Clarification for Bernie

You don’t know me, but here’s how I know Frank. I was a year behind him at college, and greatly admired Frank as music director of the radio station. (A staff meeting comment by him my freshman year, about how “some DJs were still playing the music they listened to in high school” I think had a permanent and very positive effect on my musical tastes.)

I was an early admirer of Wimp Factor Fourteen. WFXIV trivia buffs may not even know that in the summer of 1991, after graduating, I received a postcard at my folks’ place in Maryland from drummer/all-around-good-guy- even-if-he-still-has-my-copy-of-Waiting-for-Godot-my,-that’s-ironic Tom Hoffman, inviting me to join the band. I politely declined, citing my A) absolute lack of musical talent save for rudimentary harmonica skills (I once gave a how-to speech in Spanish class on playing harmonica with your nose, and I might still be able to pick out—no pun intended—“Blowin’ in the Wind” with that method.) and B) I really felt I owed it to my folks to get some sorta “real job.” I sometimes wonder how my life would’ve gone if I accepted the offer and moved back to Pittsburgh, much like I wonder what would’ve happened if I accepted year-before-me-in-high-school Chris McQuarrie’s suggestion to come to California and write movies.

Still, much like Ron Blair after quitting Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I continued to go to shows, such as Wimp Factor 14’s bill with Crayon at the Khyber Pass, Philadelphia. And I kept a foot in the Pittsburgh music scene by providing floor space for the Karl Hendricks Trio whenever they were in the greater Hoboken area. (Got a free meal at Maxwell’s when the Trio opened for the Mekons because I was “with the band.”) Befriended Rob Washburn’s friend Jerry, who coincidentally has worked with former co-worker Sal and behind-me-a-year-in-high-school friend Jim. Kept up with Vehicle Flips, attending the farewell show in Park Slope. Missed the WFXIV reunion at Lit Lounge because the girl who just dumped me “assumed I knew about it.” I didn’t. Have kept up with Gazetteers. Attended modern-dance performance involving a girl soon to spurn me, but nevertheless was interested to find out the music was by Rob Christiansen. Became Facebook friends with Yary. Got invited to this blog. Wrote this.

But enough about me. How are you?

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