Last night, Kim and I saw the DC hardcore band Dag Nasty play at the Gramercy Theater in NYC. Started by Minor Threat guitarist Brian Baker, Dag Nasty is easily one of the top 3 most influential bands in my life. My third tattoo was the cover of their second album Wig Out At Denkos. As a young skatepunk in the 80s, Dag's combination of soul cutting lyrics and the power of the DC hardcore sound made me feel like I wasn't nearly as messed up as I though I was. I felt less alone. It drove and empowered me. #emo
There are words I should have spoken... but I kept my fucking mouth shut instead. Words would've made the difference but they always stayed unsaid. Why won't you ever see? Why won't you even see? It's not just me. -Dag Nasty "One To Two"
Though I can still clearly remember a Dag Nasty show being listed on my local record store's dry erase board, I never got to see Dag Nasty live as a kid. That changed last Summer when my awesome girlfriend, Kim, got us tickets to Punk Rock Bowling in NJ. You never know what to expect from old punk/hardcore/metal reunions. They are usually either epic (Dinosaur Jr.) or total let downs (Black Flag). I went into the Dag show excited and they delivered.
Months later, Kim (now my fiance) got us tickets for last night's Dag show. I went in excited. I left having lived my best life. The band sounded tighter and better than the last show. Kim and I were grooving to the first couple of songs as my adrenaline started to rise. And then it happened...
They played my favorite song The Godfather off the Wig Out album. I was instantly 14 again. I handed Kim my glasses, made my way into the pit and proceeded to dance and scream my ass off for the next 40 minutes. We've all had moments when we can't believe something is happening. That feeling is heightened when you're surrounded by men and women age 20-55 dancing and slamming into each other.
For consolation there's always a next time.
But will you take the time?
It will take some time. -Dag Nasty "The Godfather"
Great Fury, you had fun at a concert. Where are you going with this?
Here are my takeaways.
- Always embrace what influenced the good in you. Dag Nasty is a touchstone in my human development and I am even more grateful to have their music now than then. Why? Because I am at an age to have perspective. Don't get trapped in the past. Keep the fire burning for what fueled you.
- Communicate. I shared the lyrics to One To Two for a reason. Communication is KEY to making progress in this world. You can't bitch about things you don't discuss.
- As I found myself in the midst of the pit, I was extremely grateful for my level of fitness and strength. I held my own, had fun and feared nothing. While I never feel old, I am a middle aged guy with mileage on the chassis. Whether it's dancing, skateboarding, skiing or any activity, your health and strength is important. Being fit is staying vital.
- Read The Godfather lyrics again. Our lives are not perfect. Don't settle. Make changes. Be prepared for those changes to take time.
Put those bullet points to action and you are on your way to living your best life.
You never know what to expect from people as they grow old. They are usually either epic and charging life in constant pursuit of self improvement. Or they are weighed down by missed opportunity and resentment.
I want to stay hungry. Passionate. Driven. Like a badass shark.
I want to DIE MIGHTY!
How about you?
Happy New Year!