Wednesday, May 2, 2012

how to party like a rockstar! my 18 year love affair with the Aquabats!

Saturday night I took my girls to a nightclub to see their Uncle rock the house with his guitar.  as i stood there, watching their faces light up with their hands in the air, i realized a dream was being fulfilled, a dream 18 years in the making. 
so, the year i graduated high school, one of my closest friends was dating a sometime-musician.  he invited us to come watch him play with his new band at a mutual friend's birthday party.  here are my memories of that night: many, many teens and young adults crammed into a family room, my friend being engaged to a Jet (of the band the Jets), a box full of Devo style hats being open, that cute guy from all the roadshows taking the mi, about 18 of his closest friends grabbing instruments.  these instruments included, guitar, bass, drums, horns, kazoos, pots and pans.  it was chaos, beautiful chaos.  and it was a little bit punk rock.  i had a blast. 

i went off to college, and the following summer a guy took me to a punk rock show.  as the band started to play i felt a sense of deja vu.  where have i heard this music before?  wait, these guys look familiar.  and it was then i discovered that the Aquabats were non other than that rag tag group of boys i listened to the previous summer.  after the show, we mingled with the band and we laughed about it's humble beginnings at Sammy Olsen's birthday party.  i spent most weekends in the summer of 1995 sweating it out in the pit of many an OC nightclub.  i saw the Aquabats play like 5 more times. 

shortly after arriving back at Santa Barbara for my Sophomore year, I saw a flier on a car announcing the Aquabats playing a show in Camarillo with a little known punk band Blink 182.  my friends and I planned to go.  then some of our friends back home called to say an old classmate had joined the Aquabats.  we all gathered together to welcome Chainshaw into the band.  he told us they were coming to Goleta a few weeks later, so my roommate and i offered her apartment if they needed to crash. 

after the Goleta show, Ali's roommates did not feel as amicable sweaty strangers crashing in their house, so we ended up sneaking Crash and the MC Bat Commander into the sorority house. (allegedly).  that one line makes this story sound a lot more sordid than it actually was.  years later, when i told Jason, he conjured up images co-eds in nighties having tickle-pillow fights and what not.  when in reality all we did was offer a couple guys a clean, warm room for the night. 

the Aquabats had a good couple of years.  went on tour, playing large shows like KROQ Weenie Roast.  having a song, Super Rad, hit the airwaves.  they were on Loveline.  this was big news back then.  i attended as many shows as possible. then i graduated, i heard some of the guys got married.  as law school started for me, my nights rocking at live punk shows slowed down proportionate to my time spent studying, in other words i didn't get out much.

my little sister picked up where i left off.  in high school, she would go with friends to see an Aquabats show here and there.  she would say hi to Chainsaw and the gang.  she reported back all the fun she was having.  years past.  then our other sister started Aquabat?  seriously, who?  turns out Chainsaw and moved on, and Eagle Bones Falconhawk and swooped in on guitar. 

when i passed on to Ian the old story of MCBC and Crash in the sorority house, he laughed.  he knew the story.  the one where 2 girls invite 2 guys in a band back to their sorority house, open the door to an empty bedroom and then say, "have a nice night."  i guess it's a pretty funny story actually!

turns out my old friend MC Bat Commander co-created a little show called Yo! Gabba Gabba!  the Aquabats had made some appearances on the show and interest was peaking once again in an Aquabats tv show.  now, i'd heard these rumors before.  in fact, i think the band has filmed multiple pilots over the years.  but now the dream is finally realized, and the Aquabats Super Show is on the air. 

so, as i stood there on Saturday night, rocking out to some new songs like Burger Rain and BRO, and even some from those long 18 years ago like, CD Repo Man, I couln't help but feel really, really, happy!  here are my children enjoying some of the same tunes i've enjoyed for years. 
 they are the neices, back stage, proudly cheering on their awesome Uncle Bones as he wails on some mean guitar solos!
 i so wish i had some photos of me at an aquabats show when i was merely a lass.  but these little lasses will have these memories.  staying up way past their bed time, meeting the entire band, eating Popsicles, for Anna going onstage for Pool Party!
 and handing out drawings they each made personally for each member of the band.  and a few for the band to share. 
it's been a fun, long, journey as a Aquabats fan.  this band really lives up to their song, "We don't stop, we never end!"  keep on rockin' Aquabats!


Castle Family said...

So fun to read that! :)

The Ethington Family said...

Great story! I actually saw the Aquabats for the first time in '95 at the Grand hotel by Disneyland. It was a huge young adult dance. I fell in love that night. I have listened to them all these years and have converted many to listen. I wear my Aquabats shirt from time to time and get comments about it when I am out. I was excited to learn about the new show.