Unlike he, I had by then passed the Bauhaus test, you see.
Having previously purchased, initially hated, then grown to respect and finally admire their seminal album “Mask,” I was already well versed in the true nature, flavor and potential of what would eventually be coined as “alternative music.”
My little brother, however, had no such tutelage, no such pedigree. And as a result, he revolted in a sulking fashion over the tape that I had just purchased and listened to via my Walkman – the sort that came complete with TWO headphone jacks – as we traversed over the bridge that brought us back from “The Falls” (Niagara, that is) to good old Buffalo. The tape in question was DEVO’s “Duty Now For The Future,” and the track that finally made Alex pull the minimally foam-covered plastic hubs from his ears in disdain, was track # 7 – better known as “S.I.B.” – or “Swelling Itching Brain,” to those of you who aren’t fluent in the Devolutionary tongue.
I liked it – connected with it – because it spoke to me on a wholly different level than my usual punk rock fare. In lieu of the generic anger, frustration, and pissitude I was used to, this went far deeper in. It went to the core of my hurt. The connect of my disconnect. The point of my pain. The feeling of my feeling of being all alone in a world full of people, all of whom were trying very hard to ignore the fact that they were all alone. You see, those silly Spuds from a planet wholly foreign – known simply at the time as “oHIo” – in some ways knew me far better than even did the biological life forms who shared DNA with me, and the same car, as it and we traversed a bridge between The Falls (of Niagara) and The Depths (of Buffalo.)
And of those Spuds, Bob 2 was one of them.
Much like his other fallen cohort, drummer Alan Myers, Bob 2 spoke to me, even though he never knew me. And much like the other three gentlemen still standing today – those who felt that wearing flowerpots atop their heads and toilet seats round their necks was their best option in order to avoid becoming “plugs without sockets” – Bob “2” Casale helped me to understand that while I still was all so terribly alone, I wasn’t quite so “all so terribly alone” as I imagined.
Now, to my continued melancholy, I learned that Bob died last week at the age of 61 due to sudden heart failure (see, it’s NOT always drug abuse, you know). He now joins one other Spud, three (or is it more?) Ramones, a whole slew of New York Dolls and Joe Strummer of The Clash in what could be presumed to be the BESTEST band that Heaven has ever heard.
And as with all the rest, I cry a little bit more with each passing. Not so much because he (or any of the others) is merely gone – I mean, as noted before, I didn’t even know the guy, after all – but because I appreciate that he opened windows for me that no one else could’ve. That he let me know, at a time when it was most important, that I too could “rip away the gates of steel.”
So rest in peace, Bob Casale. Rest in peace, Bob 2. Thanks for the knowledge you shared with me. For the record, I totally understood – and will now forever miss – your unique potato.
About the Author:
She calls me “Tweetless” because I suffer from a Twitter deficiency. In fact, other than WordPress and Facebook, I’m pretty much a social media recluse all together. I am however, as I like to call it, a Wanna-be Writer who “writes weakly, thrice-weekly.”
Mostly fiction and flash-fiction, I intersperse these two with a smattering of pieces on musical history, culture and memories. You may also find me doing what I would term an “inspirational piece” now and again, though most others would likely just call these works “woe-is-me mope-abouts.”
As well as that, I am the father to three beautiful, smart, and wholly pain-in-the arse children (side note: normally I would never use the word “arse,” but in writing the bio, I felt it’s use made me sound much more “continental.”) All three of whom have provided me with much more joy than sorrow – much more love than pain. So I suppose I’ll keep them around.
If you’d care to dig deeper into my writing weakly, thrice-weekly, or just want to see what’s currently floating about in my head – pop on over to http://aslongasimsinging.wordpress.com