The other morning I was quizzing Ernie on the Vertebrats set list Owen had found in the garage.....when it was from and why he might have had it. He laughed and said he had no idea. I asked him how he originally met the guys and we started talking. He said he'd first seen them at Caucus (???) Studios in downtown Champaign. An old building now gone (of course...sigh). He said he and his old girlfriend Jeri went to a party there and walked down the long hallway and and into the main room. In the center of the room the Brats were set up. Matt was singing TV Eye. He was wearing a tie and looked well....as young as he probably was. Ernie said he was immediately intrigued. He knew Kent and after that Kent told him when they were playing, so off he went to Mabel's....still in the days of cushions on the floor. He said he loved dthem and after the show he went and talked to them. And like me....he was at pretty much every show after that first one.
I suppose it was right about these times:
Later in the day he took me out for a drink while Owen was at band practice because he knew I wanted to murder everybody in the family. Side note: why would a child think that a day would go well when the first thing they tell their mother is "You're a lot like Annie (our cat) Mom, you can be all cute and sweet but sometimes you're really mean." Why, oh WHY would they think things would go well for them after that? Anyway we sat and talked and the set list came up again. I said, "Didn't you help them with sound one time?" Yes my friends....Ernie and I are now at the point in which we seem to know each other's lives better than our own. His face lit up and he said, "Oh YEAHHHHH....one time Willie couldn't be there, or could only be there for part of the night or something and he came and set it all up but then I ran it....these must be the notes from that night."
So the mystery is partially solved....although we still don't know exactly when......
I liked hearing Ernie talk about the first time he saw the Brats. I've written about the first time I saw the guys before. What I have never managed to communicate is the feeling of excitement and discovery and the feeling of 'this is mine.' Not the band per se....but the FEELING they gave me....it just went to my core. There were other local bands I absolutely loved but there has never been another band that, on just the right night, made me feel like I could do anything.
Anybody up for writing about the first time they saw the Brats please feel free to post away (if you can post on here rather than facebook it would be great as it's easy to lose facebook posts---they're kind of ephemeral).