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Monday, March 18, 2013

[twelve bands]

[one]

The Offspring

Dexter Holland, Noodles, Greg K, and Ron Welty were 100% without a doubt the four musicians that meant the most to me growing up. In books, it was John Marsden, and in music, it was The Offspring. They were the band I first heard properly when I walked past my brother’s room at the end of 1996 and heard, “Nothing changes because it’s all the same” and I walked in and asked my brother, “Who is this?” and he rolled my eyes at me, saying he’d already played me a single by this band a few weeks ago and I hadn’t been that fussed on it. “But it wasn’t this song, was it? I really love this song.” “No, it wasn’t. This is the other song on the single, I forget what it’s called.” And I picked up the All I Want single and read it out loud. “Way Down the Line. It’s called Way Down the Line.” I still feel like that moment changed everything about the person I became and how I survived the crappy aspects of my teenage years. Without them, I don’t know if I could’ve done it – at least without the negativity taking over my life.

Way Down the Line was there when I had both of my eardrums patched with skin grafts at the same time.
Smash was there the day my parents told my brother and I they were splitting up.
Ignition and especially Dirty Magic was there when, “Hey freak, what happened to your face?” happened for the first time.
Have You Ever was there the day I discussed with my craniofacial surgeon that I wanted surgery, now.
It’ll Be a Long Time was there when I was lying on the hospital bed in the waiting area with my mum before being wheeled into the operating theatre to come out with a different face.
Amazed was there when I threw up my own blood for days afterwards.
Jennifer Lost the War was there when my ENT surgeon told me the chronic infections in my ears were so bad they needed to reconstruct my ear canals because there’s no way they’ll clear up without a bigger pathway and I’ll otherwise end up losing my hearing altogether.
Conspiracy of One was there eight months after my face operation when my ENT shaved off the hair around my left ear, cut through my skull around my ear, peeled it back, and spent six hours creating an ear canal for me, while also getting rid of the major infection in my mastoid that years later when I studied audiology I learned can lead to death.
Ignition and Ixnay on the Hombre were there two years later when I had the same thing done on my right ear, without the mastoid infection part.
They were all there when I got an infection in my right ear canal six months after the surgery and I had to go back and have my skull opened up again to clear it out.
Splinter was there when I had the metal plate taken out of my chin.
Rise & Fall, Rage & Grace was there when my ENT told me I have to have a little procedure on my ears every year to keep them clean and keep the infections away, so I get to see my good friend, the operating theatre, every 12 months indefinitely.

The Offspring started my theory of when something bad happens to me medically, something equally good happens musically. It all began when I had a 6.5 hour operation on my face and jaw and a few months later I won a competition and I got to go backstage and meet those four frickin’ dorks a few days before my 16th birthday.

I’d be amazed just to find tomorrow

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