Twice this past week, I was approached at Alive for my "expertise" in the arena of "1990s Columbus music scene" (being old has its usefulness). First, a copy of the 1995 Entertainment Weekly that referenced Columbus was needed -- yep, it's in my attic. Next, information was required for an Alive staff pick for this Saturday's show at Ace of Cups; since that column talked about a "window into Columbus' much mythologized salad days" well, I was a good person to ask - see, I lived in and ultimately passed through that window. If you were there, I served you beers. Probably too many. I loved every minute of it.
Much to my parents' dismay, I went straight from OSU graduate (Business Econ & English degrees +minor in Art History-despite said beers) - to taking graduate-level English classes while waitressing at the Galaxy Cafe AND making tickets and flyers for Stache's. Soon thereafter, I finally reached the holy grail: Bartending At Stache's. Not only was it great money, but it led to meeting and making most of my best and life-long friends (and husband). Plus, whether I was working or not, I had a free pass to all of the best live music shows in town, and in that era, there was one practically every single night. Many of those shows are legendary now. Anyways, these are some reasons why honoring that gone-forever wild era at this Saturday's AoC show fills me with as much hopeful excitement as it does wistful nostalgia.
"Hit 'em with a baseball bat?" Yeah, I can sing that. "Beer Run"? That too (Baby, get more beer!). See, Loopus (whose widow and family will benefit from tomorrow's show) was a friend of mine.
The influence of Loopus' band, Pica Huss, isn't even quantifiable. Their shows - flashy, powerful, and over-the-top - appealed to everyone
I hung out with and even served as an unifying force of sorts. My BFF Jerry Wick liked em. My funky Mary Adam 12 coworkers liked em. Even stoner Groovezilla-ites would show up and dance (hey, I'm not saying it was pretty!).
The closeness of our musical mini-community in those days could be summed up by pointing out that members of Pica Huss lived in an apartment directly below members of Scrawl and Girly Machine. (Where does Monster Truck 5 fit in? I don't know…shared love of beer?)
For kids who haven't heard of many of these these bands, this photo of Mark prepping for a ComFest mainstage gig in 1994 shows how big Pica Huss was. Megaphone in hand, Loopus and his ferocious bandmates would grab the entire crowd in its cross-dressing grip and make the whole heaving mass of them feel like they were an important part of the show - dare I say, they'd even inspire 1994-era hipsters to DANCE (maybe, in some outre fashion, it actually was pretty in its own crazy way) .
In a nutshell, my young friends, that was what the 1990s were kinda like. Taste them them again-or for the first time-- tomorrow. I'll even serve you (too many) beers.