Review Summary: WARNING: This is yet another story from author’s life that is in one insignificant way or another tied to this record.
I was a rascal as a child. To a certain extent, every child is this mischievous, rebellious brat that wants to be unlike anybody else. Or maybe they are unlike anybody else and are rebellious, because they are aggressively trying to be a part of the mass. Anyway, I was a particularly nosey, bratty, arsehole-ish little ***. I often bullied others and my attitude was always too nihilistic and sarcastic. I also never liked authority. Be it my orphanage’s caretaker I always enjoyed messing with, other kids there, my brother and sister or later my employers and the police. As I grew, getting kicked out of a job, almost getting beaten by a bunch of drunken bastards, evicted from an apartment or running away from police turned into not really caring about any of that and actively seeking trouble, eventually getting myself into several fights, getting stabbed a few times and even almost shot (before the illegalisation of firearms in Australia), demolishing households and places of work of those who threw me out and in the end spending nights again and again in prison to a point, where I became a first-name basis acquaintance to some policemen. Officer Liam Daniels even became a sort of a friend to me and invited me to his wedding, but we’ll get to his impact on me later.
And as we know, every vicious little cunt needs a personal anthem. I had several and mostly in a full-album format. But let’s focus on this particular one for no particular reason. A Trip to Marineville
is pretty much the perfect encapsulation of my adolescence. Not so much in its themes, but most definitely in its mood. It is a perfectly imperfect album, terribly recorded, noisily mixed, redundantly played and awfully sung. However, it is as amazing in how off-putting it is, as it is entertaining. Swell Maps didn’t give two bits of a flying *** about how this album comes off to people; they just had their absolute fun with it and that enthusiasm and complete exuberance are shining and glowing and dragging you in one song at a time.
I cannot say that the aforementioned officer Daniels changed and turned my life around, because I already was on a correctional path towards being better, but he certainly secured my determination to become someone better. And I tried my hardest. Stopped drinking altogether, got myself a steady job and even rented an apartment for myself and my wife (should have mentioned that this is already after I moved to England), started learning how to interact with other people without the compulsive need to cut their car tires and by the end of it all I was a better person. Liam was sort of a part of that too, though he personally never contributed that heavily to it, he at least showed me his family and how he cared for them, his parents, kids and his future wife. That certainly helped me see a whole new perspective, realising what is important in life and what one needs to strive for. And eventually I attended their wedding. It was nice, nothing much to say about it. I am not usually impressed by weddings, they always seem kind of tacky and kitsch to me, but my wife and I did decide to get ourselves a wedding cake, which we didn’t have, because we only signed a few papers and were officiated within an hour.
But even though I am no longer that promiscuous arsehole I always was, I still long for the freedom and carefree attitude I held then. I wouldn’t want to relive that, but I like remembering. And A Trip to Marineville
helps that like nothing else.