Friday, March 10, 2006

Guest Blogger : Bob Schick of Honor Roll

The year was 1991 and my boyfriend at the time had completed two mix tapes for me of what he called EMOCORE. It was love at first listen and practically a greatest hits of Dischord/SST/ and a new crop of bands from California and Canada. I was promised that if I liked these bands there were a million more to check out, the bands that influenced these bands.

Enter Honor Role. It was the first band he played for me when we moved into a small one bedroom in Hoboken, N.J. together. Honor Role terrified me, they were melodic in ways I recognized from guitar driven bands like Fugazi or Superchunk but there was an underlying darkness, a seethng rage spoken and spit between gritted teeth. I don't think I knew what post-punk was at the time but whatever this was, it was moody and mathy, the opposite of shiny and pop which was the blossoming sound of the day. I had a new favorite band and to this day Honor Role's The Pretty Song lp remains in my top 50 records of all time.

Check Out what Trouser Press and Allmusic say about them and if I remember correctly Spin named them one of the most influential bands to the genre kids today just call emo.

If you had told me as an 18 year old that one day the singer of Honor Role, Bob Schick and I would be close friends no less speak nearly every day, I would have been both terrified (listen to the records and you will know why) yet in a total state of bliss. I mean how many people get to befriend their creative heroes? It's funny how things work out sometimes but then again if you live in Richmond long enough you are bound to meet everyone in the music scene, retired or not.

Below is a little story from Bob Honor Role about a show in Lafayette, La. - 9/86


I know it was the first date after we (Honor Role) left for our first tour the second time. Chip had mono the first week, so we played down to Athens, Ga. where we played with 86 at the 40 Watt who were great, but about as popular in Athens as we were in Richmond. We drove from Richmond straight to New Orleans, where we weren't playing, walked around, sold some singles to Toxic Shock distributor in the French Quarter & then drove to Lafayette. I don't think anyone in the band had been that far south before & I thought the scenery was beautiful. I can remember seeing flamingos along the standing water next to the highway & how green everything was.

We arrived in Lafayette, found the club & loaded in. I know I was always in a hurry to get out of the van because we had brought 3 of our friends with us, making a normal passenger van with all our equipment especially crowded & hot. The bartender was telling somebody at the bar about the Jell-O wrestling that had occurred the night before & I started noticing the residue of that Jell-O way up on the walls.

I remember walking out the door of the club into what I thought was a pretty deserted area & began wandering, o.k., I was trying to find a quiet place probably with a bathroom. As I turned the corner I felt like I was in a Western.The street was completely deserted. I kept walking & found a bar; it even had the old west style swinging doors. I stayed a little bit but it was too dark to read & there might be something interesting going on at the club so back I went.

I wrote the set list, changed my shirt & we went & did our set. There weren't many people so they sat on the ground in front of us. When we finished, a girl walked up to me & gave me a piece of paper & then turned around & walked out, if I was smarter I would have followed her, but instead I looked at the piece of paper. It was a drawing of me from the waist down while we were playing that said "you are very honest people". I was a bit confused by it & showed it to the rest of the guys who laughed about it for a long time.

On the way to the promoter's house, Doug & I sat in the back of his pick-up & watched the trees & smelled the smells of Louisiana, it was great.