joannebest











bowie rip 1.11.16
“Oh no love, you’re not alone”
I’m finding it hard to string a sentence together right now, unexpectedly choked up about someone I never met and I know I’m not alone.
Rock stars come and go, they influence us, they encourage us, they lift us up when we’re down and make us cry when we need an excuse to reveal our emotions. They can define us, give us something to cling to when we are lost and broken, give us something to hold on to when we are frozen and can’t take one more step forward.
David Bowie captured everything we freaks suffered every day and welcomed us, encouraged us, gave us a place to drift to when we were overwhelmed and alone.
He wrapped his words around us and let us know we weren’t alone, influenced generations, kicked opened closet doors and told us, “it ain’t easy” but it’s worth it, we can let our freak-flag fly high and proud, and it was alright, we could all be rock and roll stars.
Growing up in suburban New Jersey wasn’t always easy if you didn’t fit the cookie cutter mold of a blue-collar town but David Bowie gave us a glimpse into what life could be like if we just stayed true to ourselves and didn’t worry about the whisperings behind closed living-room curtains when we walked down the street.
He showed us we were all limitless, we really could touch the stars if we just reached out and shrugged off the mud slung our way. He gave us courage, strength when we needed it most, there at the tip of our fingers and the drop of a needle on vinyl.
Inspiration to become ourselves.
Nearly every band I’ve loved has, at one time or another, done their own version of a David Bowie song, including my own band. Standing onstage singing a Bowie song was a rite of passage in my circle of friends, a sign to everyone that yes, I’m a freak too, just like you, and isn’t it grand?
No-one but his closest friends and family knew he had cancer, so the world woke up to a gut-punch this morning. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was awakened by a text or phone call from a dear friend telling me the terrible news that Ziggy Stardust was no longer with us here on earth.
Rest in peace Mr. Bowie, you are now a true star, a starman waiting in the sky, making the Heavens glow brighter, a celebration of music left behind in your wake.
And all the children will continue to boogie, for you taught us all, we are not alone.
Watch me now….



dbcb
And that was the first time I saw my Mother punch my boyfriend in the face.
Let’s put it in reverse and start from the beginning, shall we?
It started out innocently enough. Sometimes, Lori and Mark and Bobby and I did what passed for entertainment in Sayreville back in the day, we drove around town with a six-pack or two blasting really cool, mostly obscure music also known as Punk Rock and it’s roots. The New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, Silverhead, Mott The Hoople, The Stooges, The Sweet to name a few, as well as Ramones, Dead Boys, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, Heartbreakers, you know, all the good stuff.
There wasn’t much to do around town, the drinking age had just been raised (I was grandfathered in so I was able to drink at 18) but there wasn’t a rock scene to speak of much closer than New York City.
I have no idea who came up with the harebrained scheme but it wasn’t me. I think.
One minute Lori was dropping us off one at a time at our respective houses, next thing I know she and I were back in her little Volkswagen sneakily on our way to CBGB’s.
Without our boyfriends.
Well, it’s not like any of us were engaged or anything.
It was a Friday night, but there wasn’t anything big going on at CBGB’s that night band-wise. There weren’t a lot of people there but the ones who were there were the crème de la crème, at least in my big blue eyes.
I remember sauntering in, Merv in his yellow hardhat near the door giving us the nod that meant ‘walk right in and sit yourself down’ as Lori and I walked in, looking for an empty seat at the bar. I figured we should go say hi to Cosmo but it wasn’t to be.
That’s about the time I felt a leather-clad arm wrap around my waist and pull me in, planting a kiss on me while ruffling my hair.
It was him.
I mean THE Him, as in Steve, the man/boy I lost my virginity to.
Yeah, I know, everyone called him Stiv but his name was Steve and he was the lead singer for my favorite band, The Dead Boys.
*Sorry Mama, I can’t censure myself, and besides, it’s not like it’s a big secret! Besides also, remember, you went out with musicians before you got married too, so apples and trees.*
I guess it was Rock Star Night because Cheetah Chrome and some of the rest of the Dead Boys were there, as well as Joey Ramone, a bunch of roadies and other bands but the truth is all I knew was Stiv pulled me on his lap and talked me into sipping his Margareta (I hate tequila!) and my mind went blank. In my defense I was only 18 with a history of nearly zero boyfriends… yes I know, Bobby, but we were dating, we weren’t exclusive yet (um, I think).
I was young, innocent, inexperienced, infatuated, and my Rock Idol was asking me to come back to The Diplomat Hotel with him and a few of his friends for a bit.
Lori, in the meantime, had managed to hook up with Joey Ramone in her tiny little Volkswagen. I was on my own for awhile anyway so away we went.
One of the best parts was sitting in the back seat of Stiv’s friend’s car singing along to Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. Well that and his hand on my leg, but I digress.
We hung out for awhile as they all snorted coke and I said “no thank you” then went back to CB’s within in hour.
Lori was gone.
She left me in New York alone.
She left me in New York alone and we were on a sneaky mission!!!
I was so dead.
~
I guess I have to weigh the good against the bad, so the good outweighs the bad, at least in my memory.
Imagine, you’re 18 years old and the Rock Star you lost you virginity to a few months ago hails a cab and brings you back to his room at The Diplomat Hotel to sleep over and take a train home the next morning. Imagine lying next to him while he plays Iggy Pop’s Kill City over and over, you know, the one with the song “Johanna” (which my Mother really wanted to name me), imagine him saying all the right things, recognizing and acknowledging my innocence, talking and treating me gently and sweetly (at least that time and I really am going to Hell aren’t I?), as he continued to do for years. But again, I digress.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it, but I should have known.
After sitting with Stiv making phone calls (no cell phones back then kiddies) to make sure someone could pick me up at the bus station I hopped in a cab, got on a bus where I proceeded to tell a complete stranger my entire night and finally, there was my friend and savior, JB (RIP), waiting to pick me up.
He dropped me off in front of my house and like a scene from an Afternoon School Special about abusive boyfriends, Bobby’s car came flying down the street and I mean flying. He slammed on his brakes and sprang out of his car, hand around my upper arm pulling me into his car, screaming at me incoherently.
That’s when it happened.
My Mother, the one I’d lied to by telling her I was sleeping over a girlfriend’s house, flew out of the house, grabbed my other arm yanking me away from Bobby and then she let loose with an Irish Temper fueled punch right to his face.
I’m not talking ethics or morals or who was right or wrong, but let me tell you, it’s kinda awesome to see your Mom punch somebody in the face on your behalf when they deserve it. And Bobby deserved it, as you’ll find out…to be continued…
punch
AUTHORS NOTE: I wrote this bit for the daily prompt, but in all honesty, I’ve got a WIP going on offline, non-fiction, because you know me, it’s all about me, me, me! Right? (be careful how you answer that) Point is, I guess this is kinda a first draft of something I have up my sleeve because after all, they say write what you know and what do I know better than my past? Especially since it really was pretty awesome!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/daily-prompt-lets-go-crazy/

Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IMPULSE.



et cetera