Friday, May 20, 2011

Kiss Me …

The Green Day tour has come to Osaka, Japan. Aaron Cometbus, old friend from the early days and longtime chronicler of the punk scene (& theorist), was invited to come along and write about the experience. Japan is the last country on the Asia tour. For the first time everybody parties together. It’s a small bar and musicians and crew fill the tiny dance floor. One of the Green Day guys takes over the DJ booth to play “scathing, straightforward punk.” The party gets a bit crazy with more than one injury, but the spirits, Aaron insists, remain high and friendly. There is a pause as a song winds down then:

Billie motioned me to join him on the dance floor. Over speakers came the notes that never fail to give me goosebumps: the opening chords of the greatest song of all time, ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ by Generation X.

Dancing in the middle of a maelstrom was different than with just one person in the middle of the room. I deferred, but Billie knew me better than that. ‘Please drag me out onto the dance floor’ is what I really meant.

He did, and everyone else gave us space.

I’d needed to shake off the self-consciousness and lethargy … Touring with Green Day had been great because I got to dance – but only to the band, not with them. Once upon a time, Billie and I had danced together at every show. …

Dancing together was sexy, it was sweet. It was everything that friendship – and being on tour – should be. It was the prom night I’d never had, done right. …

As the song concluded, [Billie] wrapped me in his arms, leaned over, and gave me a long and tender kiss.

Does it matter that Billie Joe Armstrong has a wife back home (does it matter when he kisses girl fans on the stage?) or that Aaron has a girlfriend?

Jon Ginoli of Pansy Division says that when they were invited to open for Green Day on the first tour after Green Day released its major label debut the Green Day boys all said they were bi. That doesn’t seem to manifest in a boyfriend for any of them, but it does say they are more healthily open than so many who lock down thoughts & feelings they think they’re not supposed to have. And in some cases, as in Aaron’s account, a man can demonstrate affection physically that’s tenderer far than the usual het boy punch on the arm.

source: Cometbus #54: In China with Green Day by Aaron Cometbus


Art Durkee said...

Pansy Division rules!

I have a lot of affection for queer punk and homocore groups. And just for the generally open-minded amongst the punks.

And then there's Suck Pretty, the NYC avant-punk band led by Chris Cochrane, which is like punk meets the musical avant-garde. Great stuff.

And then CRI released two CDs of "Gay American Composers" that is worth checking out.

I've played in a bunch of punk bands, and even a queerpunk band. I may be an old musical fart at this point, but punk still has my loyalty. It's the whole DIY attitude. Dude!

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I'll keep an ear out for Suck Pretty.

I do look out for gay musical artists.

What are the names of the bands you've been a part of? Do you list 'em on your website?

Art Durkee said...

One of them was QPT:

(on my website, obviously)

it was the only band for which I also wrote all the lyrics, and sang. Or recited. Or whatever it is that I sort of did. Punks singing isn't like opera, after all. LOL

Another one was called Rocket Scientists, sort of a geek-punk band. I have rehearsal tapes, but we never officially released anything. At some point I plan to digitize some of the best takes from some of the rehearsal tapes.

And then there was Data Rabies. LOL That wasn't technically queerpunk, although we were half straight and half queer and fully open-minded. There are two tracks on my main Music page, if you scroll down:

There were a couple of art-punk bands. You know the type, more experimental. More like Shriekback than the Sex Pistols. That sort of thing.