For our inaugural post for Unraveler, we’ve got a treat. Guest author Mike Argeropoulous, a native of Chicago by way of Marquette, Michigan – and plenty of hilarious and creative stops in between – offers a cautionary tale. Whether you believe it or not, enjoy the tale of revenge, of the slacker variety, as Argeropoulous shoots his rock wad…
My rock and roll career was a stillborn goatchild, a sad forlorn creature, with the tiniest of nubbin horns hardly begun to form. I had no chops, no rhythm, no voice, no poise. Boo hoo. Still, I came close to creating the most grandiose, most spiteful cartoon band in the history or Rock n Roll. This band would have lit your gonads on fire. But you can’t build a band out of mockery and spite unless you have some soul to throw in, too.
One day I was riding my bike down a major street in Milwaukee and a driver opened the door of a parked car and hit me. I was scraped up a little but not too bad, but my bike suffered a busted derailleur and I couldn’t ride it any further. The girl who hit me was apologetic and agreed to pay for the cost to repair my bike. Two days later I called her with a request for $24.
‘Um, my boyfriend says I don’t have to pay for that,’ said Chris, the girl who doored me.
‘You hit me on my bike. You said you would pay for the repairs.’
‘My boyfriend says I don’t have to.’
She hung up.
It didn’t help her case that she was homely and mean.
I was left with a scab and less beer money that week than I thought was fair. So I drank some beer and thought about what to do.
I got out my typewriter and started to make the best possible revenge I could have with only a phone number. I made a flier, got some tape, and got back on my bike to hit the town.
Join My Band! Join My Band!
Badass new group forming here in Milwaukee, to be led by cosmic amazon hungarian poetess of fantastic Girth.
I am heavily influenced by Sun Ra, Cibo Matto, drunken visions, methcathinone, Bukowski, Toulousse Latrec, Ozzy, the coelocanth, early 70s Morrissey, Tone Loc, the rodeo scene in Czechloslovakia, Meat Beat Manifesto’s only good song (whose name I can’t recall), fingerpainting and also fingerbanging, Dostoevsky, Pabst Blue Ribbon, St Augustine’s Confessions in the original Koine Greek, Aaron Burr’s remaining collectible paraphernalia, nosebleeds, etc.
As you might have guesed, I am quite the visionary. Though the quality of my punk vision cannot be fully grasped through posting and reading fliers, you must by now be a bit intrigued. I am not fucking around. I need three or four really intense individuals to pull this thing together. I have practice space in my loft, an extra Rickenbacker, free dope from my cousin in Gurnee, IL, and an intense drive that will get us at least halfway to the stars before we finally blow up.
Goddamnit, Join my band. Call me. Leave an impressive message on the answering machine so I can trust you.
I put her number all along the bottom and slit little lines of fringe so folks could tear her number off and keep the flier up for others to find.
I thought that was pretty good bait. I hung them in the record stores, in bars, in laundromats, in phone booths. I wanted this girl to hear from a scary part the world and have no idea what was happening. I didn’t care if she figured out who made the fliers. I just wanted her phone to be ringing all night long with coots who were ready to rock out. Metalheads, Punks, House kids, proto-emo-methheads, I wanted them all. I also made a flier for a lost cat named Kooky and a dirt cheap Harley being sold by a certain Chris who was joining the military and had no room in the parents’ garage. Really cheap.
I sat back and giggled. After a couple weeks I couldn’t wait any longer. I called her up.
‘Hey, I saw your flier and I’m totally ready to rock out!’ I tried to seem as earnest as I could.
‘Where! Did you get! This number!’
‘Got it at the Why Not. I have a tuba and a tambourine.’
‘There is! No! Band!’
‘Are you into Bob Seger?’
She hung up.
The level of frustration in her voice was immensely satisfying. How many times had she answered the phone? What messages did they leave? Over the years I have clung to the last tattered flier. Could I recite it by heart? Nope. But can I still envision someone somewhere ready to pounce on the last spot in the band, whether it is rhythm guitar or backup dancer? Hell, I would still jump at that flier if I saw it somewhere. Who is this woman? How many people called her and what did they think when they found out there was no Amazon Hungarian Poetess of Fantastic Girth? Did any of them splinter off and make a band anyway? There are two sad things about the whole ordeal. That Chris could never put the band together and give the world a band assembled out of the talent that tried to track her down, and much worse,that I never mustered a band anything close to what I mustered out of spite one evening when I suffered a minor fleshwound. That flier was my Rock and Roll wad.