Back when the Misfits Walk Among Us album first came out I had heard of the Misfits but was skeptical about buying any of their music. I wasn’t used to a “punk” band that was so heavily into their image. It seemed like one big pose. Then I heard them and dug them. Their energy backed their look. One of the guys from my high school, a guy named Al had this record and wanted this denim jacket that I had, so we made a trade. I took home a few albums and Al went to work cutting off the sleeves of the jacket and pinning a few patches on the back and he was ready to go.
When I popped this album on, as is the case with most music for me, the people you knew at that time kind of come back to you. In this case Al. Al was a guy I went to high school with that was also into punk. And with only a small group of people that were into punk at school, you just sort gravitated towards each other. Looking back, it’s hard to say if we were friends. We liked this music, so we, in 1982, became outcasts and because of this we hung out sometimes.
We didn’t hang out often, but when we did Al would show up at my house at weird times of the night with a young kid who was about 12, who everyone called Medfly. Medfly had a real tall Mohawk (Darby style) and always wore combat boots and had his skateboard with him. I remember one time they came by to hang out and listen to whatever new album I had picked up, and Motley Crue had just come out and I had their Leathur Records album, and Al and Medfly were seriously bummed, almost as if I had defected to the other side. So, I popped in a Fear bootleg tape that I had and everything was cheerful again. Al only liked Fear and the Dead Kennedy’s; he had no time for anybody else.
I had known Al for a few months when I came home late from school one day to find Al’s folks, with Al, sitting in my living room talking to my Mom about how Al was lazy and this whole punk rock vibe is messing up his life. They argued that he didn’t have a job; he argued that he needed a car in order to get a job. I just looked back and forth, getting annoyed because I didn’t know any of these whackos and my Mom knew them even less. This went on for about an hour, then both of his parents stood up and announced they were going to leave him here for a week to see if things worked better this way, then they left.
My mom was always incredibly cool to my “friends” and anybody else my brother or me brought around. So, Al stayed in our den for a week and then he didn’t want to leave. He came in one day and set up his stereo and put up all of his posters. I think he was hoping it was permanent. But it may sound bad on my part I didn’t want it to happen at all. I didn’t know Al that well and had never met his parents. So, I ended up in an argument, I believe, with Al – because the week came and went and he didn’t budge. This sort of made things uncomfortable between us. We’d see each other at school and just, sort of, nodded. I wasn’t ready for anybody else in our house, other than my music; we lead a nice quiet life, my mom, brother and me.
After Al graduated, one year before me, we didn’t see each other again. Years later I heard that he would roam Pierce College. None of the students knew if he attended the school or if he was just hanging out there. And even a couple of people that would recognize him were reluctant to approach him because he was always seen talking to himself.
– Last One To Die, 2011