Citizen John

I've never been able to figure out how to be cool. I'm always three years behind the pack, and by the time I catch up, I'm outdated. I didn't figure out that wearing shoes without socks was the "in" thing to do until three years after Miami Vice was cancelled. (Of course I also wore Velcro shoes without socks, and Velcro shoes were only hip for about a week in 1982.) Plus I didn't drive a Ferrari. It was also the middle of winter, and I got frostbite on my ankles. On top of that, my sidekick's name was David, and David was in the "special" class, whatever that means. Once I wore a denim jacket on a date when I was 12, a date being a walk to the gas station to buy some Lick-a-Stick and hold hands. I thought I was good-looking in my jacket until my date informed me that NO ONE wore dark denim anymore. Anymore? I was 12. I threw my jacket away. I loved that jacket. It was 30 degrees out. I couldn't even figure out when I was supposed to be wearing parachute pants and when was the right time for painter pants. I panicked and wore acid-washed; people who wore those got beat up just on principle. I switched to shorts. I hated those shorts, and it was 15 degrees out. I even tried imitating famous people. Michael Jackson sold 45 million records, so I figured he HAD to be cool. Living in Spokane and walking around in a red leather jacket and one sequined glove did not go over well. Of course, this was nothing compared to when I decided to dress like Prince. That was a painful time for me. But I was on the right track; musicians are the way to go. They are trendsetters, one step ahead of the rest of the fashion-impaired world. How else would I have known to get a tattoo, bleached hair, and a nose ring? The absolute coolest band in the world, the Dandy Warhols, have a new album coming out next month called Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia. There's no better looking, sounding, or dressed band in the free world. They make selling out to the man and singing

about the joys of heroin chic, which is hard to do. The last time I saw them perform, the keyboard player was naked, the singer took off his socks and put them over the microphone, and the rest of the band just fell down a lot. I'm not sure how cool that was, but what do I know about being hip?

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