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07/31/2007: "there's a club if you'd like to go"

in 1986 i was 16. i had just moved from Baton Rouge, La to Kingwood, TX. Kingwood is a suburb on the Northern edge of Houston, often referred to as Deadwood amongst the kids.

i was lucky in my move: though new to Kingwood, i was very familiar with Houston; my mom lived in the center of Houston (The Heights) and i had been visiting her every two week since i was ten or eleven (a condition of my parents divorce when i was six). so although i had little in the scope of friends in Kingwood, i knew Houston like the back of my hand and felt comfortable navigating its depths.

when i arrived in Kingwood in 1986 i was a junior. i had spent the last several years in private, Baptist schooling in Baton Rouge and was pretty green. i was also just hitting my growth spurt, dropping my early teen baby fat as i mysteriously grew two inches in what seemed like two months.

Kingwood High School was a whole new world for me. i left a high school where i knew everyone - i mean everyone: the teachers, principals, lower classmates, upper classmates, parents; the whole damn school had about 200 people in it. i was #4 in my class of about 50. my class in Kingwood had over 800. the school was like an airport in size. and the school had one of everything: jocks, heads, gays, goths, punks, skaters, nerds, dweebs, dorks…i was so far behind the curve, i didn't even fit into one of the last three of those.

but i semi-skateboarded and i wore my bangs long, a la Tony Hawk and Mike McGill during that era. heck, i had an original Tony Alva deck, purchased at Houston's only "pro" skate shop - Surf House on Ella. so while awkward and friendless, i had potential.

about a year before my move i was lucky enough to stumble into the burgeoning club scene in Houston. i was also lucky that as a resident of Louisiana, i had a driver's license at fifteen. oh, and lucky my mom in all her wisdom would let me go willy-nilly around Houston in her car as long as i came home "around" midnight. thanks mom.

so in 1986 i already knew of Houston's club scene. and the music scene. while i think the advance state of my music was the usual Top 40 fodder, i knew where Record Rack was and at least was interested.

somehow at Kingwood High i befriended two nice guys: Chris and Greg. Girbauds were in, as were tight-rolled jeans and such designers as Byblos and Willie Smith. Greg and Chris clued me into life in Kingwood. and luckily my mom allowed me to foolishly spend tons of money on trendy clothes, which would allow me to somewhat fit in with my classmates.

the three of us would go every weekend into Houston, to clubs like NRG, Therapy, Power Tools, and #s. i developed a sense of rhythm and even better, a sense of music. goth, alternative, anything on 4AD or IRS....

somehow, even though the scene was mobbed up with drugs and alcohol, i managed to hold off until i hit college. that said, i know that for many these songs will stir memories of wigging, frying, or just being blasted drunk.

while i could make a list three times as long, i wanted a few songs that would fit on a CD, the ones that reminded me most of that era from 1986-1998 or so. a great majority of these were staples at #s. i have loving memories of each night closing down with The Smith's "How Soon Is Now." and although not on this list, i remember the night Al Jourgensen stopped by to give Bill his studio copy of "Beers, Steers, and Queers," a song supposedly penned for Bill and about the Houston club scene. #s always did like to spin Ministry, even the With Sympathy stuff.

anyway, hit the jump for my walk down memory lane....


1. Sensoria - Cabaret Voltaire
2. Lucretia My Reflection - Sister of Mercy
3. Cities in Dust - Siouxsie and The Banshees
4. Kooler Than Jesus - My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult
5. Headhunter, vol. 1.0 - Front 242
6. Attack Ships On Fire - Revolting Cocks
7. Stigmata - Ministry
8. Away - The Bolshoi
9. Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy
10. Din Daa Daa - George Kranz
11. Desire (Come and Get It) - Gene Loves Jezebel
12. Blue Monday - New Order
13. She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
14. How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths

Replies: 1 Comment

Holy cow, thanks for making me feel old! I had some times at Numbers, NRG, and Power Tools. Geez even those names are so nostalgic.
-Gavin

Man, I'm old said @ 08/02/2007 12:52 PM CST


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