Friday, July 28, 2017

tell me where you're at

I'm almost positive that I've answered the question, "If you could see any band live, right now, who would it be?" with The Clash. That may still be true, but suddenly, after decades, my mind is split and we can blame it on the turntable thing I bought a few weeks back. A few years ago I went searching for an Uptown Rulers LP, something that I could put in a album frame and have on the wall to remind me the early/mid-1980s. I unframed it the other night and spun the sounds. Took me right back.The Rulers were a band hailing from the Bloomington-Normal, IL area - they toured exclusively across the midwest/plains in an area bounded by southern Illinois; Lincoln, NE; and the Twin Cities. I never heard of them going further afield than those areas. The Rulers fit into whatever wave of Ska was hitting then (second? third?) and did a combo platter of originals and covers. We loved the Rulers. One of my best friends (there were three) was even more crazy than I was, and I was crazy: student union shows, sneaking into bars, driving to the Quad Cities on New Year's Eve from Omaha for a show (that is another story), and numerous other shows, particularly in Iowa City where I was leaving a trail of over-drinking and sleeping that supported my 1.92 GPA over two full years. Well, there was also a pizza place job, some Cubs' games on TV, a lot of skanking, and two lovely girlfriends. Rulers shows were the biggest, sweatest, danc-iest, skankiest pit shows ever. Ever. You'd be hardpressed to have more fun at any show. If we could all go back and time and have the Rulers show up on a stage in a small venue and play two hours for us, it would be the best.

There was once liner notes for a Gear Daddies CD where the writer who introduced them to us said something along the lines of: there are better bands in the World, but there is no band I'll ever love more than the Gear Daddies. The Rulers are probably the band I most love.

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