Tuesday, October 4, 2011


     In 2001, I got a letter about my zine from a nice young punk kid named Jamie from Islip,NY.. The only mail I usually got regarding my zine either said "Here's two bucks. Send me your zine." or "Your pinball reviews suck." This letter was an actual letter. Jamie said that he really liked my zine a lot. It was sincere, encouraging and heartfelt. Jamie told me about his life and wanting to get out of the suburbs, wanting to travel with a band. He said maybe one day he would get down to Chattanooga and meet me. I kept in touch with him through letters and he kept me updated on his exodus from Long Island; about busking on the streets, getting beaten up by frat boys, getting his heart broken and all the things inbetween. True to his word, he made it to Chattanooga with his band, THE LAZER. His band fought each other on and off stage. I took him out for pizza and and he was just as sweet and sincere as the letters I got from him.I liked this guy a lot. He was a real fuck-up, but a loveable one: the kind that is harder and harder to find as you get older.
   The years went on and Jamie and I strayed a part a little bit. but it was always good to see him. He would give me any new music that he was working on at the time and never take any money from me, even when I shoved it in his hand. He would just drop it on the ground.
  "We're friends, Greg. We don't need money between us"
   The funny thing was that he wouldn't just give me one record, he would give me 5 or 6 and tell me to give them away to anyone who wanted it. Over the years, he probably gave me 20 copies of both BENT OUTTA SHAPE LP's and I've never held on to them because I gave them all away (As of 4 weeks ago, I now have my own copy of "Stray Dog Town". Thanks Naters!)
  All the music he gave me was good...straight from the heart...Even when I didn't really like it that much, I could appreciate it because Jamie was giving it his all every time. I saw BENT OUTTA SHAPE play to almost no one in a basement in Indiana and they played the show as if it was a sold out crowd at Madison Square Gardens. Totally rockin', Totally devoid of ego or posturing.
  There was one time that I stayed at his place in Brooklyn. It was late and I came home alone, trying to be quiet and sneaking under his loft to go to sleep. He peered over the side of the loft and told me to come up for a drink before bed. I said "I don't know, Jimbo. I'm kinda tired and already a little drunk"
 He said "One drink. One record. That's all i ask. I never get to see you."
   I crawled up in the loft, he handed me a tallcan of beer and put on "Tim" by the REPLACEMENTS. We had a nice long talk that covered everything from relationships to tour to future plans to the amazingness of the record we were listening to. As the last notes of "Here Comes a Regular" were fading out, we finished our beers as if on cue. Jamie leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. "See...that wasn't so bad hanging out with your old friend, Jamie. Sleep well and I'll see you in the morning."
    We lost touch more over the years. I heard some bad stories, I saw some bad things. Jamie apologized to me in the streets of Brooklyn about things that never happened between us. Ten seconds later, he was getting beaten up by one of his friends. I couldn't really handle it and I left.
  The end of the story isn't the important part. It's too sad. Jamie isn't here anymore and we're left with all this music that is so hard to listen to now. All that heart, bravado, insecurity, longing and heartbreak spread out across some records, fading letters, torn photographs and decaying cassette tapes.I'm really glad I took that time to listen to "Tim" up in his loft. One last moment to say goodbye, even if I didn't know it was gonna be the last time.
  BOSSY AND FRIENDS is a tape that Jamie slipped into my hands while hugging me at a show in Gainesville, FL. It showcased some new bands of his at the time (BOSSY, THE YOUNG MEN and TENDER WIZARDS) and some good friends of his. I hated BOSSY when I first heard them, but it has grown on me over time. The YOUNG MEN song on here is my favorite song they ever did. If anyone knows anything about UPHOLSTERY, please tell me. THE DIRTY LOOKS songs on here are also two of my favorite songs they ever did. This tape catches the Brooklyn punk scene at a good time, just before everything shit the bed. Enjoy. Don't let it bring you down.
                     Download BOSSY AND FRIENDS


Dk said...

This is such an awesome story, even as tragic as it ends up being. A story about a friend, a time, a place and a moment. I've enjoyed hearing all of these bands over the years and having read your post makes this comp resonate a little stronger in my mind, heart and soul. Thanks for sharing your story and the music surrounding it.

dirty marquee said...

greggy!! i just dowwnloaded so much stuff. thanks for posting this. i miss you!!!

will you please post totally chaos if you have it.

xo gayteena

Harvester said...

Thanks DK. Totally Chaos coming soon, Gaybob. I miss you tons!

Alex T. said...

Man, I only met Jamie once in Brooklyn when I was a kid. It's pretty ironic now that I live there because of all the cool shit he showed me. Do you have any other recordings of Bossy by any chance?? I Luckily found a copy of the Best of Bossy in Academy, sure enough Nate sold it to me haha.

Harvester said...

That little man made a big difference in a lot of people's lives.
That LP has everything you need, I think...or everything they recorded, as far as I know.

Alex T. said...

Hey I asked Nate, and he says nothing major was released by upholstery (bummer I know). But I think Cassie has some recordings. I can ask her for you if you'd like bud.

Harvester said...

I can't honestly say that getting those songs are on the top of my list, but if I heard them one day, that would be cool.

Anonymous said...

check out radio faces too. amazing band. amazing people.