By the Answer Man
In the late 1970s, I was riding high and workin' chicks and just an Answer Boy. There were some sweet tunes out there in the late 70s, but something was always missing. The pieces slowly came together in 1980.
Answer Mom came home from her weekly garage sale trip one Fall day and threw a set of Bobby Orr ice skates at me while I slept. My chin was mildly cut open. As I slowly came to, I could smell the must on these beauties. They were four sizes too big, they didn't have the plastic tucks on the bottom and they were brown and black. They looked scrumptious.
As I put a butterfly bandage on my chin, I realized that I should take these things for a spin. It wasa now late 1980. AC/DC released "Back In Black" that year. It wasa barely OK. Ozzy discovered and gaves us Randy Rhoads that year on "Blizzard of Ozz" and I got my own friggin' skates. What a year.
I took them up to the North County Recreational Center and tried them out. Holy smokes did I suck at skating. Typical to the Answer Family way of learning, Answer Mom, her punk ass friend Phyllis and Phyllis' soon to be dead husband Dirk the Smelly Drunk proceeded to heckle me the entire time.
Imagine if you will a young Answer Boy, skating by himself for the first time with no instructions being yelled at by three clearly inebriated adults. One them, Phyllis of course, was literally throwing lit cigarettes at him. It was a sight to behold.
This led to some anger issues. A kind of rink attendant escorted the three adults out and sought out the young Answer Boy, tightened his skates for him and gave him his first official skating lesson.
I decided to return to the rink several times a week, mainly to get away from the constant drinking, smoking and yelling at the Answer House. I had my tunes in my room and basement, but the rink gave me freedom. The kind rink attendant kept getting me to progress with the skating and eventually invited me and some of his friends to something called "open ice" and "stick and puck." I had rented equipment, borrowed equipment and was given equipment that had this Blue Note on them. I asked, "Dude, where did this shit come from?" His answer changed my life. "The almighty St. Louis Blues. Ever heard of them?" I had no idea what he was talking about.
The rink attendant was friends with a player named Perry Turnbull. He was a young guy back in those days, and he was double tough. The rink attendant told me story after story about how good this guy was and another guy by the name of Brian Sutter.
Then the day arrived when we got free tickets from a radio contest on KSHE. Four of us went and it was crazy. It was the Blues vs. the Minnesota North Stars and it was a wild game. I was so excited that I don't even remember the score. I just remember the stench of the Arena which might have actually been called the Checkerdome at the time. The crowd was alive and ging crazy. We rocked the "Blizzard of Ozz" (the European release, I must confess) both to and from the game. Since that cold day in 1980, I have been hooked.
Now I have played hockey for more than 20 years. I've played in two countries and on countless teams. I have been broken, beaten and bloodied while I have broken, beaten and bloodied others. The game is deliciously violent and if you taken any shortcuts or cheapen it in any waya, you will have to answer to someone or answer to the game itself.
I cheer for the jersey and not the player. I bleed blue. Always have and always will. If you disagree, come find me in four major rec leagues here in town. We can talk abaout it or settle it like men. It is time to get ready Blues fans. Get it together and Let's Go Blues!!!