In high school, I resembled actor Matt Dillon, with my dark brown hair, thick eyebrows, and good looks. And, that resemblance always worked well for me. I often didn’t even need lines to meet cute girls, just a glance or a smile did the trick. So, in high school, my ego had become inflated. I graduated in 1984, and, carried that ego with me to college at Bowling Green State University in 1986, where I also discovered punk rock. However, because my looks had worked so well, I never embraced the punk style, just the music.
My closest friend, in the summer of 1987, was Michelle, who I had known since high school. We both had a passion for music, but, she was a hair metal chick, and I was a punk rock dude. She dragged me to several of her favorite band’s concerts, and I dragged her to some of mine. The first concert we saw from a punk band that I loved was The Replacements, who were promoting their 1987 album Pleased To Meet Me (pictured above). They were my favorite band, then, and one of my all-time favorite bands, now. Their song “Left of the Dial” is responsible for my discovery of punk rock. It changed my life.
The Replacements show, that summer, was at the Cleveland Agora, and Michelle and I made our way to our seats early, with the house lights still on. Sitting in front of us were two very cute girls, teenagers, maybe 17 or 18. I was 21 that summer. They were adorable, girl-next-door types, with dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, and killer smiles. They may have been friends, or sisters. The one on the right had her hair tied back in a ponytail. A few minutes later, Ponytail Girl left her seat. She returned five minutes later with a poster of the album cover pictured above, one of the many that were hanging in the lobby.
“Hey,” the scraggly guy next to me said to the girls who turned, facing him. “Can you get one of those for me?” he asked. “No, not for you,” Ponytail Girl denied without even considering his proposition, and, turned away. I wanted one of those posters, and my ego told me that Ponytail Girl would get it for me. “Hey,” I said to them, and, they turned, facing me. I smiled. “Will you get one of those for me?” I asked, confident that with that poster I would also get her name and phone number. Ponytail Girl smiled her killer grin back at me, then looked at her friend/sister, seemingly contemplating my request. Then, they looked at my friend Michelle, who was sitting next to me. Michelle forced a brief, sarcastic smile at the girls. Ponytail Girl glanced back at me. “No, not for you either,” she said, sadly, then, her and her friend/sister turned away, giggling.
Michelle was a good friend, but, she sucked as my wingman.