a serious blast from my past

April 25th, 2009

Last week, we had an old friend visit us. His name is John Biebl. The last name sort of rhymes with beetle except with a b. He brought his wife Sarah with us who has the kind of cheekbones movie stars have and is so pretty that I think my daughter Willa thought she was some kind of princess or something because she immediately kidnapped her and dragged her into her room for a few hours.

Anyhow, I have not seen John in like 13 years but he was a very good friend in college and he is a key character in the Nick-Gayle love saga. For those of you who follow this blog (I think I have about six faithful readers now) you might recall the story of the Nick-Gayle romance. I guest-starred with one of Nick’s bands, The Klorox Girls, singing a song called “Why Can’t I Be Your Pill?” by some obscure Oregon band that none of us can remember and all of us would love to rediscover so we could get a copy of the song that brought us together.

Anyhow, John Biebl was the other guest star the night I sang and he got to sing the very cool song  “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” by Mission to Burma. And it should be said that Nick let John pick his own song, unlike me, who he foisted a song on. But I digress. If you don’t know the song, it rocks and you can watch MTB sing it here:

Anyhow, after John’s and Sarah’s wonderful visit, John sent us a bunch of crazy old pictures from the wild old punk-rock days, including a bunch from shows that Nick’s various bands playing in roller skating rings that I’d totally forgotten about.

And then, John unearthed this totally crazy double-exposure shot:


This shot is historic. I am, as I have often said, not a musician. I have not been in bands. I don’t sing, except at home to myself or caterwauling with my friend Marjorie, who also loves to sing but cannot. I don’t play guitar or any of that. I will take any punk-rock credibility where I can get it. So I have to love this shot for that. It’s the one shot of me on stage playing a show at  the once-famous club John Henry’s in Eugene Oregon. I even know the date.  Tuesday, March 2, 1993.

I know the date not because I’m so invested in my one-time-only on-stage performance but because playing with Klorox Girls was what got me and Nick together (he’s the orange-haired guy on guitar on the right). The night before, I’d seduced him. Well, sort of. We’d spent the night, fully clothed, at my apartment and kissed the next morning after we brushed our teeth. I remember being jittery all day that day, because of the lack of sleep, the new love, the pending big show. And coming into John Henry’s that night and seeing Nick and feeling…calmer. Well, that was different.

I’ve been thinking a lot about those days as people ask me about the inspiration for If I Stay. A lot comes from clubs and shows like this and people I knew back in these days. Anyhow, here is possibly the only photographic evidence of that historic  night, courtesy of John Biebl. 

Thanks, John.

Breaking news update!!!! John Biebl strikes heroic again. He unearthed the name of the band that wrote “Why Can’t I Be Your Pill?” Evil Twin Brother. And he found a cassette with the song on it and is converting it to MP3 as we speak, so I can post it on the blog! Sorry, Adele, no video of the event (no one had digital videocams back in those days) but this is a happy day for us geezers!!!!!

  1. I love the polka dot skirt, pure awesomeness. Now if only John could scrounge up an old video of said performance – my life would be complete.

    Rock on!

  2. well, i’ll be the seventh faithful reader then!
    i read the first few chapters of If I Stay in a local bookstore, and i’m dying to read it.
    that picture is totally awesome.
    my dad always calls himself a ‘geezer’
    that’s a great word.

  3. I remember that show, and John Bieble! And funny you should mention Skateworld. I took Sawyer and Celia roller skating there a couple of weeks ago and told everyone who’d listen how we used to have punk rock shows there. The funniest thing is, NOTHING in that place has been changed in the 15-plus years since. :) Thanks for the most excellent memories, Gayle!

  4. Also, I PUBLICLY RECANT. Marjorie is not tone deaf. I am. I listened to her sing today. She really isn’t. She just always sings softly and I thought it was to hide her off-keyness but when I actually listened, she was pretty on key. My apologies Marjorie!

  5. And just to show everyone how OLD we are now, the Colleen reminiscing about taking her two kids to Skateworld up there used to own the record label that put out my husband’s band’s albums. Now, like me, she’s an old lady with kids.

  6. Gayle,
    Blog reader #8, here. I love this – you and your husband are totally as cool as Mia’s parents! :)

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