April 29, 2018 by Darren Clarke
The moment occurred just before 9 AM, circa-early 80’s, grade nine, Denis Morris High School in St. Catharines. I’m sitting on the floor in front of the locked door to the art class room waiting for the teacher to arrive. The concrete hallway is beige painted, cinder block, silence, as approximately fifteen kids varyingly slouched beneath the seductive weight of left over sleep still rummaging about our teenage bodies.
Seated on the floor amongst the crowd I silently sized up the regular denizens of the art class world assembled around me. I wasn’t an art class guy in high school and can’t remember the circumstances that lead to me being there that particular day but I can remember that the crowd appeared to me a whacky, un-athletic, private club that I definitely wasn’t in. Specifically I remember the chubby, way too happy, guy across from me sporting long hair tied in a pony tale, jeans, sandals and a Kraftwerk t-shirt.
I didn’t like him and I didn’t like his Kraftwerk t-shirt.
In my time Denis Morris was broken down into three major groups- The jocks in the front foyer, the stoners in the smoking area, the art class guys in art class. Like so many others I didn’t know where exactly I fit in but I knew where I didn’t- the front foyer, the smoking hole, art class.
But thirty some years later I thought of that dude in front of art class as I dug into the cooly, out there, tasty electronic treats provided by Germany’s Kraftwerk. Thirty some years later I considered that I was just a few feet away from an opportunity to appreciate something amazing and instead I got tripped up by the ponytail, the sandals, the fact he was just so annoyingly comfortable in his own skin. Thirty some years later I found out these guys actually knew some stuff.
Kraftwerk, Yaz, sandals with jeans, unbridled enthusiasm, creativity, confidence.
… of course the scary thing is that this may also mean that rowers might not all be dicks. But I doubt it.
Taxis for the Galaxies bloomed out of a desire to seek out more of the lost and the beautiful in the world/galaxy of music but mostly is grew out of a desire to confess, “You were right, I was wrong. New Order is awesome.” A desire to confess that disco is brilliant, singing with your eyes closed is the only way to go, that dancing passionately is necessary and that I have always been envious of those who live recklessly, daring to fail, daring to immerse themselves deeply in fragile moments of joy.
And I also thought it was about time to kick out some Captain and Tenille.