Anyway, that revelation wasn't the reason for this post. What prompted me to whip out the scanner and upload some photos to Flickr was the discovery of this ancient printout. I found it in a random stack of papers somewhere in the depths of my cluttered back room. It happens to be a dot-matrix printout of a poem my old college buddy Dave Weaver wrote in November of 1986, and "emailed" me via the semi-proto-internet we had on campus. (see the end of this post for a transcript.) Dave was a card; a funny guy from Urbana, Illinois with a talent for learning Chinese and playing bass. Actually, he could play lots of instruments, and was always trying to play his music for his friends. Problem is, our crowd was into punk, hardcore, and rockin' out, and Dave tended to write heartfelt emotional music, so most people didn't really want to hear Dave's latest creation. I, on the other hand, loved Dave's music. So much so, that when Dave borrowed my old Fostex four-track and let me hear his demo songs, I pressed him to allow me to engineer an album of his original tunes, which we did during Oberlin's Winter Term one year.
Since I needed to have a pic of ol' Dave on this post, I dug up a few pics from my archives and scanned 'em in. If you really want to shudder, go check out a few of the others I found in my "Oberlin College In The 1980s" Flicker set. I know I wasn't a Don Juan back in those days, but I can't believe my friends actually allowed me to run around loose looking quite that bad. You can also see our old dining hall, and even a shot or three from the TIMARA studios, where I worked on getting my electronic music degree.
I've lost track of all my old Oberlin buddies. My original roommates and best pals were Roger "The Party Mutant" White (who was an ethnomusicology genius who introduced me to Motorhead, Judas Priest, and James Brown; I think he's married now), Jeremy "Jer-Bro" Tompkins (who was a Bio/Chem double-major, which is ridiculous at a top-rank school like Oberlin, I used to have great fun typing his papers for him as he dictated to me, and got me drunk for the first time, as well as many times afterwards.), and my good buddy Tom "Thomas C From Across The Sea/The Might Of One And The Libido Of Three" Manion (who always insisted Cleveland was America's North Coast, shared my love of surrealism, and loved The Floyd more than anybody. Last I heard he had packed two dufflebags and gone to seek his fame and fortune in the theater world of NYC). I also shared great times with Pat Wehner from West By God Virginia who drank and watched Twin Peaks with me, Jim "I'm An Actor" Thompson who would always be willing to stand up during poker games and recite horrendous paragraphs from porn novels I had clipped out for him, Jonathan "SuperJew" Silverman who was the life of every party and invented the rewording of the Run DMC lyric "not bad meaning bad but bad meaning HOBGOOD!" which he would scream out no matter where the song was playing, Kathy Thompson and Cathy Gale who I had massive crushes on, Matthew "Hello" White who was just the nicest guy you'd ever meet and was embarrassed at the birthday rap I wrote for him (he was born on 5-5, the fifth of May--as he liked to tell us), Larry "The Axe-Man" Axtell who cohosted a wrestling radio show with me and fled from Oberlin to join the Ringling Brothers Clown College, and Mike Soohoo who was head of the Asian American Alliance and taught me how important it was to not to overuse the word "hate". Two quick bits about Mike Soohoo: he made the mistake of telling us a story about how he had been teaching at a summer camp before the semester, and how the kids made fun of his name, calling him "Soo Who?" and "Soohoobaru". Oh, how we used that against him for the rest of the year! Mike and I also had an ongoing war over which of Prince's rejects were hotter: Appolonia or Vanity. (I was a big Vanity fan. I have all her records!) Oh, and so many others I'm forgetting: Casey, Terra, Jon Fine, Douglas, Jenny Seltzer, Marti, Kevin, Reid, Harm Farm, Bitch Magnet, Jenny Douglass (who I had a crush on in sixth grade, and then was surprised to discover at Oberlin!), and my brain can't cope with the hundreds of othes I knew and loved to be around.
For posterity, here's the text of the poem Dave Weaver wrote off the top of his head to amuse me:
Ted, Ted, he has no fearFor the record, I did tend to wear an overcoat and suede cowboy hat, and carry a cane as an affectation. What can I say, Oberlin was a pretty alternative college, and I was a big dork. I did literally sleep in a closet for a semester, as our dorm room had a huge walk in closet, and we converted it into a second bedroom. I never had a "lady" in there though. And I can "do the numchucks" as well as the figure four. Watch out, Chuck Norris.
Born and raised with a pack o' bears,
Bigger than you ever did see
Can eat his way through a factory,
Faster than the lightning strikes,
Slyer than the Devil's tikes,
Ted, Ted, he has no fear.
Ted, Ted, the ladies' man,
Got one in the closet and one in the van,
Take his cane and overcoat,
Show them gals the roundabout,
Don't look now, he's looking fine,
Big leather hat, he wines and dines,
Ted, Ted the ladies' man.
Ted, Ted, the master o' rap,
Can put you down better than tiger trap,
He knows the ins and out of the world,
The city stops when he says a word,
He can do the numchucks and the figure four too,
You better watch out when he's comin' after you,
Ted, Ted, the master o' rap.