Rocktober, and with Galileo by my side, I'm submitting my hypothesis to argue and refute this declaration and state that ROCK IS THE GREATEST TRIGGER OF ALL TIME of memories in the human cerebral cortex.*Scientists and doctors have made the claim that smell is the greatest trigger of memories in your brain. So in honor of the lords of
Evidence sample #15-SD. When I hit play on Social Distortion’s Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell I’m immediately transported to my huffy bike riding 3 miles with a pocket full of dimes and nickels I stole from my parents change jar to meet my friends at the Snack Shack during the summer of 92’. Here we would order a bunch of hot dogs (extra spicy peppers please), and load the jukebox with enough coins so we could rock out to this album. Soon enough, we knew the songs well enough that we would pretend to be the house band performing this album for other customers as we rotated in on air guitar and mimicking Mike Ness's vocals between the booths for other customers. I don't really remember if others really liked it, nor did we care, but I know we all rocked our own little 15 year old faces off, and it was glorious. Throughout that summer, no one bought this album from the record store, and to this day I feel it was a primal decision by all of us. If you wanted to listen to this we will all meet at the Snack Shack to do so. Its all or nothing. No exceptions. And looking back, it was the first time I felt like I was in a band.
So besides a great memory, is this great music? Hell ya. Do they still sound like chauvinistic pigs? Yep. Do they tell some stories? Sure. Does it all kind of sound the same? For sure. But most importantly, does it still make me want to sing and play air guitar in my living room or at work 18 years later, i.e. does it rock? Oh Ya. Its punk rock from the early 90’s from guys who loved punk as much as country music, rockabilly, and Johnny Cash. And it always had the feeling that they knew what they were singing about. So why would I pick this album to share with you. Well maybe you are like me and punk really isn’t your thing anymore, but when you do hear it done right it makes you want to pump your fist, feel good to be a loser, then flick somebody off, make a couple of bad decisions, and then hold your lady (or man) tenderly because you feel bad about yourself, why, because you can, and it will all be ok in the end, or at least that’s what Social Distortion told you. So when you hit play on this, I hope it spurs some memory in your life that only rock can produce. And that is really why this album means anything to me, because every time I listen to it I'm taken back to a time when I would ride my bike 3 miles just to meet friends so we could listen to music, play air guitar, and rock out together. And I hope it’s not the last.
*This research is currently pending approval in the Scientific Journal of Rockontology.
- courtesy of Andre Radloff