I consider Rochester my home. Home, to me is not the actual location where my house was while growing up. That pile of wood, sheetrock and vinyl siding was nestled approximately 40 minutes away in what you would consider the “Finger Lakes region.” So why do I consider Rochester my home (besides identifying with it being a nearby city)?
Well, while I was being raised in my house, going to my little school, I actually came of age in the land of Kodak and garbage plates. It was not until my teen years that I started hitting shows and concerts, and by the time I was a senior in high school, was able to head to shows without my parents. Something about being in a city at night, catching a raucous band is the ultimate appeal to a teenager. There’s the animalistic presentation of a mosh pit, a circle pit and fists being thrown into the air along to the pulsing lyrics.
I passed on high school parties for punk shows. Monday mornings I always had a tune in my head and memories from a sweet show. I got to know people and was getting into 21+ shows, making promises with doormen that I would not drink. I wanted the music and that’s all I wanted.
Between the ages of 19-21 Rochester had a pretty decent, DIY punk and hardcore scene, with few zines circulating around and people putting on basement shows. These shows were cheap, around $3-5 with extra scratch leftover in our pockets to buy clove cigarettes and beer.
I cannot tell you to this day how many shows I have clocked in. How many bruises I have acquired (ironically enough I get them from standing, I’m not one to mosh) or how many places I’ve ended up afterward for a party.
These were the memories I capture in my writing. There’s not much action going on in the city now, but we’re all older and the natural evolution of house party>>>Friday night at the bar>>>to snuggling with your main squeeze and watch Netflix happens. A *good* show pops up once in a while, but the weekend craziness is definitely long gone.
Now that I think about it, the last “house party” I was at was probably four years ago. Sign of the times, baby.
Has your hometown or a particular location set your writing in motion?