Revisited is a series in which writers look back on a work of art they first encountered long ago. Here, Michael Chabon recalls discovering the Pittsburgh band Carsickness.
I saw Carsickness play for the first time in the fall of 1980, somewhere on campus at Carnegie-Mellon University, where I was a freshman. I’d listened to their self-released EP, Police Dog, about a hundred and seven times by then, and I found their live show unaccountably stirring, because there was nothing that seemed likely to cause a stir about the five guys who made up the band. They had on jeans, T-shirts, sneakers. One of them wore a cardigan. A couple of the guys verged, particularly when it came to the way they wore their hair, on the unkempt, but most of them looked, frankly, a lot like CMU engineering students. None looked even remotely, in the fall of 1980, like punks.
This came very much as a relief to me, I remember. I was kind of afraid of punks, or at any rate I was going to be afraid of them, I believed, if I ever actually met any. They did not have punks in the suburban Maryland town where I’d grown up and bought my first Clash, Blondie, and The Jam records. Read More