rites of passage

Clubbed Out

I was lucky enough to start seeing bands at a very young age.

It was the mid 70‘s and I was two months shy of my 12th birthday when I saw Alice Cooper at Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia. Alice and a troupe of performers treated us to a mix of music and theatre; a night of song and dance. I was blown away. It cemented my love of music and performance; a love I was born with. Two years later The Police played the same venue. I went. They were great and while I loved the concert, I was totally unprepared for the wild journey I was about to take.

I was invited to The Police’s second concert by a group of women I had just met. I didn’t have tickets but they said not to worry as they knew one of the security guards so we could get in for free. Naturally I went. We had a great time and they invited me to see some local bands with them on the weekend. They had no idea how young I was! Once they found out they took me under their wing and introduced me to a world of bands, bands, bands. I really wasn’t supposed to be going into clubs and drinking but it was the late 70’s and nobody really cared about those things.

What followed was 7 years of drinking and seeing bands. I left school at 15 and left home at 16. I was totally immersed in the Melbourne Punk Rock scene. I was even briefly a thrash punk bass player! The years flew but as I got older I got bored. I was getting sick of the lifestyle, the people, the music. I wanted something different.

It was a great shock to everyone – especially myself – when I left the scene and went back to school. I went and finished High School and then went on to University. I immersed myself in my studies and music almost became a thing of the past. The only band I kept listening to and following was The Damned. I mean, how could I resist the gothic charm of vampiric lead singer Dave Vanian? In my darkest moments – and there were many – I would sit alone in my room and listen to The Damned. I would remember a time of music, of friends, of fun. I wanted to go out and see more bands but something always held me back. I thought that maybe I was rebelling against what I had once been. Then someone who had been through a similar experience said that maybe I had seen too many bands, gone out too many times and drunk maybe one too many times. Maybe I was simply “clubbed out”. Yes! That was it!! Now that I knew what the problem was, could I find a cure?

In 1992, I celebrated the Pagan festival of Lammas by getting together with some Pagan friends and camping out for the night. The next day I heard some of them excitedly talking about their plans for the evening. They were going to see Nirvana. I was so out of touch with modern music that I thought they were seeing some New Age band. When I asked them who Nirvana were their looks of incredulity froze me to the spot. The young girl who had seen Alice Cooper at 11 years of age was long gone. I often think back on this and think “Damn! I missed Nirvana!!”

Synchronistically it’s thanks to Alice Cooper that I returned to the club! While watching him on some show I can’t even remember he talked about a band he really liked – The Offspring. I decided to listen to them and my world of music came crashing back to me. Something about them reignited my love of music and my desire to see live bands. I’m happy to say I’ve seen them many times, as well as a host of other bands. And I am so happy to say that I am no longer clubbed out!

Have you ever over indulged in something you love so much that you never want to do it again? I’d love to hear!