Once a week, when I was in grade twelve, I was in charge of the music in the cafeteria during lunch. I’d play whatever I could find in my little collection of tapes: Chris de Burgh, The Cure, Anti Pasti, Charged GBH, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Sons Of Freedom, Judas Priest… and George Thorogood.
One night I was in my room making a mix-tape by the light of my flashlight and with the volume turned down so I wouldn’t disturb my brother or mother, when a lyric from Thorogood’s “Who Do You Love” popped out at me…
Just 22 and I don’t mind dying.
Something I do regularly is rewrite lyrics in my head, and in the moment I heard George yelling his line I rewrote it twice…
“Two .22’s and I don’t mind dying”, and; “222’s and I don’t mind dying”… as in the painkiller’s.
I like George’s version better, but since that night the number 222 has had this weird numerological meaning for me. For more than 22 years, thanks to my two rewrites, whenever I saw the number — the time, a license plate, the cost of a slice of pizza and a pop — I’d think about suicide.
Not whether or not I was going to do it in that moment, at least not all the time, but mostly just the concept. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without thinking about the number, then see it six times in one day and get a little freaked out…
Now when I see it — three times yesterday — I mostly just roll my eyes. But I’ll still occasionally think about suicide… about the influence those thoughts and feelings have had on my life. But mostly I’ll just say “oh, fuck off.” and keep walking.
But I do still notice the number, and I still assign a meaning to it… it’s weird how things like that will follow us around, how little connections get made and can’t be unmade.
So on this No Post Day these are my questions for anyone willing to play along… and remember, Jesus, Barack Obama and your inner child will hate you if you don’t answer.
Name two songs you would’ve played in your high school cafeteria if you were in charge of the DJ booth… bonus points if you leave a YouTube link.
Is there anything out there which reminds you you’re supposed to be thinking about suicide? (or, you know, other stuff than you had been thinking of.)
…oh, right. This is my 222nd post.
Back then two songs that I would have played would have been, Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top and Cum on Feel the Noise by Quiet Riot. Cause that’s what I was into.
While looking up those two videos I happened across this one by Tracey Ullman. The 80’s doing the 50’s. Sweet.
Songs I DID play in my high school lunch room-anything by Atari Teenage Riot (likely a reaction to stopping my LSD consumption) or the entire Blue Room record by the Orb (I think it’s the blue room)
Messes make me think of suicide, in that weird, fenced in on lithium way. Metaphor for my entire life-an extended mess I can’t get a grasp on.
This comment has taken more than an hour to write because I got so caught up in nostalgia and youtubes. I think I probably would have gone with Annie Lennox – No More I Love You’s and Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds version of Ants Marching from the Live at Luther College album. I couldn’t find a youtube of that version but I found a clip from Storytellers. The music starts around 4:58. I remember watching this episode in highschool.
I came across this youtube while looking for Ants Marching. I know you like Bela Fleck so I thought I’d pass it along…
Have you seen The Number 23? I love the movie but they should have gone with the alternate ending.
…I always make a wish at 11:11… I can’t remember when or why that started.
Life is a Lemon, and I want my money back.
Remy Zero – Fair (It makes me happy in a sad way)
and .. Transport trucks remind me that I’m supposed to be thinking about it.
Thanks for the Tracey Ullman, BPL, I always liked that song… not that I would have admitted it back in the day. ZZ Top (Zed Zed Top) were a favourite of mine, their videos were partially responsible for my inevitable sleeping disorder. And Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health” was a favourite of mine for a long time… probably still is really.
Thor… I really, really should have heard of Atari Teenage Riot before now. It is totally beyond me why I haven’t heard their sound before. I was into punk, metal and industrial and ATR seems to have fused them all together. Crazy. The Orb have definitely always been cool.
I agree… stupid mess.
Thanks for the Bela, Little Sister… I do likes me some banjo. I stayed away from “23”, I saw a couple of bad reviews and figured it wasn’t worth the effort. But if you liked it… I might rent it. I know the recent Nic Cage movie about numbers and disasters was another snapshot of the free-fall that is his career.
I like your 11:11 thing… it was 5:55am when I wrote that. Spooky.
Hi Soire, thanks for the Meat. I always liked him, but never owned an album. I really should have picked up Bat Out Of Hell by now. Garden State had a great soundtrack, I bought it for my mother…
Transport trucks are interesting… as a passenger I’ve been staring into their axles since I was a kid, and yeah, there’s a certain moth to a flame aspect to them.
I added everyone’s suggestions to my YouTube account playlists. Thanks.
Dude, I think you’re officially the only guy on the planet who DOESN’T own a copy of Bat out of Hell. He does magic with Steinman’s horrid lyrics.
I would have played She Ain’t Pretty and something by Rush. Maybe Subdivisions.1
Back in the day, I would have played Painkiller
by Judas Priest and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Every time I see a building over 6 stories tall I think about how to gain roof access so I could jump off. I also think about swerving into transport trucks…I probably won’t mention that to my shrink!
Subdivisions… wow. Hi Justin. That was one of those songs where, when it played, there’d be that quick moment of “oh yeah!”, then we’d start bobbing our heads and continue smoking our cigarettes and drinking our beer and plotting our next attack against Australia. Fuck I miss Risk. Did you ever play ‘multiple board Risk’?
I like She Ain’t Pretty… but the Northern Pike’s weird happy-go-lucky song about a chick with alcoholism was my favourite.
My favourite non-punk Canadian band back in the 1985-88 time frame was The Box…
Hi Detached, your comment got caught in the spam… personally I’d send a letter of complaint to Askimet. Nirvana (Nevermind: 1991) happened a couple of years after I quit high school… Sons Of Freedom were as close as I got to grunge in high school, they were from Vancouver and were an influence on a lot of the grunge bands.
Other than the obvious — big, heavy, fast, permanent — I wonder what is it about transport trucks…
Try these two:
From “Women And Children First”
And the coolest metal song ever… caution, contains boobs and Canadians: Helix
There is NOTHING cool about Helix. Nothing.
C’mon Thor… give me an R… then an O, and now a C, you know you want to, and lets finish with a K… now, what have you got?
ROCK. And what are we going to do? That’s right…