Back in 1982, I met a handful of guys that would turn out to be my best friends for the next few years, Mike, Wes, Tim and Evan. Mike, Tim and Evan were into the whole Mod thing that was happening at the time, whereas Wes had a more rockabilly thing going on, and I, of course, was deeply into my punk and Oi.
I met Mike in shop class, and we hit it off, he had just moved here from New York, and had a really outgoing, brash attitude. He liked me, but didn’t think that I would hang out with him and his friends because they weren’t punk. So, for the next six months or so they would hire me to be security at their parties. They would pay a few bucks or they’d pay me in beer.
Over time all five of us would be inseparable. We’d stay over each other’s house, and one crazy weekend Wes and I would steal his parents sail boat and go to Catalina for the weekend, more on that another time.
One night we all took the bus up to the movies on Van Nuys and Magnolia (I think), and the Mod guys had their parkas filled with weed and beer. So, by the end of the movie, everybody but me was tipsy – so I assumed the role of bodyguard. We now had to walk back to Wes’ place – from Van Nuys and Ventura to Louise and Ventura, one long ass walk. We didn’t bring enough bus money for the return trip. So here we are walking down Ventura at midnight during one of the worst winds that had ever hit the Valley, there are trees in the windows of every other office building we pass, including a few banks.
Midway through our trip Mike and Wes have wandered ahead of us by a block or so when a car-full of Taft High football players pull up along side if us and yell “What’s up, Fags?” As they pop out of their Mustang in an attempt to jump us, I reacted faster than I ever had in a situation like this in my life. I pushed Tim and Evan back, reached into my pocket and placed my keys between my fingers and started throwing haymakers. Two of the guys were on the ground when another yelled, “Bone out he’s got brass-knuckles!”
So, we compose ourselves, and figure it’s over. We watch the car, and see that it’s creeping up on Wes and Mike, so I yell ahead to warn them, but they’re too twisted to understand. So, Evan finds a shard of glass on the ground, and Tim picks up a 2 by 4 out of the gutter, and I go for my “brass-knuckles.” We catch these guys right as they are opening their car door. Evan kicks the door closed, Tim is jumping on the roof, and I start pulling the driver out of the window.
Wes and Mike are laughing; they have no idea what’s going on. Tim jumps down, and six guys in the car are all yelling to leave. They peel out, and spin into a donut on Ventura and Petit just as a cop car turns the corner, lights come on and they get pulled over. All five of us make it into Page’s coffee shop before the Taft guys can rat us out.
I guess once in a while a cop can come in handy.
– Last One To Die, 2011