Friday, April 23, 2010

the story of coco

Hey, I woke up this morning and for whatever reason, I had this notion of exactly what I was going to write here. I’m gonna tell you the story of Coco.

That’s cool, right? After all, I’m a luminary in the punk rock scene and while I’m not personally successful or interesting, I am friends with lots of successful and interesting people, and you’re not, so I can offer you, the unwashed filthy and unconnected hordes, a little insight into what it’s like to be friends with all your favorite uh…what? “Stars” seems a little much, right? How about ‘dudes in bands that are successful?’ Does that work? Sure. Good enough. Think of this as like, some kind of travel show, but the places I’m showing you are places like “Fat Mike lounging on a couch with a hurt ankle backstage at the NorVa with a slice of pizza on his bare stomach screaming at Limo” or “Tom Gabel shitting his pants” or even “Tim McIlrath age nineteen bringing a keg of rootbeer to his backyard bbq.” That seems like it may be fun to read, right? Okay. You convinced me. So up first, the story of Coco.

Now, Coco is what I call Brian Fallon from the Gaslight Anthem, and before we get any farther in this whole thing let me state unequivocally that I think Brian is a good dude and he’s in a good band and this will not be in any way an attempt to smear or talk shit about him, as he’s always been a pretty nice fella and I find myself listening to his records a lot, AND we’ve spent a TON of time together, and, well, that’s where the story of Coco begins.


The first headlining Lawrence Arms tour was in 2000 and featured the Berkeley band the Wunder Years (a band that would eventually morph into the Ghost and later splinter into Hanalei, and Lanemeyer, a new jersey quartet featuring a young Coco on guitar/backing vocals. This tour was something ridiculous like 18 weeks long. We all became much closer than we ever dreamed we’d be. Just sayin.

Now, Lanemeyer had recently lost their main singer/guitar dude and they were transitioning their bassist, Doyle into “main dude” status. They brought Coco on as the replacement guitarist and let him sing two songs a night, an original and a cover of “someone to shove” by that dumb band with the guy with the mongo face and the caveman-jen-anniston hair (who, by the way was caught by my friend Brandt doing blow in the off the toilet in the smart bar bathroom when his crappy band [I’m now remembering that they’re called Soul Asylum {also a song by English-fake-Doors/Indians The Cult}] sold out the metro many years ago. Brandt kicked his mongo face and caveman-jen Anniston hairdo right out of the building. Not so fast, Dave Pirner!) and generally, in the Lawrence Arms van it was agreed upon that Coco was the best guy in the band by far, in terms of skill. His songs weren’t all Brucey yet, but he had a good voice (better than Doyle, though Doyle was pretty talented in his own right) and a passion that bordered on embarrassing but never quite got there, and so, remained endearing. In the van we’d say things like “man, they should let coco sing more” and “man, coco’s song is kind of the jam of the Lanemeyer set, innit?” Shit like that. We’d bring it up to Baby Beluga (the drummer and leader of Lanemeyer) and he’d just kind of shrug it off. He was bitter and jealous because his buddies in Midtown were getting famous. He saw Doyle’s boyish good looks and big hooks as the road to success, not coco’s wacky teeth and coffee cup tattoos.

So, here we are. 2000. New Found Glory was blowing up and the Lawrence Arms and the Wunder Years and Lanemeyer were limping around the contiguous 48 in three crappy vans (ours being far and away the coolest and most sketchy, by the way…we had a tv with tetris. Hey! This was 2000 when that shit wasn’t just in everyone’s van, you fucking unimpressible new generation!) and there’s coco, just kind of rolling along as the least important member in the opening band of the three band bill that would MAYBE draw sixty kids a night.

I remember he was really into the following things: tattoos, new jersey, jesus and coffee. Now, since then, I’ve seen Coco a few times and I’ve noticed a few things: he’s still very much into coffee. I’ve actually not seen him drink anything but coffee in the past ten years. He’s got tattoos on his hands, which, well, good thing the band is doing okay, and he’s become sort of a poster child for new jersey, which is great. The young coco used to sit there and try (in vain) to convince me that new jersey was actually the most beautiful state in the union. It’s true folks. He really, really, really believes that shit. He loves new jersey as much as it sounds like he does on those records. Wow.

So, what else can I tell you? Oh, me and coco, along with Chongo who was the roadie for the Wunder Years, all got suicide king tattoos in Toronto on that tour. A few other dudes got them a few days later, back in the states. At the time, they weren’t Lawrence Arms tattoos. They were just tour tattoos, but when we ran out of shirts, the only art I had to send into the shirt place was the stencil of our tattoos, so we made shirts with the tour tattoo on them. We didn’t at the time know that it would wind up being our most popular design and turn into something of a logo for us and ultimately backhanding Chongo and Coco into having retroactive Lawrence Arms tattoos…Pretty funny when you think about it, eh?

Yeah. Sigh. What else?

Oh, right? Why do I call him coco? On the first day of tour, to establish dominance, chris and I gave everyone unflattering nicknames. Most of them didn’t really stick, but coco was such a great one, and Brian was such a good sport that it’s maintained to this day. Our roadie from that tour still doesn’t even know Coco’s real name. He only knows him as coco. Now, the drummer, Baby Beluga, he was just so pissed about his nickname that we had to keep it just to kind of chap his taint. Everyone else’s nickname kind of just dissolved. The tour was long, man.

Okay, so that’s the story of coco. Good dude. Loves coffee. Has tattoos of coffee cups. He should probably give me some money or something, right? Sure he should. Hey coco! I’ll write your bio or press releases! Need a bass player? How bout a jester?

Hello?
Coco?

Hello?

45 comments:

dustyfloors said...

I was just listening to American Slang. Great record, in my humble opinion.
I am now listening to Wunder Years split with Sorry About the Fire. Man... I miss these guys so much. Thanks for reminding me about them, Beex.
Cheers!

FranklinStein said...

i figured he'd talk about dancing as well or at least try to convince you guys to go out dancing with him to meet all those starry-eyed girls he sings about. or perhaps he did and you just said, "dude, that's MAD gay..." you should've went with him, man. BIG mistake.

dustyfloors said...

Also, speaking of Wunder Years I recently was talking to some kid about music at the bar my gf bartends at in Logan Square. We were talking about Wunder Years and how much I miss them. He then told me he's sure they would come back in tour soon because they're hard working and all that.

I was talking about Wunder Years.
He was talking about Wonder Years.
I am disappointed this Wonder Years band exists.

Johno said...

Hah, last time I saw them he was all like, "Ask a pretty girl to dance... they like that" and we were all thinking, "Yeah, they like it when Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem asks them to dance!"

AdamD said...

I think we (Link 80) played that show in Toronto with y'all, cause I remember you dudes getting those tattoos, and I remember Lanemeyer covering that song.

JSIN said...

This post was good in so many ways.

mike said...

hahahaha, this is the greatest shit ever Brendan. I remember you guys called Sean BB for short. I forget what my nickname was but DO remember I always did the Farley impression of the Skipper to make you and Chris laugh.

2 highlights from the tour were Chris getting shocked on the mic and screaming in it and Neil hitting his crash during set up in Michigan making that kid almost shit his pants. I was dying on the ground after witnessing both. I still have 13 rolls of film I have yet to scan and post somewhere. When I do I'll shoot you a link.

- doyle

ryan said...

Remember that story you told of the sketchy tattoo artist in Spokane? He was way too into Star Wars, if I understood it correctly. Or did you make that up? Or maybe I just did. Anyway, it was a good story from what I remember.

sundials1313 said...

Best post, next to the post on smoking.

planespotting said...

How dare you bring up your first tour. I was a senior in high school at the time, and it felt like I was about the only dude in my circle of friends who's mom wouldn't let him go to Iowa City to see your show (I think it was like, show number 6?).

And the next day, I remember my friend Betsy, who sat in front of me in Pre Calc, talking about the show and you guys and Lanemeyer.

That shit was almost 10 fucking years ago. Life's a bitch.

mike said...

ha yeah. That Iowa show was pretty fun. Des Moines the day before was WAY better though.

Drunken Acorn said...

Man I miss The Ghost, that was a bad ass motherfuckin' band. Thanks for bringing them to Phx with you so I could see them.

Moxie. said...

NEW JERSEY YEAAAAH. okay, not really. This post was pro...I laughed alot and my boss thinks I'm weird.

PS: I still like Midtown. Cobra Starship, however...

Mark said...

I love Gaslight. This made me happy.

Showtyme said...

Wow, I still listen to Lanemeyer almost every day (granted I didn't even discover then until after they broke up, and morphed into A Day At The Fair). I fucking love them, but I never had any idea Brian Fallon was a part of them...

Scott said...

awesome post. Thanks for that. Larry Arms and Gaslight are my 2 favorite bands

myassisapipebomb said...

so this is actually the story of why you have a broner for gaslight anthem?

Drunken Acorn said...

I know this has nothing to do with the post, but my state (Arizona) just passed the dumbest fucking Immigration law. I now live in Nazi state. Sweet! Sorry had to vent guys.

Robb said...

"All the starry eyed girls were dancin on the plain/but not a single one danced like mary jane"
..cmon I HAD to! It's like the 6 mth anniversary of when I first (poorly) satirized gaslight lyrics on here! I do like em

Whats up with that film project in which you presumably play a dealer/hussler that you talked about and then proceeded to not talk about?

Karen Kitten Cupcake Sweet said...

sooooo... hes not into jesus anymore?!

Banana@1000MPH said...

Drunken acorn,
yeah, I heard, but don't worry, your mayor made told everyone to trust the cops not to be racist and reminded everyone that racial profiling is ILLEGAL - so, you know, they definitely won't pick on every Hispanic person when attempting to decide who seems like an immigrant.

Banana@1000MPH said...

er, governor, not mayor

Blake said...

Coco must be an AA member. Coffee cup tattoos, Jesus, and not drinking of course.

fucko said...

PRETTY SURE THIS IS THE STUPIDEST BLOG ENTRY YOU'VE EVER DONE. I CAN'T BE A LARRY ARMS FAN NOW BECAUSE THIS REEKS OF SHIT. WAY TO GO. SHOOT YOUR FACE OFF WITH YOUR OWN JIZZ NOW. BYE BYE.

fucko said...

JUST KIDDING, BK, YOU SURLY FAGGOT. I'D SUCK YOUR WITHERED OLD COCK AND LAP UP EVERY LAST BIT OF YOUR RUINED HALFLINGS. YOU CAN'T RID YOUR LIFE OF ME.

Stizzy said...

thesockdrawer.org

because it hasn't been advertised in a while

Robb said...

"In the yeeeEar two-thoooOoousaaaand..."...bottom feeders like Fucko Grabinsky will yield cutting-edge taunts in the sock drawer; brave nomadic warriors like robb will counteract with, "I tasted yo mom's nazty pussy, faggot" ...In the yeeeEeear twoooo-thooooOu--"

Mark said...

Caps lock is cruise control for cool.

fucko said...

Well, Robb, I guess if the caps locks can make me a bottom feeder, the extra 'b' on your name can make you an annoying hipster. Since we are making ridiculous rules and all.

fucko said...

Oh hey, Mark! Hey, brother! Good to see you're still so fucking ugly! Time just won't change that!

Jake Regier said...

Someone's gettin' laid tonight!

Robb said...

Nooo! the fact I have 'bring me the head of alfredo garcia' listed as a fav flick makes me an 'annoying hipster', you insipid fatty (i can tell; i have acute fatdar)

I'd do Mark

Banana@1000MPH said...

I think Jake is hinting at something...fucko is most definitely Dennis Rodman.

Sean said...

I remember in 2002 (i think) the Ghost played down my street at the Hoffman Estates Willow Rec Center gymnasium for like 20 people.

I always remember when Record Breakers used to be in my backyard in Hoffman Estates and host shows.

fucko said...

Hi, ROBB! Thanks for becoming my fan! I'm actually a pretty average-sized female. I wear a size medium shirt and 8.5 shoes. I've been doing my Kegels so my vagina is actually prrrrrrobably tighter than most average females, though.

Your fatdar is a little off, but no worries. I am an expert at tuning such devices. It only requires my boot and your ass.

Mark, I'm totally sorry. You're not really that ugly I just want to punch your lips in for some strange reason.

Blake said...

This fucko guy is a goofball.

Jake Regier said...

You guys might laugh...

http://www.purevolume.com/bigbruce

Jake Regier said...

Also of note, I was just sent this a year and a half later. You've probably heard it.

Robb said...

Fucko m'boy--deception's never the answer! You're a pear shaped male complete with micropenis, genetic propensity for excess perspiration, and a pet ferret lovingly named after your favorite John Hughes character. Oh I kid! Honestly I get an intense 'Chloe Sevigny' vibe from you--which is to say, bet it's a real "house o' horrors" down there! muah*

R--Rr-R-R-RaAaaaaAandy!

Robb said...

Jake - I did laugh, gotta say

Kevin Burnett said...

Empirical evidence (the sock drawer) seems to suggest Robb likes to pick fights with people.

Robb said...

Hey nephew, you've grown! I mostly target two types--

a)Mysterious hermaphrodites that call BK "surly faggot" in all caps and label others 'hideous' sans their own charming avatar

b)dickheads (with a crippling case of 'beard hatred'?) that cite the fucking dumbest possible out-of-context example of a quote by me in attempts to call me a 'pseudo-intellectual', or whatever lame half-baked indictment you tried to bring on me way back when. Ironically you picked that one if I recall! frown face at revisionist history

Ryan said...

Glad you defend BK! He needs it! Bravo!

::pumped that after reading the blog since day one, his first sock drawer comment is to call a boner a boner::

kylewagoner said...

You might never read this comment, but Lane Meyer was the name of John Cusack on Better Off Dead...which I thought was a great movie that no one has seen but me and one kid in school with me...

anamateurIDIOT said...

oh man, lanemeyer! as much as i love gaslight, can you just tell coco to go back to the good old days and get lanemeyer back together? just have them play all of the songs from the emanuel split and "if there's a will"?
the mid to late 90's - what a beautiful time for music in NJ!

for the record, i'm sure he had some very valid points about the beauty and majesty of the garden state. it gets an entirely bad wrap.

am i missing the link that makes it possible to follow you??