Thomm Quackenbush, author


"Vickie the lovely Libra gets older and wiser. Angela the sloppy Sagittarius gets ice cream cake on her dress."

Birthday Blues Banished By Green Day Kisses

After a summer of allergic convulsions, strange beds and banishments, I have finally found steady employment. Fall has arrived and that means two things to this Rocket Queen: Perspiration-free adventures and my birthday! I started celebrating early and I am happy to say that I am still going strong!

When offered a ticket to Green Day at Giant Stadium, I was skeptical of kick-ass band vs. disgusting arena. I hadn't seen them since the day I threw a can of Diet Coke at Tre Cool's head for choosing an oyster bar over my company. Delighted by my punkrock gesture, he wore my day-of-the-week children's barrettes onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards that night. I jumped at the chance to see Green Day perform again, even though I had been walking around all day in a not-so-concert-friendly vintage dress with no time to go home and change.

From the Jersey Turnpike I was struck in the face by the mammoth stadium and felt an utter sense of abhorrence. My ambivalence was thwarted once my high school heroes ascended onto the enormous stage. By the third song I was in love with them once again. I laughed, I cried and seriously considered rushing the stage when Billie Joe stuck his hands down his pants and purred while fondling himself, "Somebody Fuck Me!" The explosions and fireballs were nothing compared to the ferocious attack of Billie's performance. He threw his pallid little Pisces body (See Angela Lovell's Whorscopes) around like a 5'8 hurricane. His voice has quadrupled in range and force. Mike and Tre are on a new plane as far as rhythm is concerned. They have come a long way from the three chords and dream nuance of Dookie. Just when I thought it was over they pulled fans out of the crowd to play on "Knowledge" (my favorite Operation Ivy cover.) The very lucky lady who got to play Billie's ax not only scored a full mouth smooch but also got to keep the guitar! By the end of the third encore and a ballsy rendition of "We Are The Champions" (it is an arena, after all) there was a twenty-minute showcase of fireworks bidding good-bye to summer and to my doldrums. As I gathered my belongings and we headed out into the cool Jersey night, I nestled into the warm thought that Billie, Tre and Mike are the same ridiculous kids they were sixteen years ago. But now they have pyrotechnics!

Bursting with rejuvenation, I clip on fake tresses and work my reserved-for-bouncer charms on attending yet another free show at Irving Plaza. My favorite security guard adorned my friend Leeora and me with two passes just in time for CKY's performance. They dove into a killer set disproving all theories that the source of their popularity is in direct correlation to drummer Jess Margera's little brother, Bam. One Heineken and a lipstick-check later, I was singing along to familiar tunes with Brandon Novak and Mr. Bam Margera himself in the VIP area. The last time I saw these vestiges of prankdom I was in my underpants discussing politics with Ville Valo, singer for HIM, in a fancy hotel room at the break of day. Just like that last time, I knew I was in for another long night.

After the show the boys decided to have a few brews at 119 (119 15th St) Unaware of the obvious faux pas of strolling into bars with which you are in litigation, I was forced to stand outside and wait for my entourage. When Bam & Co. were good and saucy we piled into swanky chauffeured vehicles and headed down to Happy Ending (302 Broome St.) This former massage parlor is great for a mid-week cocktail in the comfy lounge upstairs, but if you want to get dirty, the downstairs bar is the best place to bring a hottie worthy of torso-pressing while listening to Bowie. If that's not enough, the sauna rooms are perfect for drunken make-out madness. Like royalty, we were escorted to the VIP room, which felt more like an airtight catacomb filled to the brim with tragically hip and sickly thin hangers-on. We partook in shots of Patron and quickly snuck out the back door in search of a less MTV-friendly crowd.

I took my now heavily intoxicated celebrity friends to a flashbulb-free speakeasy where rockstars run rampant, and beautiful darlings such as my good friend, and Don Hill's Bitch Party regular, Sweet Amy, slings drinks. Sixes and Eights (205 Chrystie St.) is the quintessential rock-n-roll bar. Don't be fooled by this bi-level, sign-free tavern's majestic main room. The high-pressed tin ceilings, giant mirrors, and enormous chandelier have served as backdrop to many nights of debaucherous excess. We headed downstairs to the carpeted, Vegas style rec room and given tokens for the slot machines from which you can sip the drink of your choice from the comfort of a beanbag chair. In my world, "Last call" means "Where to next?" Little did I know I'd end up drinking beer on Carson Daily's backyard-size terrace until high noon. The sun was up and like drunken flies, one by one we dropped. My advice: Never schedule a job interview when Bam Margera is going to be in town.

Barely recovered and drastically in need of a good meal, I dove right into my birthday weekend expecting a cerebral meltdown. I've never been to Coney Island and what better excuse to witness the best Brooklyn has to offer than a White Stripes show at Keyspan Park? Though Jackie rocked me to my blues cover lovin' core, he and Meg looked like miniature marionettes from our shitty seats. The stink of yuppie desire's abusive request of "Fell In Love with A girl" literally sent me screaming onto the boardwalk begging for a do over. When I last saw the Stripes, Jack and I partook in a very serious game of thumb-wrestling at 7B (108 Ave B.) Jack beating me seventeen times was less embarrassing than what I was forced to do that night. I walked out of the show mid-set. My little heart just couldn't stand the abundance of Urban Outfitters t-shirts reading "CBGB's," knowing these idiots had never set foot in the endangered landmark.

Upward and southbound to Continental (25 Third Ave), we headed for my friend, Tor's birthday bash. His band, Joker Five Speed, took to the stage like the rock-n-roll renegades they are and reminded me why I have such vehement rage towards big tour America. The night took a turn for the better when lovely Abby, the lead singer, and guitar genius of New York's own Slunt joined us with her hubby, Bret Scallions, singer of the hit churning band Fuel. Also on the bill that night was Jesus Kenievel. Their guitar player miraculously pulled it together and grabbed the mic, standing in for their singer who was hauled off in cuffs an hour prior to their set. All the cute ones have at least three warrants for their arrest.

My birthday, like summer, has come and gone, leaving behind a trail of matchbooks and photographs to remind me of nights worthy of premature aging. Now I have to find a place to live, a good pair of boots to carry me through winter, and how to eat on $10 a week. Thank god I found a place that still sells ephedra!



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