The Latent Period

THE LATENT PERIOD

By my sophomore year in high school, Alex had become a senior and would soon move on to college. I’d be spending less and less time with him then, hanging out more with my own circle of friends. I was starting to slowly accumulate my own stockpile of tapes and listened to them daily, not to mention all friends stuff when I was over at their places or hitching a ride in their cars. But I didn’t really go to any shows again until two years later in 1990, my senior year. The clubs were mostly 21 and over. We did a lot of hiking on the Los Trampas Ridge behind my house in Alamo, did a lot more dubbing, and hung around my swimming pool. Thank God we had marijuana help pass the time. Alamo is a great place to raise a child, but it’s boring as hell to be a teenager there.

We did have cars though and spent a lot of time in Berkeley around Telegraph Avenue, People’s Park, and Sproul Plaza. Hefe had befriended some Rastafarians at the Ashby BART station Sunday flea market who congregated around a van that sold books, run by a kind wise man named Jason. We’d spend hours playing in their drum circle, using any drum they had around. Sometimes I’d just hit a stick against a bottle. Hefe was getting into Rastafarianism and began to grow his dreadlocks out. By the time we graduated, they were down to the small of his back. He turned me on to some other reggae acts beside Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

Not that there wasn’t anything else for an underage kid to do after dark besides hanging out at Denny’s. The Morrison Planetarium in the middle of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco would do a “Laserium” show at midnight on weekends and my friends and I attended quite a few shows there. Naturally, the show was “Dark Side Of The Moon”. Yes, we along with the rest of the audience were high as hell. We’d also attend the midnight showing of the animated classic “Heavy Metal” at the theater in Dublin from time to time. This was long before it was re-released on video and the midnight show was basically the only way to see it, unless you got lucky and caught it on Cinemax or something.

Last, but not least, was the midnight showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the UC Theater in Berkeley. I was familiar with that movie and was a fan, having watched it a number of times when I was visiting my Dad in Amsterdam who had a crummy VHS copy. The UC Theater was huge, had a live cast who chatted up the crowd and acted out the show in front of the screen, and the audience did their thing, saying all the famous riff lines, throwing toast, etc. I watched that movie until I was totally sick of it. 

My life would forever be altered the night my brother came home from seeing Primus.

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