joey palumbo


there aren’t many kids i went to school with in ohio whose names i remember. joey is a rare exception. i can’t tell you much about joey. i can’t even remember how i knew him, or how he would have known me. we were in the same grade, so maybe we had some classes together. what i do remember was that he didn’t treat me like the awkward, nerdy, closeted fag i was. i remember maybe between 10th and 11th grades joey went to live with his dad in california. when he came back he brought back tapes of all that cool music that wouldn’t hit the top 40 for another year or two. the tape he chose to bestow on me was oingo boingo’s dead man’s party. partially because i really like joey and partially because i honestly loved the band, i was hooked. i mean the theme song to weird science was on that album. that movie (along with real genius, starring a young, hot, val kilmer) gave nerds like me hope. i don’t even know if i ever discussed music with joey after he gave me that tape. i remember the followin christmas he moved to california for good. but i still continued loving oingo boingo, so i wasn’t just doing it for him.

i played that tape every day. when good for your soul came out, i played that every day too. i wore both those tapes out, playing them loud and often. i remember mowing the lawn to each of them all summer long. i remember going to see oingo boingo the spring (or summer) of my senior year. the show was somewhere on cleveland’s west side, which was foreign territory for a suburban kid like me. i borrowed the car and drove out there, maybe with my friend brad. i remember loving every second of the show. it was so ALIVE. all i had seen until then were melancholy shows like the cure and howard jones and sting’s first solo tour (BIG mistake) and synthesizer bands. but oingo boingo played real instruments, with real energy. the horn players, and danny jumping around stage, and everything about that show was alive. really alive.

tonight i walked into a cafe to get a glass of tea and do some reading and what was on but only a lad. i still remember most the words to the songs, even though i doubt i’ve heard or even thought about any of those songs for over 10 years. oingo boingo will go down in my permanent record, thanks to joey palumbo.


One Response to “joey palumbo”

  1. 1 johnny

    the king or queen of pain that is me!

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