlight into the window and illuminated a guy with is FACE SMASHED and covered in blood. I said “Yup that’s the asshole. Did I do that to him???” The cop laughed and said “Nah. When I pulled him off you he turned around and took a swing at me so I let him have it. That’s assault on a police officer. A big no no.” The cops asked us if we wanted to press charges and we said “Absofuckinglutely” I’m certainly no stranger to getting my ass kicked and I would never involve the cops for losing a fight I entered into willingly. But being jumped from behind, and attacked with a fucking car no less, by these four dip-shits was certainly grounds to see a little courtroom justice.
I went back to Boston a few months later for their trial. I ended up recognising one of our assailants at the coffee cart outside the courthouse so I approached him and let him know who I was and told him that the one thing I wanted to know was why. Why had they picked us out to attack? The dude closed his mouth faster than all his past dates closed their thighs when he made his move. His lawyer then told me I shouldn’t be talking to him. I guess pussies hire pussy lawyers. I wonder if there is a category for that in the Boston yellow pages.
Inside the courtroom Team Surprise Attack all pled guilty and then the judge asked if either me or Stitch wanted to say anything before he sentenced them. I raised my hand so fast I almost punched a hole in the ceiling! I got up there and let the judge know how I felt. I was pressing so strongly for him to give them jail time that he had to tell me to clam down and finally threatened me with contempt of court for telling him how I thought they needed to be sentenced. On my way back to our seats I had to pass by the dudes, so I got real close and slowed my roll when I was by the dude from the coffee cart and I leaned towards him and whispered “You’re my bitch.” I was really hoping he would lose it and punch me right then and there. But cowards never attack when confronted, do they? Only when they have the advantage. What a fahkin’ kweeyuh that guy wuz!
Tragedy ended up playing up in Boston well over dozen times between 2008 and 2012 and I never felt totally comfortable being in that city. After the shows we would hang out at the merch table and sign and sell shit and talk to our fans. We always got a lot of request to pose for pics. The irony was never once lost on me that most of the dudes who were asking to get their picture taken with the crazy guy in spandex and glitter would have been more than happy to call me a faggot and kick my ass had I not just finished flaunting my junk onstage under the guise of rock n roll.
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I still really need to do something with THIS website.