KROQ – Dusty Street – January 1984 – Rob Frankel Collection –
Let’s face it; you’re sixteen and the rest of the world is grabbing life by the handful, roaring by with you stuck in limbo. Stuck in forever neutral. Stuck in that weird age where everything seems to fit but there’s nothing you can do about it. You’re convinced you’ve been left out and you swear life sucks, and it will suck forever.
You know for a fact you’re going to miss out on everything. The prime of your life – the best of all possible times. A whole universe of clubs, bands and romance; waiting. But you’ve been left out; you can’t get there.
Well . . .yes you can. And yes you did. Your ticket to freedom came in the form of an i.d. card – one that said, in no uncertain terms, that you were old enough to be one of the cool people and had every right to plug yourself into the fast lane. A friend of a friend takes Print Shop and has access to a laminating machine. And his friend of a friend has access to expired i.d. cards. Suddenly, life has infinite possibilities.
Small problem: Even though your picture is laminated on the card – the card says you’re Manuel Gutierrez, are 5′ 11″ and born in 1930. Your friend in Print-shop got the picture right – he just forgot to change the rest of it.
With any luck, the bouncer won’t notice – and on Saturday night every club in L.A. is so jammed with people wanting to get in there’s no time to check every detail on every card. So you and your friends, also armed with newly acquired fake i.d.’s, breeze by and land in the lap of paradise.
You try your best to act cool, like this is no big deal. But the heady aroma of old beer, new cigarettes and wall-to-wall people has you vibrating like a tuning fork.
You amble your way to the bar, three-deep in party people and manage to stake claim to a vacated seat. Your friends cluster around you while you order beer; doesn’t matter what kind – you order beer. And another – and another – and another.
Time either creeps or flies, you can’t figure out which. All you know is you are slumped over a dumpster on Ocean Avenue, horking up what seems like lunch from three years ago while your friends hold your hair back and some guy asks “is she okay?”. He is not getting lucky tonight, but you don’t remember how lucky he was supposed to get.
Next morning arrives with a vengeance as the otherwise welcome rays of sun shoot flaming hot arrows through your head. Your mouth tastes like a landfill and your breath has the power to bend iron. And all around you are clusters of what looks like crusty clumps of breakfast. There’s no point in getting up – no point in even pretending.
And all you can do is lie there, look up at the ceiling and mutter “wow”.
And while you are recovering, there is none other than Dusty Street and KROQ, keeping the party going – non-stop, this January in 1984.
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