A Mostly Fictional Account of a True Story: 7 Seconds August 19, 1987

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                    We pull into a 7-11 for directions.  The talk in the car for the last 10 minutes has been about whether or not Old Wadsworth and Wadsworth are the same street.  We need directions bad; the sun is down, and we are sure that we have missed the start of the show.  My brother’s friend, who happens to look like Jack Diddley from Suburbia, goes in for help.  Another of my brother’s friends asks me if I put deodorant on before the show.  I nod my head and smile.  I have a crush on him that is hard to hide.  He tells me he didn’t put on deodorant.  What’s the point?  We’re going to get all stinky at the show anyway.

                The guy that looks like Jack races out of the store.  We’re close to the show, closer than we thought at least, and he is certain he can get us there now.  The atmosphere in the car relaxes a little, but I’m still in knots thinking we’re going to be late.

                It’s dark as we pull in to where we think the show is.  There’s a fence in the middle of the parking lot and one dim streetlight near a small building.  This place is so desolate; I can’t believe we are still in Denver.  There are a few punks outside.  My brother and his friends start talking loud.  We found the right place, and as I open my door, I hear music playing.  I hope it’s not 7 Seconds already.  I am wearing a watch, but I don’t want to look at it and find out that we’ve been driving around for 2 hours looking for this place.  The music must be coming from an opening band.  I didn’t get a flyer for the show.  My brother asked if I wanted to go this afternoon, so I don’t know who is playing besides 7 Seconds. 

                We walk up to the door.  I’m last.  I don’t have a friend with me, so I’m just tagging along with my brother and his friends.  This doesn’t happen much now that we’re teenagers.  This is the August that I start high school.

                I give the door guy my $6, and he stamps my hand.  There’s no actual ticket for this show.  It feels secretive. 

                Inside, there are maybe 60-75 people.  I don’t estimate well, maybe there are only 50 people.  Whatever the number, it doesn’t seem like a lot to me.  The music is loud.  My stomach is in knots, the knots that come with excitement.  My brain keeps yelling “I am at the fucking 7 Seconds show!”  So much so that I don’t care that I’m alone.  At 14, I don’t really know anything, but at this moment I know that being here is fucking rad.

                The band on stage is called End of Story according to my brother.  They are in the middle of their set.  The music is fast, and I can’t understand the singer, but I can feel the energy.  It’s in my chest.  I’m still hanging back and unsure what to do with myself.  I certainly don’t want to come across as a fool.  Can people tell I’m a little sister?  I’m standing awkwardly listening to my brother and his friends talk at the tops of their voices about where they are going to stand. The band is set up in the corner on the floor.  I’m short; it’s hard to see.

                I’m watching the pit from the middle of the room; my brother and his friends walk off to a corner.  I see tables and boxes there, not people.  I fear being left behind.  This place isn’t mine yet.  I’m so nervous, what will I do if I have to go to the bathroom?           

                Walking over to where my brother is, a song ends, and the singer starts talking to the crowd.  I take off my flannel and put it on a pile of other jackets and flannels.  I feel kinda naked without it.  My black and metal bracelets start to feel cool on my wrists.  End of Story finishes their set as my brother and his friends stand a few feet away from me looking cool.  The crowd begins to disperse almost immediately from around the band; I hear clapping and yelling.  I see only 5 or 6 other girls.  They are all older and bigger than me.  I can see their confidence as clear as their dyed hair. 

                My brother and his friends walk off and leave me to watch the jackets.  I wish I were more outgoing.  There are a lot of cute boys here - boys with long blonde bangs, boys with green hair, boys with mohawks standing straight up, boys with mohawks laying down, boys in flannels, boys with flannels tied around their waists, boys in leather jackets, combat boots, converse, and army jackets.  They clearly have good taste in music; I just need to strike up a conversation, but I know I won’t. 

                I climb on top of the table next to me, and I see some new guys start to set up their equipment as EOS walks their equipment out.  They’re quick, and I’m alone.  When the music starts, I’m too scared to even move.  I have no confidence in myself and this scene isn’t mine yet.  A few songs in, I stop looking for my brother and his friends.  I’m always interested in watching what other people are doing.  It’s obnoxious, so I look at the floor next to me.  “Young Til I Die” begins, and I hop down from the table I’m standing on.   I’m alone in the back of the show dancing.  I’m fucking dancing at the 7 Seconds show and singing as loud as I can along with them and everyone else here.

                I’m already out of breath as Kevin announces “Not Just Boys Fun” and then blasts into it.  I’m screaming.  I see the pit change; the boys move out and the few girls move in.  There’s no way I’m ready to go there.  Next show maybe.  I sing along, but I’m getting lost because it’s going so fast.  I’m smiling.  I’m fucking smiling, and the butterflies in my stomach are gone.  This, this time is now mine.

                The show ends, unbelievably, the show comes to an end.  An old couple take the mic and thank us.  They say they loved having us.  Who are these people?  I’ve never heard adults talk to punks like this before.

                My brother and his friends find me awhile after the last song.  They’ve been talking to some other punks across the room.  I grab my stuff and go back to tagging along behind them only now I feel some sort of separation, some sort of confidence.  I don’t want to put my flannel on.  I am so sweaty and hot.  I tie it around my waist.  When I get outside, there is a shock of cold air.  I feel free.  I feel light.  We spill further out into the parking lot – all of us.  It’s beautiful; the sky is clear, and I know I have found home.

                In the car on the way back to Aurora, we are quiet.  I have nothing to show for being there.  My hand stamp will wash off soon enough.

This story is mostly fiction.  The show happened, we got lost, I didn’t have a friend with me, I clearly remember when 7 Seconds played “Not Just Boys Fun,” I remember the parking lot – how desolate it was there – I can still hear the chain link fence clink, I was there with my brother and at least two of his friends, and I stood on a table in the corner by myself.

                I have no clue what band was playing when we walked in.  It could have been End of Story, and it could have been Atomic Dilemma.  I saw both of those bands a ton in the years that followed.  Both bands were great, but I especially liked End of Story.  I struggled to listen to their recorded songs, but they’re shows were amazing.

                This 7 Seconds show was my 4th show, and the smallest venue yet.  I did not see another show at this American Legion, and I think that adds to the mystery of that night.  In my head, I know it was real, but it lives in this special place because it stands out.  My memory is bad, and a lot of shows blend together but this one stands alone. 

                I don’t remember asking my parents if I could go to the show.  I don’t remember my brother asking me if I wanted to go.  I didn’t even remember that I had a flyer for the show until I found it in my basement a year or so back.  I feel like I picked the flyer up at the show.  Clearly there are driving directions on it, so I really don’t think we had it prior to the show.  Part of me wants to check out Google street view and what this place looks like now.  I think that might ruin my fading memory though.   

                The photo above is of my early show tickets.  Note the 7 Seconds ticket is just a torn piece of paper, and it doesn’t say 7 Seconds on it.  I wrote 7 Seconds on it in yellow highlighter.  Apparently that shit disappears after 27 years.  How was I supposed to know?

                The quilt is coming together quicker than expected.  There are a few things that I need to get worked out still.  Like how in the world I am going to quilt the center of it.  The appliqué this time around is really pretty.  This 7 Seconds quilt will be a two sided quilt, and I still need to figure out how to match the two sides.  What was I thinking?


                The Summer of No Pants 2014 has begun, and I am pantless!  I will be working on and posting pictures of new skirts and dresses while I work on the quilts this summer.  I may post some more stories too. 

                As I was surfing YouTube, I found this awesome video of End of Story.  Check it out. 



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