Were you at this event? Did you miss these festivities for a memorable reason? Would you like to revisit your memories of this night as a stepping-off point to discuss your connection to Jeff? If so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5:57 a.m. Friday, August 16, 1996
The sky turned pink through Rockhill Park’s maples and sycamores, and you could start to make out the bends in the trail from 15 feet away. August’s second half began just like its first half: scattered clouds throughout the day, no precipitation, mid-80s at noon, then dipping into the 70s after 6 p.m.
On this day in 1930, Kansas City-born animator Ub Iwerks released “Fiddlesticks,” the tale of woodland conductor Flip The Frog. It was the first sound cartoon produced in color. Gazing into Hinkson Creek 66 years later, one might have wondered what orchestration Flip would have arranged that morning. Would the muskrat strum the invasive autumn olive? Would the weasel pluck the flood-plain wingstem? Would the spry fox drum the sandy sedge? Continue reading “Critical historic context:”
During the sweltering mid-Missouri summer of 1996, 1402 University wasn’t a place you would flock to in order to beat the often-oppressive humidity and heat. There was no air conditioning. Turning on a room fan was like blowing bubbles into a volcano. Squirrels had the run of the attic. The second-floor “balcony” was a death-trap, at best. No one used the hideous first-floor bathroom or mentioned it to guests. If you deigned to walk barefoot on the carpet for longer than five seconds, you had to accept that no antibiotics could treat your impending, agonizing, infected demise. Still, 1402 University was a goddamn jewel compared to most of the other squalid student-housing shitholes in town.
Show map (blue icons):
1. Mark drummed in front of the French doors along the living room’s south wall.
2. Jeremiah sang here.
3. Schooley set up his amp in this corner.
4. Before the cops came, the capacity crowd packed in 21 feet deep and 14 feet wide to the room’s north wall.
5. Due to the heat, a fluctuating crowd of three to eight people watched from the backyard.
6. Jeff chilled a handle of bourbon and two bottles of champagne in the mini-fridge.
7. Jon’s giant Raymond Pettibon Goo poster loomed high on the east wall above the stairwell. Some dickhead tried to steal it and ended up ripping it. Jon later repaired it, duct-taping carefully from the top left to the center, and hung it back on the wall.
8. Responding to a noise complaint, the cops appeared at the front door.
9. (two icons) Gary left his bike in either the sun room or the stairwell. Some joker moved it into the full-sized bathtub in the second-floor bathroom between Gary and Jeff’s room. It was the last time Gary left his bike downstairs.
10. Repulsive, rarely used first-floor bathroom
The Revelators and Whitney gathered to provide commentary on the evening’s proceedings.
Jeff quickly put together the show when he realized that all four of his roommates (Gary, Holly, Jon, and Marlon) would be out of town. At least two (probably three) of the housemates attended the Cardinals-Marlins game that night at the old Busch Stadium. They wanted to catch a glimpse of Ozzie Smith, who was retiring at the end of the year. They sat in sec. 342, snuck in a handle of whisky, and mixed it with Coke. Smith pinch-hit for Andy Benes in the bottom of the eighth and doubled to left off Florida’s Miguel Batista to score Gary Gaetti. The Cards won 6-2.
I recall a lot of the details of this show quite well, particularly those that capture me on film. It was eventful (I liked the Revelators and thought it was a particularly fun house show) yet uneventful (I had seen them before and a scuffle with crowd members seemed par for the course). Sometime after this show, a girl came up to me and said, “Hey, aren’t you in the Secretaries?” It turned out to be Briana, the sister of Jeremiah, the singer in the Revelators. I’d never met her before. She said, “Hey, things are totally cool with you guys and them, they weren’t even talking about you at the show, it’s a total misunderstanding.”
For Dan, then 16, and Drew, then 15, the Aug. 16, 1996, show was a critical turning point that solidified their friendship with Jeff. Drew shot all the footage on YouTube.
Justin, then 16, wasn’t really into garage rock and was worried about getting home after the show. He was a self-described “metal kid” who forged a friendship with Jeff based on their shared appreciation for technically skilled bands.