today is the 20th anniversary of Pinkerton

pinksnowmy favorite weezer album.

one day i was at a party and Rivers was there.

it was during the time when Rivers was in exile because he was so sad and ashamed that Pinkerton wasnt the commercial monster that their debut, the blue album was.

he had a thick beard and he was as shy as everyone said he was gonna be and he sat in a comfy chair in the corner trying to hide behind his glasses. i think he was practicing to be invisible.

after a beer i got the courage to walk over to him and say hi. he said hi and smiled but it felt like even that was torture and for sure i didnt wanna torture one of my favorite rock stars.

i said, i just wanna tell you, i dont care what anyone says, i love Pinkerton and i am so grateful you made it. he smiled the most awkward smile like i had just complemented him on a messy poop.

later i heard people playing music in the garage.

the party was being held in the small house on Amherst Street in West LA where Weezer lived when they first moved to LA. The garage in question was the one Rivers wrote about in the song from the Blue Album.

whoever was on drums was playing super badly. i thought to myself, im pretty bad at drums but im not as bad as That guy. so i went in, asked for the drumsticks and took over for the jam session.

minutes later, shy Rivers came in with a notebook. turned out it was filled with Nirvana songs that he was learning. he had little notes with chord changes and lyrics. whoever was on guitar handed him the guitar and he turned to me and said, do you know Nirvana?

sarcastically i said WHO?

not catching the joke he said, Kurt Cobain, Nirvana?

i was all, play a little and i’ll figure it out.

(next to Weezer, Nirvana was my favorite band.)

and we all played Nirvana songs until i realized what was happening and i ran out of the room because my heart was about to explode in a million pieces.

even telling this very true story is making me feel that way.

a few years ago Rivers and Weezer played Pinkerton all the way through at the Universal Ampitheater which was then called the Gibson which is now called Harry Potter World because they tore it down to make way for an amusement park.

because life is super dooper weird and sometimes ridiculously magical.

a visit to the local mall

skatemy mom and I are at a random mall in the middle of nowhere an hour outside Chicago.

I see a Thrasher tshirt in the window of a skate shop with a demonic goat 666 image on a satanic star.

So naturally I go in because how is this seriously in this suburban Illinois mall?

We start talking to the guy working at the shop.

Curious if there’s any Todd Francis skateboards there, I ask if he has any.

Guy says, “Todd Francis? You mean one of the most famous skateboard designers ever?”

Quickly goes to one of the many racks of decks and instantly finds this one pictured  and says “this guy is a legend. I have his book. You Know him? Wait till I tell my friends!”

So I show him some pics of Todd in college.

Minds blown. (By the way the price of the board was Not $8.25 – it was actually $52.)

So we talk some more, shake hands, talk about skating in Santa Barbara in the 80s, where I was lucky enough to meet and work with Todd and the dudes are seriously impressed.

Here’s the weird thing about Todd. I was impressed by him the very first time I ever met him, I tell them. He was that good even when he was 19-20 years old.

Just as disgusting, just as interesting, just as dark.

But what is hard to see from his art is how funny he is. Sooooo funny in a dry, bitter, sideways way. OK maybe his art is exactly like that too. I was hungry and needed a Portillos dipped beef.

Weirdly I forget to tell him that we were roommates on Folsom Street in Frisco in 1994 and watched the Bronco Chase together. But maybe that would have been overkill. They got it.

store

then we see a sports store. Cubs Sox Bulls Bears Hawks.

ive been to this store before and remember the guy behind the counter. I remembered him because I always appreciated his wide selection of Cubs stuff.

I am looking at a playoff tshirt and right away he says 20% off!

i say, hold your horses, why dont you see, i might just buy it at full hit? he’s got a thick accent but i catch about every other word.

we get talking and i look around and I notice that even though the NFL season is only in its 2nd week theres very few Bears crap on his racks. Maybe 2-3 racks thats it. More than half the store is Blackhawks and the rest is Cubs. He tells me the Bears have not been selling for the last 5 years.

Also these facts:

Anthony Rizzo jerseys sell more than Kris Bryant

Blackhawks have been steady sales for the last 5 years, winter, fall, summer, spring. But especially around Christmas.

The last time the Bears were in the Super Bowl everything sold out and even the distributor sold out.

And if the Cubs win the World Series he is certain everything in his store will sell out no matter what it is.

Also these very sad facts:

He works 7 days a week, 10 hours a day

No one else works with him.

He has a nephew who works for him 2 weeks a year for his vacation.

If he doesn’t open his store on time he gets fined by the mall.

No way can he close his store for a day because he would get a bigger fine.

Sales at the store over the last 5 years have sunk year after year.

His only saving grace would be the Cubs winning the World Series, and yet he wears a Sox jacket because he thinks he looks better in black than in “purple” (which I assume he meant blue).

Even though the Bulls have signed hometown boy Dwayne Wade, the NBA won’t release anything official until right before the season starts. So no one is really buying any Bulls stuff right now because everyone is preoccupied with the Cubs.

I begged him to hire my mom to work for him two days a week but they both refused to take me seriously.

Developing…