I was heading to the Dedham Mall with Cheryl Peyton Rooke back when she was Cheryl Peyton one Saturday or Sunday in the late spring/early summer of 1980; we were going to lunch later but she had picked out a new couch for her apartment and she wanted me to take a look at it, partly because I'm the guy women take with them when they go shopping for stuff and partly because Cheryl knew that the more we did friend stuff together, the less I'd feel attracted to her. (God I was so in love with her.) She she's driving and we're talking and listening to WBCN and in the the middle of our conversation we hear the DJ announce a new song and then four L-O-U-D guitar chords reach out of the car radio and punch us both in the chest, after which this coked-out punk rocker chants a litany of all his friends who DIED! DIED! And the two of us look at each other and say, "What the hell?" because it's 30 years ago and nobody said "What the fuck?" like they do now, and as the song keeps playing (and playing) and never loses a beat (and never actually hits a note, it's an all-shouting song), the two of us start laughing like little kids, especially when we hear "These are friends who DI-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-IED!!!!"
"Oh my God," Cheryl said. "Who IS this?" "Whoever he is, he's on a lot of drugs," I said. And for the next month, all either one of us had to do was say "Died. Died." and both of us would start laughing like like crazy people.
Almost 30 years later and that song's been on every dance tape I ever mixed. Best memory: at Tommy's birthday bash, when that song came on and we started pogoing and shouting out the lyrics, and the friends who weren't part of the Norwood Ave crowd looked at us like they were Quakers and we had just become possessed by Satan. By the end of the song they were all driving back to relieve their babysitters, and maybe listen to some Nat King Cole to clear their musical palate. Which was too bad. They totally missed out on "I Wanna Be Sedated."
So thanks, Jim. And Cheryl? If you're out there? Died. Died.