In the summer after I finished 10th grade, I got a job working as a gopher in a
As we became more comfortable with each other, we found that we shared a love of music. Drew used to buy albums at Freebeing records on 2nd Avenue, near St. Mark's. He'd bring them to work and crank them on the studio stereo. I really admired the range and adventurousness of Drew’s taste. Without his ever knowing it, he taught me to cast a wide net when it comes to discovering and appreciating music. He turned me on to a lot of what was then called “New Music”, bands like REM, The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen and Aztec Camera (remember Roddy Frame?), but also older stuff like The Turtles and The Mothers of Invention…
There are a couple of songs on Kick out the Jams that I still have a lot of fun listening to today (“Ramblin’ Rose”, “I Want You Right Now,” Motor City is Burnin’,” “Kick out the Jams”), but what I loved most about the record back then was the insane and hilarious banter between songs. A manic emcee at the start of the record introduces the band. “Are you ready to testify?” he yells, “I give you a testimonial... The MC5!”… At the end of a song called “Come Together”, one of the guys in the band (I think either Wayne Kramer or Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith) says, “thank you, and we hope you all did come…together.” …Elsewhere on the record, the same guy sounds like he's foaming at the mouth as he yells, 'I hear a lot of talk, by a lot of honkies, sittin’ on a lot of money, tellin' me they're high society. Well, I'll let you know something. If you ask me, this is the high society! This is the high society!”
But the best part of the album is when Rob Tyner announces that, ‘right now, right now, right now, it’s time to…KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHERFUCKER!!!
Sadly, I lost touch with Drew after that summer and we didn’t reconnect until he shot me an e-mail from out of the blue last year. In that long time between, though, Drew became a much sought after photographer, filmmaker and music video director. He is currently working on a book titled Matinee, a collection of amazing photographs he took in the mid 1980s of young punks at the CBGB weekend hardcore matinees. If you’d like a little taste of how intense these photographs are, go to www.myspace.com/drewcarolan. ...You can also view a great video about the project.
After I got the e-mail from Drew last year, I went to visit him at his home here in
'...And right now, right now…'
I originally wanted this post to be about The MC5 and The Flamin’ Groovies. But thinking about the MC5 diverted me, so I’ll hold off on the rest until next time.