Feeling the Darkness

One of the best Goodwills in this nation lies tucked away in the bucolic town of Troy, New York. If you've never been to Troy, it's a hard town to describe. I'll just say this: my girlfriend used to like visiting Troy because it reminded her of her hometown of Oakland.

At any rate, this Goodwill filled an abandoned grocery store, and was the repository of all a manner of treasures. My friends and I used to trek here virtually every other weekend to spend our hard earned dough on stupid t-shirts, stupid pleather jackets from the 70's, stupid polyester pants, and other stupid crap. Whilst pawing through a box of cassette tapes, I not only found a tape dub of 2 Live Crew's Banned in the USA (which was obviously fucking stupid), but Poison Idea's Feel the Darkness:

Whatta great record cover. I mean, I don't really have an opinion about Tiny Tim one way or another, but lookit that fat hand with all the scary rings . . . who the fuck is on the other end of that?

I'm sure most of you in Eggland have heard Poison Idea before, but I hadn't, and it was everything you'd want and more. Angry, slightly metally Northwestern hardcore with a drummer that could beat up Neil Peart with one hand tied behind his back. According to the little booklet, the drummer's name was "Thee Slayer Hippy." I don't know what that's all about.

The singer was named "Jerry A," and the guitarist was called "Pig Champion." I figured that Pig was probably the guy with the gun.

I loved this band. They were angry, they were funny, but they were mostly angry most of the time. If I wanted to drive around and glare at people, I'd put this tape on the deck. I listened to it on my olden timey walkman while eating french fries at a picnic table.

I never loved a woman! Never owned a car!!!

With Jerry A. screaming in my ears, I'd grind the french fries between my teeth angrily and glare. Fuck you, french fries.

I think you get the idea. I found out a little bit more about Poison Idea, all of it available on the internets. They'd been a band for a while, and Jerry A. and Pig Champion were really fucking fat. It was rumored they got rid of their old bass player for not being fat enough. I don't care who you are or where you come from: that's a terrifying concept.

So, some time later I'm living in Portland Oregon, and even though they were supposed to have broken up years earlier, Poison Idea is playing a show! No shit! This is 2000 or thereabouts. I was really excited to see the Heavyweight Champions of hardcore, and had a few cheeseburgers to get in the mood. It was pretty cool, although Pig Champion was nowhere to be seen. Was he more of a Brian Wilson figure these days, or had he left the band, or what? I wanted to see Pig Champion, god dammit. The show ended early when Jerry A. suddenly got fed up, and with some angry words to the fans stormed out. He pushed through the crowd was like Leviathan surfacing from the depths of the ocean.

A few weeks pass, and I'm taking a Portalnd bus somewhere, and I hear this resounding thud to my left. I look over, and it's Jerry A., fixing me with an unnerving glare. I was about to say "hey, I got this tape of yours in a Troy Goodwill," but I did the smart thing and stayed quiet. I know my place on the foodchain, you know? That is to say, I didn't want to end up a giant owl pellet.

Unfortunately, Pig Champion passed away in 2006. Time has been kind to PI's discography, and it's all still larger than life and worth getting your hands on.


plankface said...

Ah! Poison Idea! The misspent days of my Pacific Northwest youth, and such!

The real point of my comment was to continue being the harbinger of upstate New York's decline and tell you that, just as all good things here must come to an end, the giant Troy Goodwill is closed.

thomas dexter said...

Rick -

How in hell did I miss that show? I was in Portland, wasn't I? What was I doing that was so important - its all a terrible rainy blur... Incidently, this blog is a masterpiece and I take full responsibility for "music from the elder"

Thomas said...

also, the Troy goodwill is out of business....sniff..sniff..

Rick said...

The Troy Goodwill is closed? What the shit! That's terrible. That place was the best. I'll bet it was replaced by NOTHING, as well.

Either that or a Circuit City.

Holly said...

"Fuck you, french fries."
This has to be the best line I have ever read in a blog.