Day 163: A song that reminds you of your best friend. (Volume IV)

“Gods Of War” – Def Leppard

Def LeppardThis is the fourth in a series of posts dedicated to my best friends, posted on their birthdays. (Where it stops, nobody knows.) You can read the first three installments here and here and here.

I seem to have gotten in the habit of these “just in time” postings for people’s birthdays. Perhaps I need people to have birthdays more often so I can actually get to day 365. But anyway…

My friend Pete and I go back to high school as well, but unlike my friend Kris, who I met the first day and immediately clicked with, it took a while to build the friendship with Pete.

Although we were in numerous classes together, we didn’t really talk much until a field trip.  It had been a tradition that the biology classes—made up of science-minded freshmen and I’m-only-here-because-I-need-the-science-credit-to-graduate-minded sophomores—had an annual whale watch. (That may sound harsh, but I distinctly remember a sophomore girl getting on the bus stating emphatically “I’ll drink anything… Except for Piels, that’s just piss-water!” It should also be noted that there was never another whale watch one after that year, and I don’t think it was because of the science-minded freshmen.)

The weather that day was crappy & rainy, we saw no whales to speak of, and being early in the year, high school friendships were still being sorted out. There were some of my junior high friends on that trip, but they were sort of going their own way, and I was never one to do what everyone else was doing just ‘cuz. That day Pete went from someone that I sorta knew to someone who I thought was kinda cool. (Remember, everything’s relative.) After that we started to hang out a bit more. And, over time we became good friends.

Now, I have more Pete stories than I can count, (ask me sometime about “Pete: Weird Faces and Weird Places”) and some of them even involve music. Many more of them involve beer, but that’s my retirement fund so I’m keeping my mouth shut for now. Or until I need another blog post.

You might think I would have chosen a Midnight Oil song (Pete’s favorite band) but I don’t have any Midnight Oil stories that beat getting sweat on. Or “Weird Al” Yankovic (for a long time Pete only listened to Weird Al). And I’ve already told you the story that includes ZZ Top’s “Sleeping Bag” in it, as well as the “Me ‘n’ Elvis” story, so I have no choice but to delve into embarrassment territory. I have to go with “God Of War.” So from freshman year, fast forward to senior year.

We had taken to recording tapes as if we were running a radio station, with us as the deejays (People wonder why we couldn’t get dates? C’mon, we were so cool!) Meh, it was something to do to pass the time, be a bit creative, and have something to listen to in the car. And we were pretty prolific. I think we petered out (no pun intended) at about volume 22, so that’s 22 ninety-minute tapes of music and assorted high-school goofiness.

By this time, Pete was all over Def Leppard’s Hysteria album, and we’d already included a number of the songs from the album on previous WSHP tapes. (Yes, the call letters for our fictitious station were WSHP. We were nothing if not complete geeks authentic.) But I drew the line at “Gods Of War.” I just didn’t like it much. (I think it was the intro, because once the actual song starts, it’s not bad.) He was persistent, but I was adamant.

One day we were recording and I had to go to the bathroom. And it wasn’t a quick visit, if you know what I mean. Bear in mind that our “recording studio” was my brother’s room in the basement. Which just happened to be right below said bathroom. And it was an old house; you could definitely hear through the floor. Shortly after I got in there, I heard the strains of “Gods Of War.” Despite my banging on the floor it continued. It was too late. I was indisposed, and couldn’t do much about it. I mean, sure, we could have recorded over it, but…

So I’m not sure I listened to that tape much. And let’s face it, with twenty-something volumes, it really was more about the taping than the listening, anyway.

I ended up rooming with Pete all four years of college as well. (During which time we listened to Hysteria so often I couldn’t listen to it for years afterward.) It’s honestly amazing we didn’t kill each other. (Although we did come to blows once or twice.) And we’re still friends. <Insert no-time-to-see-each-other lament here>

The sad part is, I still have all sorts of goofy projects I do. (No, I won’t tell you what they are… yet.) I guess I’ll always be a nerd…

Happy Birthday, Pete!