(liner notes for Bold Beginnings by Tara Key)
The older I get the more I realize there are a few supreme freeze-frame moments winnowed out of the everyday. Clear piers from which to embark -- chosen or shoved. The summer port of 1978 was a cataclysmic harbor. Three of my, oh, let’s say, top ten piers were there. And the first of those appeared with my first chance at the take-a-leap. No Fun.
Tony Pinotti was the second sentient being to hang out with me while I played guitar. But, unlike my cat, he played too! We aped Neil Young songs, earnestly, extending our painter camaraderie at the Louisville School of Art. There was a good crew there that year, sharing late hours, creative space, tunes and intoxicants.
When he and Bruce started a band (a punk rock band!?! in Louisville!?!) in the spring of 1978, I was invited to attend an early rehearsal to see if I fit. We convened at the sculpture outbuilding at LSA, where original bassist Skip Koeberman taught by day.
Having seen pictures of George Martin recording the Beatles, and having jettisoned any hope of a career at NASA by finding algebra inscrutable, but, with images of crisply-clad control room geeks of music and science burned in my brain put through a filter of hearing “Horses” about 6 gazillion times that spring and subsequently adopting the uniform of the icon on the cover, I thought it best to show up in a white dress shirt, cuffed, with a pre-Knack skinny tie and black jeans. It felt like a ceremony somehow even before I arrived.
I plugged a crappy electric in a borrowed amp and made my way into the scrum.
Immediately, I became molecular. I was rearranged. Ego cleansing at the sonic car wash. That, my friends, is ROCK.
For the shyest human on earth, someone who owned questionable (at best) communication skills -- who frequently had her mother kick her under the table to engage gaze when meeting new people -- this act was tantamount to experiencing space flight and weightlessness. I left the room 3 hours later a member of No Fun with gauged cuticles, open wounds, blood on my hands, blood on my shirt, and macho. It was like I had put my fist through something.
I am glad this record is coming out for many reasons, but one of the main is that I want Bruce’s voice to continue to be heard. In our space. Still blasting off/out of somewhere. Someone’s speakers. Someone’s frame. Breaking glass. “1-2-3-4.” While Tony was my first musical midwife, Bruce is the one who saw through my Pizza Hut waitress uniform and sought to liberate me from the most didactic aspects of my good girl core. He was the first to make me consider what if? To add some Dionysian to my Apollonian bent. And those two boys were the first to shove me off a cliff.