Whenever I see the Rancid logo I get a funny feeling. And I’ll think back to this long-lost night around 1990. I was hanging out at this little xerox shop on Fulton just up from Shattuck. My punk rock friend David worked there, and he printed up 400 copies of my Twisted Image newsletter every month for free, when the boss wasn’t looking. So I was killing time waiting for David to finish up the job.
This other young punk kid was at another one of the xerox machines. He had a crude, hand-drawn logo for this new punk band he had just started. And he was printing up home-made stickers. He had a shaved head and a studded black leather jacket — the standard uniform back then. And all I could think of was:
“Sheesh. Just what the world needs. One more high school kid starting up yet another punk rock band. They’ll probably break up and be forgotten before they even get their first record out, just like the zillions of other punk bands before them.”
The guy’s name was Lint. And he was avid to talk to me, because I wrote a column for Maximum RocknRoll, a zine he probably had been reading religiously since it’s first issue. And because he was a friendly, out-going type. And because he had a sincere interest in anyone who was part of “the scene” (as we called it back then). And he was probably hoping I’d hype his new band in my column.
But I had just about zero interest in him or his band. I had been following the Punk Rock movement practically since the beginning, since the Sex Pistols in 1976. And I had already interviewed Johnny Rotten and Henry Rollins and Lee Ving and the other big stars of the punk rock movement. So by 1990 the whole thing had pretty much lost most of it’s fascination for me. Let alone some kid who had played in some band that played at this little club called the Gilman Street Project, which I also had zero interest in.
David’s girlfriend was also hanging around at the xerox shop that night. She was this incredibly beautiful young stripper who also wrote a column for Maximum RocknRoll. And she, too, was avid to talk to me. Mostly because I was good friends with David’s ex-girlfriend, the one he had been going out with right before her. And I think she viewed her as a potential rival. So she was avid to ply me for any information about her that I might have.
So every time Lint tried to talk to me, she would sort of rudely rebuff him. Like: “Hey kid, can’t you see that me and Ace are two very important people who write very important columns for Maximum RocknRoll and are trying to have a very important conversation. So will you butt out and go back to xeroxing your stupid logo for your nowhere band.” Ha ha.
Of course, Rancid would go on to becoming one of the best-selling punk bands of all time.
So the incident always reminded me of how a situation can have a certain meaning at the time. And then, years later, it can take on a completely different meaning.