Band Tales 1: Typical Lamesters

A picture of a guy holding a guitar.

Band Tales 1: Typical Lamesters
Original Young Adult Fiction

Written by
Jimmy H.

Late enough into the night, you get to the point where the dubious deeds of the outside world come to a temporary halt.

This is the time when most of the world is asleep, and it is safe for the so-called “figments of our imaginations” to show themselves, and come into action.

This is the time when ghosts haunt, dragons breath fire, UFOs crash, and sorcerers and sorceresses cast spells.

It is also the time when I write.

As I sit here, Big Dumb Face is on the stereo. While listening to the tales of the evil SALIVATOR, and the mighty hero Duke Lion, I prepare to tell my own journeys and stories.

Welcome to a world of music, adventure, and tomfoolery. It’s late, and I am in a state of surrealism and fatigue. The perfect way to write stories.

As much as I do love some old school bands of the genre, I nevertheless am left with a bad taste in my mouth for punk rock.

It was the experience I had in a particular band that was responsible for this semi non-enthusiastic outlook.

The story begins with my friend across the street. ToneDeaf. A tall lanky fellow, glasses, and a certain spring in his step that I noticed when I first met him by introduction when he moved into the neighborhood about 2 and a half years ago.

I wasn’t that great of friends with him until we started to play kickball, soccer, softball, and other assorted sports in his front yard with several other fellows in the neighborhood. (This I’ve given up, due to my unequalled ability to suck at extraneous physical sports-related activities, and the fact that I have grown to be slightly annoyed by some of the inhabitants of my neighborhood).

We had tried in vain to begin a small band composed of miscellaneous fellows on our block, but they just didn’t really give a... um... toot, I suppose.

It was during one of my brief visits over to ToneDeaf’s house (due to boredom) to see what he was up to, that he introduced me to JoJo.

We got into a discussion about music, which doesn’t surprise me due to my tendency to shift any conversation over in that general direction. He played me a few CDs of bands from the current punk rock scene.

I had never before heard bands like NOFX, Against All Authority, and the Vandals. I figured that, since both ToneDeaf and JoJo were both enthusiastic about this music, and it was better than it was bad, that perhaps we ought to get a band together.

This was a desperately bad move on my part. I wasn’t thinking clearly, you see, as I was so desperate to play in a band at that time.

You see, it is usually not a good idea to begin a band with a drummer you’ve never met before, and a bass player who has just purchased his instrument and has no idea how to produce any sort of musical sound from it at all.

JoJo was on vocals. We were called Typical Lamesters, which I couldn’t relate to more. After all, I am and was a bit of a lamester. Uncool, unhip, bad at sports, ugly. Yup. A Typical Lamester.

The first practice we had was, I believe during the first week of spring break about two years ago. I went to pick up the drummer, who stuffed his drums into the back of our car, and we only played one song, too. A terrible rendition of the song “Gone Away” by the Offspring.

ToneDeaf was barely playing along, the drummer was constantly messing up and going off time, thus throwing me off. We had no speakers for vocals, so poor JoJo was forced to belt out the vocals as loud as he could, leaving him with a sore throat and no voice for the remainder of the practice.

We then proceeded to have a couple more scattered practices before beginning to have them more frequently.

You are probably wondering just who this drummer is. Well, for good reason, I’ve only known him by two names. First, it is Billy. But his nickname describes him better than anything else ever could. Espresso. He was one hyper li’l dude. Not that bright, but we’ll get to that later.

One thing that struck me about these interesting fellows with whom I had just started a band was that, like metallers with their moshing, these punk rock / ska fans had their own, “ska-punk” breed of mass dance.

It was called skanking. What it was, was just basically a bunch of punk rockers skipping in a circle, bringing their knees up high, looking like a bunch of escaped mental patients. They often encouraged me to join them in their idiotic dance ritual, but I declined. Once I didn’t. I nearly fell and broke my ass.

The band’s tunes were horrible. I’d try to write something a bit different than the usual three-chord punk rock song approach, but when I showed it to them, they would always speed it up to an abnormally fast tempo thus ruining it, or they would say it didn’t sound enough like punk or ska to be used.

now back to the blog...

This stubbornness is what began the altercations. During practices, I would be forced to fiercely argue my points. For example: “Man, you’re going way off time! Stop arguing, lay off, and just try it a little slower to get the hang of it.”

“But slower it sucks!”

“We’ll speed it up once we get it down pat at this tempo! I’ve been trying to tell you for a half hour! You don’t listen! How can we play it fast if we can’t play it slow?!”

“...But slower it sucks!”

(I then proceed to rub my face in frustration).

Thus, band practices got worse. The more and more we practiced, the more and more disenchanted I got with the band. In other words, I was starting to realize much more than I ever had that it sucked hard.

Not to mention that one of the things about us was our differences in musical taste. I liked a lot of older hard rock (and still do as a matter of fact, but my musical tastes have yet expanded). And believe me, Guns N’ Roses is a bit different from ska-punk.

But we still were basically friends. One particular event still gets me laughing to this very day. It was ToneDeaf’s birthday party, and Espresso, JoJo, ToneDeaf, and I were all chilling in his room listening to ska-punk (which I was getting extremely tired of after several months).

JoJo had gone to the bathroom, and while he was doing his business, Espresso decided to pull a little prank on good ole JoJo.

Espresso turned off the lights, and put on a party hat. He stood directly in front of the bathroom door. When JoJo unsuspectingly opened the door, Espresso wiggled his hands about, and screamed, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” (I don’t know why he chose to say that, being as it was ToneDeaf’s). But anyhoo, JoJo went, almost literally, flying directly backwards, in shock, into the bathroom.

We laughed for a good fifteen minutes. Well, maybe not JoJo.

In addition to band practices being musically frustrating, Espresso was just out of hand. He was wacky, but in a bad sense. Sometimes he broke stuff, and was just an overall pain to deal with sometimes.

I began to falsely claim that I couldn’t make it to practices, I dreaded them so much. Finally, both parties had become quite frustrated with each other. By this time I already had another band, known as SteelyGnot, which we’ll get to later.

Then, one day, I went over to ToneDeaf’s house just for a brief visit. He was talking to JoJo on the phone. I wanted out, and I could tell that they were having a conversation about kicking me out. ToneDeaf turned to me, and said, “Uh, dude...”

I then said, “You wanna kick me out?” he nodded his head. “Great man! I wanted out anyway!”

We both thought this was awesome, and went for a walk.

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JoJo got a guitar, and I taught him some of the basics. He took a few lessons and learned really fast. He’s pretty good. He currently takes guitar classes in high school. We’re still buddies.

Never really learned how to play the bass very well at all. We’re still buddies.

Typical Lamesters
They went on to practice once or twice more, and did a show. They promptly split up.

Oh yes, everyone’s favorite pal, Espresso! Well,

Last I heard of Espresso was that he joined up with a ska group or something. Also one of the last things I heard from him was that he brought a knife to school. After being told by the teacher several times to put it away, he still kept swingin’ it around. He got put in Juvenile Hall for a night or two, I hear.

Well, that wraps it up for Band Tales 1: Typical Lamesters.

Stay tuned for Band Tales 2: SteelyGnot.


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