I don’t know if I have shared this. I probably have but I am from the great state of Texas. I had a friend from New York visit once and she exclaimed in wonder how cool it was that people in Texas are more proud of being Texan than they are of being American. There is absolutely more pride in the state than anywhere she had ever been. It was an interesting notion to me. I didn’t know any better. I lived three years in Atlanta from 2007 to 2010 and besides that time I have always been here. I was born poor but by the time I reached school age both of my parents worked for the United States Post Office and you won’t ever hear me bash that institution. By the time I reached Junior High we were pretty much middle class and I went to a pretty middle class high school that back then was considered a college preparatory school.
If you have ever seen the movie Dazed and Confused I am not sure that my high school was a whole lot different. One of my goals was to reach legal drinking age, which back then was 18. I turned 18 on April 30, 1981 and legally could drink until September 1 when the law changed to 19. By the time it changed to 21 I was already 21. It wasn’t my only goal. I might have had one maybe two more. Our Friday and Saturday nights were spent driving around and getting into general mischief and occasional mayhem. Occasionally we wrapped someone’s house. I guess in some areas it’s called teepeeing but we also always managed to shoepolish the windows of any unfortunate car left outside especially if it were a classmate’s.
Back then Texas had no open container laws and if we were pulled over underage drinking the cops would tell us to go home and make us pour out the beer we had, which is usually why we had more stashed somewhere else. So we switched cars and resumed our activities. Yea it’s really hard to think that we got away with doing those things but we did. It was a different time, not better just different. Back then it was roll the windows down and turn up the music. It was about looking for girls and at least for me hoping someone else would do all the talking. It was fun.
So now I find myself on the band the Outlaws, good old southern rock and roll the kind we like in Texas. Truthfully I am not crazy about the band. They have some songs I like but honestly if it wasn’t for one song, they would be in my dislike category, but they do have that one song and that song was the song we turned up the most. We had anthems back then, songs that we would crank and sing along to loudly. Steve was usually our driver and he would play along like an imaginary snare drum tap tap tap. I always sat in the backseat, honestly because I was the only one that could roll a joint without a table. Hey I had some skills. We didn’t do a lot of that but we had our moments. So we would crank songs, Bob Seger’s Turn the Page, or Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. Funky Dogs and Nasty Kings always got loud playing, or was that Funky Kings and Nasty Dogs. Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers was another ZZ favorite and of course we universally loved The Cars.
Our absolute favorite crank it up song was Green Grass and High Tides. We would play that song multiple times in a single night sometimes. I loved those dual lead guitars, is just an epic anthem. Every single time I hear it I have to turn it up and I can almost feel the wind rushing at us, the laughter, the kidding around the well-being of being kids before everything started to get serious. Looking back, all the things that came after sometimes pale in those moments of camaraderie that mattered so much, and now still mean so much.
So turn it up, and turn it up loud if you can.