MENTALLY ILL: Gacy: CD

Late night L.A. radio show, some Saturday circa 1982. Through the mist comes this completely insane individual screaming “Don’t leave me here to DIE!/Don’t leave me here to DIIIEE!” over what sounds like some other nutjob bashing cardboard boxes to the rhythm of some sort of static pattern. Naturally, I’m intrigued, and thankfully, I’m recording the whole thing. Over the course of the next two weeks, I play this track over and over again, eventually coming to the conclusion that a) the boxes were drums, b) what I thought was static was actually the guitar, c) these guys are outta their fucking minds, d) these guys are the best thing I’ve ever heard in my short life. Of course, I summarily lose the tape and forget the band’s name before I can find anything on vinyl. That song, however, managed to permanently etch itself into my brain. Fast forward six years, wherein I randomly pick out some compilation called Killed By Death at some record store because it has the Cheifs’ “Blues” on it and I love that song. The song that follows it, “Gacy’s Place,” comes on and I find myself jumping up and down in absolute glee as the aforementioned completely insane individual is again bellowing at me, warning me that “they’re fucking your kids!” Not having any kids, I take his concern for my progeny with a grain of salt, yet remain stoked that I finally have something by this elusive band to call my own. Fast forward another sixteen years, and I find myself with a copy of a new CD with twenty—count ‘em—twenty tracks from one of the greatest, most deranged, PUNKEST goddamn bands I’ve ever heard in my now not-as-short-as-it-used-to-be life. In some Mansonesque twist of fate, I see the parallels between the band and my own life—a) they: a tune called “Doggie Sex,” me: writer of a song called “A Boy and His Dog;” which roughly covered the same subject matter, b) they: a song called “Tumor Boy,” me: my last band was the Tumors; c) they: a song called “Dry Heave,” me: anyone who knows of my former love of malt beverages can spell out the correlation on this one—and realize that they have been trying to send me a message for quite some time, but due to some cruel twist of fate, I haven’t been able to receive it. I plop it on the stereo, not coincidentally in the middle of the night on some Saturday circa 2004, fast forward it to track number five, “Padded Cell,” and the insane individual is screaming, “Don’t leave me here to DIE!/Don’t leave me here to DIIIEE!” at me again, just like he did twenty-two years ago. I kneel down, pick up one of the speakers blaring away on the floor, caress it and softly tell him no, I won’t ever leave him again.

 –jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)