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Chronicles of a Fan Girl: ‘No, No They Can’t Take That Away From Me’

Chronicles of a Fan Girl, love, music

Summer in the Valley of the Sun begins the first day we break 100 degrees and continues with each day that follows. By that assessment, it is summer most of the time. The earmark of the summers of my youth was the realization that every band I loved would be hitting a festival stage in my city, and the sudden presence of an unwavering resolve that would drive me to stand outside for 12 hours just to be in the front row.

With the heat came late nights on the phone, and watching the sunrise from a tepid pool; with the heat came the terribly, wonderful bloom of summer love. With these epic crushes came the love-drunk delusions that made me oblivious to the fact that I spent months driving around in broke-down, hot-rod could have beens, on black vinyl seats with no air-conditioning.  Somewhere along the line, crushes crush you and shooting star romances end in break up. Some break ups are bad. I think we all know what I mean. The tail spin that may include, but is not limited to: pathetic sobbing, ice cream, booze, bad decisions, accosting, calling and/or emailing exes “High Fidelity” style, and putting those sad songs on repeat just to send you through the ringer.

Many break ups are minor but some feel like epic emotional divorces complete with the division of interests, hang outs, objects, and music that once brought you joy. You may find yourself abandoning bands, songs, and entire albums that break your heart or turn your stomach as they send you down the rabbit hole of memories. There may even be artists and songs you literally will never revisit due to the unpleasant association. But then there are those too good to relinquish or banish. While it is fair to describe my former love life as a parade of jackasses, I can say that I have taken with me a sprig of wisdom, a few records and some great bands.

Weezer, Chronicles of a Fan Girl This utter refusal to give up songs because of heartbreak (though mighty minor at the time) started in high school with a summer romance with the boy that would be my first kiss. That’s right folks, high school. Walt loved Weezer and so did I! Oh, my god we were so meant to be. Upon realizing that he was a gross boy who most likely asked me out on a dare, I allowed him to think he broke up with me one night when he called me drunk.  Though I dodged a bullet with that fool, I remember hearing Say It Ain’t So  for the first time and wondering, “Is this ruined for me?” As soon as I asked the question I answered myself and thought, “Not a chance!”

Tom Waits, Chronicles of a Fan GirlThen there was Forrest who introduced me to Tom Waits. Forrest was mean and my sister really hated him. When we broke up, I realized that I was going to need Mr. Waits to get me through the break up. If you have not ever heard the song “Time” or “Hold On,”  you will know just what I am talking about.


Neutral Milk Hotel, Chronicles of a Fan Girl As for Ethan, I most likely ruined more music for him than he could have ever ruined for me. Nonetheless, all the music I brought to that loving disaster of a relationship could have been tainted because that break up was, in a word, devastating. I only made out with two-thirds of what I adored. I took with me Louis Armstrong and Neutral Milk Hotel and left him the Foo Fighters. Neutral Milk Hotel is so completely mine, I listen to their music almost weekly and I feel nothing but joy. Their graphic and intense songs are unlike anything I have ever heard. “Two Headed Boy” is a romantic work of art, and the album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a masterpiece from start to finish.

Murder City Devils, Chronicles of a Fan Girl

Johnny was a super cool Rockabilly kid, both foolish and handsome. He introduced me to Murder City Devils. The first time I heard “Someone Else’s Baby,” I knew it was mine forever. I would need the lyrics “I heard and read the only love is lost love/ If that’s true then people like me and you we get our share of love” for that blasted break up. I got out of that situation with a fantastic band that was new to me, and left with my love for Social Distortion unscathed.

Chuck was a party boy who took too many drugs. When we broke up, he took with him Bush. I don’t miss Bush anymore than I miss him. That one I am cool with.

So the next time you part ways with a former object of your affection, take the good stuff and leave the rest.

*Please note that names have been changed to protect the ridiculous.

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  1. The Archives: June - The Spec Blog - […] “Chronicles of a Fan Girl: ‘No, No They Can’t Take That Away From Me,’” originally published June 5, 2013…

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