I remember all those nights out at dirty smokey clubs, getting drunk and letting myself fall completely in love with the music, the haze filling my mind as the smoke filled the room.
I remember being so amped up on the adrenaline of a great guitar riff, and the pulse of hormones raging through my body, I didn't think I could stand it for another minute.Nothing else existed at that moment except the wail of those guitars and the scream of the singer's voice.
It was all tied together; the music, sex, passion, feeling alive and on top of the world. What happened? Where did it all go?
It's still in there, in my heart, buried deep inside under years of hurt and invalidation and pain. I used to think about killing myself, wondering what it would be like, the but the thought of not hearing music again was enough to make me realize that was never going to be my path.
I feel my heart beat faster as I look through the pictures in this book. This was MY scene, this was MY life, MY world. I was a part of it, even if I was invisible to most of those around me. Not hip enough or cool enough to be part of the inner circle, but outside looking in. I was here, and I will carry those memories and that passion forever tattooed on my soul.
It changed me forever. I forgot how entwined my heart and my soul was with the sweaty pounding drums and chunky guitars and the stench of cigarettes and stale booze. It clings to me much the same way it clung to my hair and clothes all those years ago. I can never get rid of it; I tried. It is always going to be a part of me. And I welcome it back into my life.
Probably most of you reading this have never heard of him, but in 1971 singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson released an album called The Point, about a round-headed boy named Oblio and his dog Arrow ( remember the song Me and My Arrow? That's where this comes from) who lived in a land where by law everything has to have a point. It was turned into a animated film that aired on TV, and I remember watching it at the age of 7, entranced and mystified by the story and the music. As I get Gearhead back up and running, I was looking back over the last four years of consciously closing down a successful business, including my very successful retail boutique and trying to get clear about what the point of it all was.
It seemed everything had lost the point four years ago. What was the point of putting out records, finding bands and helping them out, writing about and sharing things I'm passionate about, like cool clothes and hot rods and neat art and tattoos and my gardens and everything that just feeds my soul....what was the point? So I very consciously chose to close my store, even though I absolutely loved it and it was doing very well, and I started selling off Gearhead inventory, and what I couldn't sell and didn't feel like moving, I smashed. I destroyed stuff with a sledge hammer, which was incredibly satisfying in a very weird twisted way. I created it and brought it into the world and I was choosing to liberate it and remove it from the world. After all, there seemed to be no point to it's existence at all!
All passion was gone. I didn't want to ever hear music again, I didn't ever want to go vend at an event again, I just wanted it all to be over. I listened to talk radio, or nothing at all. So I tried to get rid of Gearhead. I thought I could just sell everything off and quietly close it down, let it slip into oblivion and move on.
During these last four years, I pursued a very different path. I became a minister and a spiritual counselor and healer, doing deep soul healing on myself as I helped others work through their own tough times. I also became a master gardener and put my life-long love of plants to work, teaching people how to create water-wise gardens, work with the earth harmoniously, grow their own vegetables and become aware of their impact on the earth and people around them.
Slowly slowly, I started to enjoy life again, and I started to listen to music again. Very gentle music, like folk singer Kate Wolf, Elliott Smith, Mark Erellli, The Nields, piano concertos and music that made me feel good. Every once in a while I would dig out my favorite female rocker, Joan Jett, and crank up one of her records and dance around the house or clean and sing at the top of my lungs. And that felt great.
So I started digging out more of my rock 'n' roll records that I used to love: Groovie Ghoulies, and The Go-Gos, and The Yum Yums and New York Dolls and Patti Smith and The Cars and Cheap Trick and AC/DC, and little by little, I started to feel better because all those records made me feel good too! It was just different, but the point to all the music was IT MADE ME FEEL. Music is a way to get past all the crap and go right to the point of us being human: we are here to feel, to experience.
I finally started listening to the records I put of for Gearhead and realized I loved those records. That the time and the place each one of those records came into my life reflected where I was at emotionally, mentally and spiritually and they all had a point, a reason to exist. Fourteen years of living this life, and it was all reflected in the records and products I put out through Gearhead.
Now, fours years down the line and in a much more balanced place, I'm taking Gearhead out of the garage and onto the road again. Everyone has their own opinions about this company, who I should sign and what records I should put out, what shirt I should make, where I should vend and how I should move forward. And that's O.K. To each their own. But as find my passion again for this company and the people I work with, I understand that that is exactly the point of these last fourteen years of running this company. Giving people the courage, the inspiration, the passion and the guts to do their own thing whether they're inspired by what I do, or if they don't like what I'm doing. DIY baby!
I'm very excited about this new year, about getting the Gearhead motor cranked back up again, about putting out records for bands I love, about going out to car shows again and selling my stuff, about talking to people again, about working with artists to come up with cool new clothing. It always used to be fun, and I'm happy that it is fun again. That there's still a reason for Gearhead to be around in 2014, 'cause there's still people that dig what I do and want to be part of it and support it. Everything and every experience has a point, even if it's not always readily apparent. And that my friends, is exactly the point.
The Wrench 'n' Roses design was drawn exclusively for Gearhead® by "Cuz'n" Bill Lorenz from Sacramento Tattoo and Piercing. He loves Gearhead® and everything it represents so when I asked him to create a design that represented my company he did what every great tattoo artist does: he pulled out the key elements, the true heart, of what I, the customer, wanted, and created something unique to represent that. Of course, it doesn't hurt that we've been dating for almost 8 years either; he's been through the ebbs and flows of the business with me so he's got a pretty good idea of who I am and what I like!
Usually he tattoos his creations on his customers, so it's there permanently, forever a testament to the time and space that customer was in when they got the tattoo.
In the case of my request, I needed something to jump start my business back up, and while it's possible I might get this tattooed on me at some point, I wanted to wear this design as a t shirt! I After consciously putting Gearhead® on hold for the last four years, the best way to do that was access the wonderful new tool of crowd-funding, (or fan-funding or crowd-sourcing....whatever you want to call it) by creating a fundraising campaign using the awesome fundraiser t shirt company Teespring.
They did a great job with this shirt. They were so easy to work with, and paid promptly when the fundraiser ended. I'm thrilled with this little experiment of crowd-funding. It's one I'm looking forward to trying again, and I encourage those of you with your own company or fundraiser to try Teespring out.
It went better than I could have imagined, and I am deeply grateful to all of you who took the time, money and resources to support me and Gearhead® during that fundraiser. Thank you!! It truly gave me the boost I needed to get things rolling again.
After the fundraiser ended, I kept getting really nice emails asking for another chance to buy this shirt. So many people asked that I decided to make the shirt commercially available for a limited time. It's a great design and I'm pleased and humbled so many people like it. So all my fabulous customers, you have another chance to support Gearhead® and fly the colors proudly by purchasing this shirt.
There are some differences in the second pressing of this shirt. I'm a geek, I admit it. I like to know what edition I've got, whether it's records, books, plants, movies, or clothing.
The first edition of this shirt, the one that you could only get if you were part of the fundraising effort, was printed on a Hanes® Tagless ComfortSoft body. While it fits like a regular men's t shirt, the fabric is a little softer, and the weave a little finer, giving the shirt that feel like you've washed it a bunch. It's a nice rich black and the print is a bright eye-popping white ink.
The second pressing of this t shirt is on a Hanes "Tagless" t shirt. The Hanes® brand is red, and the shirt weave is a little heavier, a little thicker than the original shirt. The body is still a nice rich black, and the ink is still a bright eye-catching white, and both shirts are still made in the US. It's a small but noticeable difference, something so those of you who ponied up during the fundraiser will know you still have something very limited and exclusive to you!
I think this sort of stuff matters. Rewarding those who blaze the trail for those of us who come later is important to recognize and in whatever small way show that the trailblazing spirit is not ignored, but gratefully appreciated.
So here ya go, click here to buy it! Another chance to support Gearhead® as I move forward with building my company back up on a new stronger foundation. These shirts will be available as long as the stock exists, and when it's sold out, this design will be retired. Thank you! Love n' hugs,
Ok, so it's a new year and that means doing inventory. This is the time of year many small businesses are counting inventory to update the books, close out the old year and get ready for the new year. Gearhead is no different. And many times , I discover old boxes with stuff I thought was long gone! Which is exactly what happened with this 7".
The single was originally released as a limited edition pressing back in 2007. The Thunder Boys were just out of highschool and tearing up the clubs, and I totally fell in love with them and the band and signed them to Gearhead. This was their debut 7", a limited edition colored vinyl pressing of 500 hand-screened, hand-numbered cover done by Paul Imagine. I still have about 20 of those left btw, if you wanna grab one!
But I found a box of 104 records with no sleeves. I guess we just ran out of steam and never finished printing all 500 covers. It happens, especially when there's so much stuff going on. I pretty much just sealed the box up and when I moved, it got pushed into a dark corner of the storage unit.
I'm lucky enough to be involved with a very talented artist, "Cuz'n" Bill Lorenz from Sacramento Tattoo. Those of you who have been following Gearhead for a while know he's done a number of shirts, record covers and stickers for Gearhead over the years, and he offered to paint a custom cover for this record! So as long as supplies last, you can get a limited edition copy of the Thunder Boys debut 7" single, "Can't Stop Drinking" b/w "Shake Shake" with a special custom cover painted by "Cuz'n" Bill. He has signed each cover, and I've hand numbered them. There's 104 all together. They are also embossed with the Gearhead seal of Certified Product!
I love this record and was so sad when the band broke up. They had such promise, but these things happen. If you haven't listened to them before, they're a nod to The Joneses, The Heartbreakers and the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders (hence the name). Exactly the type of music that gets me every time. Their first and only full length record is only available as a digital download from Itunes, with the cover art also done by "Cuz'n" Bill.
is called "The Thunder Boys....Are Go" from Itunes if you wanna check it out!
After the band broke up, the Boys scattered to all corners of the US. They're all still playing music, doing their own thing. Most active is Mr. Zachary James, fronting his own band The All Seeing Eyes, and also playing guitar for his sweetheart's band Alexandra & The Starlight Band. Both totally fun glammy-pop bands worth checking out.
Anyway, happy new year. I'm happy to have something really fun and different to offer those of you who give a shit. And who knows what else I'll find as I finish up doing inventory? Stay tuned....
Happy New Year! I figured one of the best ways to welcome the new year is with some new stuff, so here ya go: a
_cool new Gearhead Shop Rag for your tool box!
Custom artwork by tattoo artist "Cuz'n" Bill Lorenz from Sacramento Tattoo features his new Motorskull design drawn just for Gearhead! Red 100% cotton weave classic Mechanics shop towel, measuring 12" x 13" pre-shrunk.
Wanna buy one? We appreciate the support as we get the Gearhead® brand rolling again!! Wishing you all a prosperous fun 2014.
It's pretty simple, but comes from the heart. Thank you to all for your love and support. May your holiday celebrations be filled with music and love, and may your new year bring you all prosperity and joy. Much love,
I was fortunate enough this last Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013 to be given passes to an advanced screening of the new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, set to open Christmas Day, 2013. This time of year is usually pretty crazy and taking time off to see a movie isn't usually on the menu, but it sounded like just the break I needed, so I called a few friends to meet me, and off I went to the Cineplex on a chilly evening to stand in line waiting for the doors to open to let us lucky ticket holders into the warm cave of the theater to be enveloped by the smell of hot buttered popcorn.
Based on the short story written in 1939 by James Thurber, this is the story of a man who spends his time daydreaming of all sorts of amazing exploits and adventures, but in real life never does anything. Mr. Thurber was ahead of his time with this story, being a pointed comment on the reality of our time. Most of us create fantastic lives on Facebook and Twitter, and the imaginary sense that we are actually connecting with others in a meaningful way when in fact, we rarely connect on a personal level at all, or seek action and adventure playing computer games which give us the thrill of doing something heroic with our lives, But the truth is, many of us, especially the younger generation, don't do anything at all.
The movie is exceptional, and I highly recommend seeing it while it's in theaters. The cinematography is stunning, with beautiful shots of Iceland, Greenland and the Himalayas filling the screen with a vibrant wildness that is breathtaking. In contrast, Ben Stiller, playing the lead character Walter Mitty is very ordinary, and so bland to the point of almost fading into the background. Other characters of note are the romantic role of fantasy girlfriend Cheryl Melhoff, played by Kristen Wig, and the mom Edna Witty played by Shirley MacLaine. Wig's character offers the only well-rounded fullness of personality and charm. Her performance stands out colored by humor, compassion, worry and love of her son. Shirley MacLaine's character by stark contrast is almost an afterthought, thrown in it seems to help move the story along. But the interesting thing is, most of these characters almost have to be totally blank and unremarkable because that's exactly how Walter Mitty's life really is, where as Cheryl's life is real and authentic, colored by the challenge of being a single mother on the verge of losing her job.
Walter Mitty works at Life Magazine as the "negative assets manager", and as such, has access to some of the most remarkable adventure shots taken around the world by explorer/photographer Sean O'Connell, played by Sean Penn. The magazine is getting ready to publish it's last physical edition before moving to an online magazine, and the photo for the cover has gone missing. It's Walter's responsibility to find it. He fantasizes all day about the things he might do, and he dreams about connecting with the beautiful Cheryl, but never takes the action to connect with her at the office. But finding that missing negative triggers him into action.
This is what makes the movie so inspiring. Walter Mitty is actually able to move past his ineffectual daydreams and do something so wildly out of character as take on the task of tracking down a missing photo negative halfway across the globe simply because he feels responsible. And of course, he wants to impress a girl.
As I sat in that theater absorbed in the contrast of fantasy vs. reality, lethargy vs. action, I began to notice similarities in my own life. Fear of failure is a powerful force that often keeps us stuck in our dreams, unable to take the action necessary to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. I look at where I've been these last few years, so beaten up by the challenges of running this business and how easy it would be to let failure just stop me from trying once again to create the life I always dreamed about, simply because it hadn't worked out the way I first imagined it would.
We have all been let down, disappointed by life and others, with our dreams left shattered at our feet. We so want to be validated by others as exceptional, but we have to validate ourselves first. We have to believe in ourselves and the possibility that we can make our dreams come true.
We are often our own worst enemies; sabotaging our dreams even before they leave our minds, simply because we're afraid of being let down yet again, or worse, being judged and ridiculed by others, and giving them the power to stop us.
But at some point, you have to say "f**k it, I'm doing it anyway because what else do I have to lose?" You've already lost everything and nothing else can disappoint you, so there's freedom in taking action because what's the worst that can happen at that point? You fail again, or by some miracle, you are freed from failure and go for it, no matter what the energetic cost, and achieve your dreams, or something better than you could have imagined. You could end up on the cover of your own Life Magazine!
Yes, this was just a movie, but the broader implications of this story are very inspiring. Yes, I'm taking another stab at making Gearhead successful, and by the Grace of God, maybe I'll come close to making my dreams a reality, or by some miracle, maybe it will be better than my imagination. At least I'm trying, and at least I'm taking action, instead of giving up and crawling away with my tail between my legs like I've been so tempted to do.
Where have you put your dreams on hold? Where are you not taking action in your own life? What are you afraid of? This holiday season, go watch this movie and be inspired. Allow the magic of dreams to fill your heart and go for it.
Many people have asked me how I got to where I am now, and in an effort to sort it all out, I started looking back at my story. Over the next few weeks, I plan on posting that story here in the Gearhead Blog. I already posted previously how I got my start in the music industry by DJing at the Oregon State University radio station, KBVR fm 88.7, located in Corvallis, OR. So the story will continue on from there....
Spring,, 1990. My taste in music was changing and growing, and that was being reflected in my radio show. I was starting to hang out with another DJ, Deb Dupas, more, who was really into the whole hardcore and pop punk scene. Of course I had been exposed to alot of that music because of KBVR, and while it wasn't my scene, but I was willing to learn.
The energy of that music was intoxicating; raw angry aggreesive bursts of noise, clearly conveying the angst and rage that was buried in the soul of the singer. I had been in love with the whole early LA punk scene: X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, The Middle Class, Screamers..... The hardcore scene was the same energy and aggression of that music, minus the melody which I loved so much. But I got inspired, and started playing hardcore on my show. I had a two hour show from 10 pm to Midnight, and I would try to cram as many songs as I could into those two hours.
No this was before CDs, so all the songs that were played on the air had to to cued up by hand, which was a laborious process. Pot down the channel of the turntable that was being cued up, put on the headphones, select a track, and then find the VERY beginning of that track by a process of moving the record back and forth across the grooves until you found the absolute beginning of where the sound was recorded on the record. Then, you had to remember how the track you were playing ended: was it a cold abrupt end, or did it fade out? If it faded out, then the next step was easy; just reverse the record a quarter of a turn so that when you hit start, you wouldn't hear the turntable picking up speed, and the ending track and beginning track would blend easily together to create the smooth seamless "segue" you hear on the radio.
If the track you were playing ended "cold", meaning abruptly, then starting the next record was more challenging, requiring a "cold" start. You had to start the turntable of the cued up track, make sure the channel was potted up to full level, then hold the record up away from the turn table, so that it wouldn't start playing as the turntable spun. Then, at the EXACT moment the track that was playing ended, you dropped the record onto the turntable, so it started right as the last track ended; seamless segue from cold end to cold start. This was my favorite style of DJing, because it really got the blood flowing.
Normal pop songs are about 3 minutes, so doing this dance of potting and cuing up the next track was easy. When you're playing hardcore records, its a totally different scenario. Most hardcore songs range from 30 seconds to a minute and a half, and most ended with cold endings, so if you lost concentration at all, you would miss your beginning, and have the dreaded "dead air"; a moment of silence during your set which was the bane of broadcasting live.
I still remember the feeling of power, and the exhilaration of those shows. I would record each track on a sheet which kept count of how many tracks I played during the show, each week trying to beat my last number. I think my best week was over 80 tracks in 2 hours, and that included announcing all the songs, the artists, giving information on the record labels and bands, and reading all the required PSAs and station IDs.
By the end of my two hours, I felt like I had run a marathon, and was tired but satisfied, and ready to join my friends at Squirrel's, the local beer joint down on 2nd St., where we would meet each night to drink and talk and swap stories about the music we were listening to, the bands we had seen or our radio shows, and dream about building up the Corvallis music scene by discussing which bands were on tour and who might be willing to come through to play our humble town.
During one of those marathon radio sessions, I got turned onto a Misfits inspired band called Half Life from Pittsburgh. They were Deb's favorite band, so much so that she had painted their logo on the back of one of her jackets. I played their single "I Got it Bad...And That Ain't Good" on the air, and remember thinking, "well, its a little slower than some of the other hardcore stuff she's turned me on to, so it will be good to fit it into my show when I need a breather." I didn't think much more about them, but included their single regularly in my set because it was a bit longer than some of the other tracks I was playing. Little did I know then that the bass player of this band would play an influential role in my life to come.
Springtime unfolded, and I started thinking again about San Francisco. My one friend from my first attempt to move there in 1988, Harry, had regularly been writing to me and sharing all the news of the punk scene in SF. He had asked to come visit so we arranged a weekend for his trip to Oregon. It seemed like there were romantic overtones to the letters he was sending, and I was starting to feel like it would be nice to have a boyfriend. So I was looking forward to his visit to see if maybe there might be some amourous spark or not. That visit would change the course of my life in unforseen ways.
What was my path to where I am now? How did I get here? I've asked myself this a lot lately. What was the exact moment when it all started?
I can trace the exact moment It all started, in 1982, when I went to see the Dead Kennedys play with the Miracle Workers at the fairgrounds in Corvallis, OR. My friend Henry was a Dead Kennedys nut, and invited me to come with him. He'd played their records for me, and I thought they were OK. I knew about bands like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Cars... they provided the soundtrack to the last couple of years of my high school experience.
I don't really remember the Dead Kennedys set, but wow, The Miracle Workers blew my mind. I had never heard music quite like that before and I wanted more.
I was a freshman in college at that point, majoring in Anthropology. I had been to rock shows occasionally, like The Kinks and The Moody Blues when they came through Portland, but I really wasn't aware that there was anything else musically going on besides what I heard on the radio. As an Anthropology major, studying foreign cultures seemed so exotic and different from my life; I had no clue that a subculture existed right in my own backyard, as easily accessible as buying a ticket.
After that show, I went to the local record store Happy Trails Records (still thriving today!), and asked if they had a record by The Miracle Workers. The guy behind the counter looked at me like I was nuts and said no, he'd never heard of them. I bought a record by Modern English instead, having heard a song from them on the radio that I really liked. I really had no idea how all this stuff worked, and wondered, if a band played a concert. surely they must have a record out, or I could hear them on the radio, but try as I might, I couldn't find anything by this band The Miracle Workers!
Slowly, a new strange world opened up to me. I was a passionate weird girl who had always listened to her own inner beat, never fitting in anywhere, but welcome everywhere. In 1985, I started working at the local coffee shop, The Beanery, and discovered that several of my co-workers were DJ's at the local college radio station, KBVR, 88.7 fm. They always turned the station on at work, so I slowly started getting to know some of the bands, like Gang of 4, The Clash, and R.E.M. among others. I was so blown away that a station like this existed; it was nothing like I heard on the regular rock radio–it was raw and different and utterly intoxicating. And it was through this station that I found out that the band that had so captured my attention a few years earlier, The Miracle Workers, were a band from Portland, and had just released their debut record, Inside Out on a label called Voxx/Bomp. The only way to buy it was from the band the next time they played a show.
This whole new world slowly unfolded to me, with people listening to music that would never be played on a "real" radio station, and going to shows that were held in dimly lit grimy bars and auditoriums. It seems I had stumbled onto a group of people that were like me, just following the internal rhythm of their souls, but were expressing it for all to see. I started going to the parties of "those people"; the hip, the cool, the in-the-know people, who listened to all this weird music.
I was always observing, looking to see what made them tick. I revolved around the outer perimeter of this whole scene, friends with people "involved", but never fully immersed myself. I was still living with my boyfriend who listened to Genesis, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and that mostly was the music I listened to as well. When we broke up in 1986, I realized I was changing and wanted totally different experiences than he did. I wasn't content to listen to the mainstream radio, I wanted more of the underground stuff I'd been casually checking out. I had seen a flyer announcing a meeting for all people interested in learning how to DJ for the college radio station. I went to that meeting and the path of my life changed forever.
After my apprenticeship, I was given my own show from 3 AM to 6 AM. I was scared to death at first, finding music to play, speaking on the air, learning how to run the sound board and cue up records. I was so nervous I remember having dreams about getting locked out of the DJ booth with dead air just taking over the airwaves because I couldn't get in to put on another record. Eventually though, I relaxed and it became as natural as breathing. I LOVED this life! I began going to shows, making the 1 1/2 hour trip to Portland regularly with fellow DJs to divey little clubs like The Satyricon. I was listening to everything I could get my hands on, and had discovered "fanzines" where there were reviews of records from all over the world.
I eventually began writing reviews for the college paper, The Barometer , and conducting interviews with bands live on air, over the phone, and in person at shows. My very first interview was with a brand new band from Seattle called Sound Garden after a show they played at The Satyricon.
I was one of the first people in Corvallis to play Sound Garden's "Screaming Life" record on the air. I had found it at a record store in Portland, OR, 2nd Ave. Records, which is still there by the way. I bought it because the cover looked cool, and the record was a bright life-saver candy orange color. I played it on my show that night and later found out the band would be playing a show, so I made arrangements to go see them.
Chris Cornell was beautiful; his long curly locks flopped in his face as he sang. He was so sweet and genuine, and very kind as I stumbled and muttered questions and praises. I didn't even know enough to record the interview, I was just writing down his answers, but was a little bit too star-struck to even write everything down. The year is 1987. I was a senior, close getting my degree in Cultural Anthropology with and emphasis in Ethnobotany, a relatively new field of study about the cultural uses of plants. Of course, most of my classes by this point revolved around literature, film, 20th century studies, and contemporary cultures. I was working full time; balancing 3 jobs, plus a full-time course schedule, as well as volunteering at the radio station. But all I wanted to do was go see bands play, talk to them about their music and share it with others through my radio show and writing.
When I look back, I'm amazed at what I did. Where did that energy and drive come from? I was functioning on a few hours of sleep a night, driving up to Portland at least once a week to see shows for the bands I was playing on the air: Sound Garden, Green River, and later Mudhoney, Nirvana, The Miracle Workers, Dead Moon, Swallow, Poison Idea, The Wipers with Greg Sage, Honeymoon Killers, White Zombie, Antiseen, and Fugazi among others.
I ended up becoming music director for the station that year, and spent countless hours pouring over records, deciding which ones should get the attention of the DJs and which ones could be merely added to the library. About this time, I fell in love with a band called The Flaming Lips. Funny scruffy guys from Norman Oaklahoma. They had a new record out on Pink Dust Records, "Hear It Is" that I had absolutely flipped over.
I had purchased a copy (limited edition White Vinyl!) at the local record store, Audio Addict, and scheduled to meet them and interview them when they came out on tour. Wayne and the boys talked with me on the air, and played live in the studio, and that night, I followed them down to Eugene, OR for one of the most mind-blowing shows of my life. Smoke machines, strobe lights, mind-bending guitar solos; it was pretty incredible and I was in heaven. And no, I was not on drugs.
I invited them to stay at my apartment if they needed a place to stay, and to my surprise, they took me up on the offer. 3 sweaty scruffy boys and me, all crowded into my tiny one-bedroom apartment above the coffee shop I worked at. I made them spaghetti, and we hung out and listened to records, drank and talked until late in the night. In the morning I made them breakfast and they gave me a t shirt to say thanks. Then they headed to Portland to play the Satyricon that night, and I was to follow after my classes that day. My best friend Libby and I met up at the show and enjoyed another insane night of music and hanging out. They were very sweet, very gracious and down to earth. They stayed with me several more times whenever they would come through town. The shows were always fun and incredibly spontaneous. You just never knew what was gonna happen, what crazy machine they had that would blow the power in the tiny clubs they were playing. I was so proud of them when they ended up making it after all their years of hard work. I saw Wayne when they played to Warfield in SF in 1993 0r 94, and he remembered me and gave me a big hug and said thanks for the support in the early years.
Many of these bands went on to world wide success and recognition, and I'm very proud I was able to play a small part in that. Looking back, it never seemed likely I would hear these bands on mainstream radio, and felt it was my duty to spread the word as much as I could. Some of that passion is what drove me to create Gearhead Records and I feel blessed that despite the rough terrain, I'm starting to uncover that passion again.
We have less than a week to meet our goal of selling 25 black Wrench 'n' Roses shirts and 25 white Wrench 'n' Roses shirts, and we're almost there! We just need to sell 9 more of each shirt by Sept. 22, 2013and we'll make our goal!
I can't say this process has been easy. It's silly of course, but it feels like I've put one of my babies out to be judged in a beauty contest, and the panel is out deliberating whether she'll be judged fit enough to go on! How do beauty contestants handle the pressure !!??
It's also incredibly hard asking for help when previously the world saw Gearhead as a force to be reckoned with. I've learned alot about humility these last few years. I've spent my free time working for causes and raising money for those I felt needed my help, and to admit I'm in this position now has been humbling, but so gratifying. So many people have offered their help, love, support and enthusiasm for my company, and I see now that giving people an opportunity to help is really an act of selflessness. People want to help and support companies and causes they believe in and while pride may sometimes get in the way, stepping back and saying "Thank You for helping me in my time of need" is healing and has restored my faith in the goodness of people.
So thank you for helping Gearhead by buying a shirt, or something else from the new Store. Every little bit helps. Please feel free to share this post on your facebook or twitter account. It's all about connecting with the people who care and you can help us do that!
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Gearhead Owner Michelle Haunold
I've been writing about music, pop culture, independent lifestyles and attitudes for over twenty-five years.