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10 Songs Indelibly Stamped Upon My Cortex - #4

2007-10-15 - 8:06 p.m.

The Amount Of Orange Juice I've Consumed In The Last 24 Hours: 2 gallons. My face = hot.

Quote:"D.A., what have I told you about keeping your spare turkeys in the woods?" - Zach, to D.A.

Today sucked. I had a head cold. My nose burned from the floor stripper fluid I kept inhaling all day, ("This is the least fun with a stripper I've ever had." - Z.F.), and then I came home to liquid plumber bonanzas. Awesome. But even more awesome?! Our next chapter in song associative wonderment!!

#4. Intergalactic - Beastie Boys

The Beatles came out with albums roughly every 3 weeks. Woody Allen comes out with a movie every Holiday long weekend. Dick Cheney burns down an orphanage of blind children every 45 minutes. The Beastie Boys? Not. quite. as. consistent. When I was in high school it seemed like the Beasties came out with an album every few years. This is because they did. After Paul's Boutique came out in 1989, Check Your Head followed in 1992, and Ill Communication quickly on the heels (at least for the Beastie Boys) scored my sophomore year in 1994. Well, at least when I was hanging out with Jimbo. And then we graduated high school. And still no Beastie Boys album. And then we left for college. No Beastie Boys album. Then Jimbo had a party at his house in Bo Concord and I remember peeing in the upstairs bathroom and saw a recent Rolling Stone on the shelf. [Side Note: There was a glitch in Rolling Stone's billing department in the mid-90's and it was in Jimbo's favor. He received Rolling Stone for free in his Bates mailbox for roughly 4 years. Ask him about it sometime. Although, I don't know what he'll have to add. That's pretty much the whole story.] Anyway, I saw an article in it that said the Beastie Boys were finally back in the studio and should be releasing a new album soon. Then Chad jumped in the pool and there was much craziness. Then we started our sophomore year of college. Still no new Beastie Boys album. The summer between my sophomore and "junior" year saw me working at Patrick's Pub. (And Eatery). With Rick and assorted yabbos. I remember sitting home at Holman St. late one night, half asleep in the wicker chair and smelling like lemons and fish. The video for Barenaked Ladies' "One Week" came on. It was the first time I had ever seen/heard it. Man, now this was going to be the song of the summer. That was July 7th. One week later, on July 14th, Hello Nasty, Beastie Boys' 5th studio album was released. And with it, their first single from it, "Intergalactic". "One Week" would stay for the whole summer - but "Intergalactic" lingered much longer.

Now, not only did "Intergalactic" have the cache of being the Beastie's first single since "Root Down" in '95, but it was being featured on Sifl & Olly that summer as a favorite video of the boys, er - socks. And anyone who knows me recalls that the Summer of '98 was the Summer of the Sock. Incidentally, S & O premiered that July too. Man, July '98 was quite the pressure cooker for popular culture touchstones. So "Intergalactic" must remind me of Jimbo every time I hear it, right? Or Patrick's and Snorts and Michigan J. Frog? Or "Sifl & Olly"? Or the "Say Goodbye To Holman" party? No, no, no and sadly, no. It reminds me of none of these things. It reminds me of Marshall.

Marshall, or "Dave" as he was sometimes called, was one of the very first friends I made at UNH. Long before Coty and slightly before Frederick, Marshall was my sitcom worthy "crazy neighbor" my Freshman year at UNH. I remember several weeks into that first semester, after I became friends with him, that this would be my college best friend. The proverbial "college friend" that would embarrass me by telling my kids crazy stories about Frederick and I being forced into Mad Dog 20/20 drinking contests by Heath, getting my window handle stolen during the Green Bay/New England Super Bowl while it was snowing - WHILE the window was still open - and being forced to wear winter clothes to bed, and so forth and so on. And in theory, this worked. For a time. Marshall was my proverbial, and literal, "college friend". He needled me and I needled him but we were both ridiculous New Hampshire kids at a New Hampshire University, happy to be away from home, and for him - partying hardy for the first time, and for me - wondering why all these kids were going crazy about being able to drink for the first time. I mean, I was from Laconia. Much like Shania Twain, that don't impress us much. [I feel that last joke could have worked better if I had workshopped it longer.] By the time the Fall of '98 rolled around, Fred and Coty were better friends of mine than Marshall, but he and I were still tight. Or whatever word we were using to describe close friendship back then. Marshall would drive the two of us to class almost every morning (well, when I was actually going to class) and he would very, very, very often be playing "Intergalactic".

The lyrics to "Intergalactic" are fucking hilarious. As befitting many Beastie Boys songs. Here's a sampling of my favorite: "I am known to do the Wop / Also known for the Flintstone Flop". I have never known what the "Flintstone Flop" is (other than a way to set up the familiar, "let the beat . . . DROP", line) and I'm sure a quick perusal of Wikipedia could set me straight, but I prefer to not know. It's better that way. Also, "When I wrote graffiti my name was Slop," can only be a shout-out to my cousin Caleb. I mean, if not he, then who? Tell me - who? And of course, the fantastic, "I'll stir fry you in my wok" comes from "Intergalactic" as well. The best lyrics from "Intergalactic" though are the ones that are the most inscrutable. The oft-repeated lines, "Another Dimension, Another Dimension" were supposed by many to switch off and on between "Another Dimension" and "I have an erection". I question the most stout-hearted soul to listen to those lines and NOT hear, "I have an erection". Marshall and I certainly preferred the latter line reading.

This song is also near impossible to get out of your head for at least three hours after hearing it. Which is great if you like to constantly have words like, "wok", "lumberjack", "Mr. Spock", and "Flintstone Flop" floating around your brain. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the video, another smashing success from the good sir Nathaniel Hornblower, is one of my favorite videos from the late 90's. It was certainly one of Sifl & Olly's. Can you blame them?

I'd be double remiss if I didn't also mention that Natalie Imbruglia's, "Torn" was a staple in Marshall's car that fall/winter. We would get an unending amount of laughter out of her lyric, "I'm cold and I am shamed - lying naked on the floor". We kept saying, "Natalie, how did you get here?! What led to you being so cold, and shamed?! AND naked?! AND on the floor?!" Only to find out later in the song that she's "bound and broken" on the very same floor! Very risque!

Anyway, that was really the last golden time period for Marshall and me. We couldn't have realized it at the time of course. It was he, Coty, Frederick, Nate and myself living it up wild and whooly on Rt. 4 at the "brown house". We had cocktails aplenty, and attended them what seemed like weekly. If we weren't on Young Drive getting in to some sort of death-defying trouble, we were getting in to the hair of those swingin' chickadees at Davis Court. We locked him out of the house naked one time and made him drive up and down the highway until we were satisfied enough with ourselves to let him back in. We watched "Office Space" about 100 times (while Coty was probably in the other room watching Con-Air for the eighth time in a row) and inappropriately tweaked "Varisty Blues" quotes ad naseum. Marshall was always such a joy for Fred, Coty and I to play video games with because he was so stultifyingly awful! His video game nickname was, "Liquid Death". And he wore it well. Some of my most absolute favorite times in college is being on a dance floor at a bar/Young Drive basement and crooning the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" with Coty, Marshall, and Fej. It sounds extremely gay. And it was. But damn if it wasn't stupid, stupid fun. But the writing soon was on the wall. TC had left for Australia, Lori was still in Spain, Marshall would end up moving to Young Drive, the next summer saw us falling out and while we finally made some sort of peace, I was squarely with Coty and Fred and things between us, while at a strained normalcy, never were quite the same. It's too bad, because I really believe our falling out was so stupid and mostly my fault. (Which isn't something I'd so readily admit in most situations.) One of the last times Marshall and I hung out, just the two of us, was - oddly enough - in Laconia. We were down at my old beach off Shore Dr., drinking beers and laughing about stories that were barely 2 years old. We were on the cusp of 21. The cops came down and I proved that I was a member of the beach. He saw that we were almost 21, gave us a free pass, told us to dump out what we had and bring the rest home. We knew we didn't really get in any trouble but it seemed like an omen for that last turbulent summer. Marshall and Stacey got married this last summer and I can't imagine if you traveled back in time 9 years ago and told me that fact (ignoring the insanity of seeing one of my friends looking 9 years older than they should, and realzing 6 years later that you managed to keep the Sox win in '04 a surprise) that I wouldn't think for one second that I wouldn't be at the ceremony. They were two of my best college friends. But hey - that's what this whole 10-part series seems to be morphing into - these songs that mark times in my life; places I remember, friends and lovers, and because of these songs, I know I'll often stop and think about them. Even . . . well, even if it's a song that's possibly about a giant robot attacking Tokyo with its giant erection.

It's been real,

The Twins

Next: We jump forward a few years to check in with the tomfoolery at the F.R.M.

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