Me and Giant Drag
by Georgia Hardstark
It was a fourteen day festival tour through Europe. We were asked to come along for company, for adventure’s sake, for merch-table manning…I don’t really know. Both Annie and Micah had been friends of mine for years, so when they asked us (“us” being my boyfriend of 4 years and myself) a month before the departure date, to come along, we didn’t hesitate before accepting.
I met Annie my sophomore year of high school. She was a year younger than me, this tiny little thing with the biggest mouth and a disturbed sense of humor. We both moved to Los Angeles after high school, and she and I became inseparable to the point that we couldn’t go anywhere social by ourselves without being asked where the other one was.
While I meandered through my early 20s, not really knowing what I wanted to make of myself, Annie was already aware that she belonged on a stage, and that she was born to entertain people. I’ve watched home movies she made as a kid, an only child whose loneliness emanates from the camera, despite the fact that she’s laughingly miming along to a Beatles song blaring from the radio, or diving face-first into a pile of pillows she’s stacked on the couch.
I took up smoking in the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” tradition.
I ate pre-packaged sandwiches from French gas stations and bought more Kinder Surprise eggs than one would think possible.
I spent an hour in an abandoned graveyard in a small English town, reading the fading headstones and thinking about the influenza pandemic of 1918.
I was in Germany the night the German soccer team beat Portugal in the World Cup, and the celebration in the little town where our hotel was located was like nothing I’d ever seen before.
Each city we stopped in, each rural town where a huge music festival had been erected, every five hour drive from one show to the next, and the endless waiting back stage for the show to start.
It’s been two years since then, and my life is barely recognizable from the life I was immersed in before that trip. I’m single, I don’t live in San Francisco anymore, I’m back in Los Angeles, the city I love, the city my great grandparents loved when they moved here in the 1920s. I’m certain that a lot of the changes I’ve made since then are a direct result of those long drives down foreign highways. My boyfriend, the man with whom I shared a bench seat in the big black van, which had a surly, chain smoking Englishman named Gigsy at the wheel, is now part of my past, as is his daughter. The decision to leave him, and the life we had shared for five years, was made on that trip.
Staring out the window, watching the Belgian countryside whiz by, trying to ignore the choking cigarette smoke that filled the van and the incessant incoherent Cockney ramblings from Dicky, the lovable sound-guy who called everyone “Sheba” (the name of his beloved dead dog) because he couldn’t remember anyone’s name…my mind full, bursting at the seams.
With my white earphones tucked firmly in my ear, I listed to Apologies To The Queen by Wolf Parade on repeat for hours. It filled me with something…a longing. I wanted a different life, I realized. I wasn’t finished making changes, and I wasn’t happy…I felt stagnant. “I’ll Believe In Anything” will always give me that dizzy feeling and remind me of the upheaval my brain was preparing itself for…that feeling that something exciting is just around the corner.
“I’ll Believe In Anything” – Wolf Parade (mp3)
If I could take the fire out from the water
I’d take you where nobody knows you
And nobody gives a damn
Georgia Hardstark is the contributing editor to This Recording.
“Tired Yet” – Giant Drag (mp3)
“This Is It” – Giant Drag (mp3)
“Cordial Invitation” – Giant Drag (mp3)
You can listen to the new album here.
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