Bandicoots: An Excerpt from Elaine's Book

Categories: Columns

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In the spirit of collaboration - and to further prove the IQs in the band - this week, I've opted to devote this space to my drummer Elaine Acosta. The following is a chapter from her forthcoming book, Holy Sweet Goddamn: The Memoirs of An Aspiring Rock Star and Psychiatric Nurse/Patient. It's brilliant! Top quality. I wouldn't be surprised if she finds a big time publisher. She's still writing but hopes to complete by late Fall.

Enjoy!
Eli

“Love it like a mom, baby, come and get it on,” my husky three-year-old brother sang as he tried to decipher the lyrics of Joe Elliot from Def Leppard. “I’m hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet, yeah!” He would sing correctly, sometimes with a stick of butter as his microphone before he devoured it. His performances were mind-blowing. He resembled a mini Ringo Starr with bowl haircut, plus a Buddha-like belly, and his rock star get-up was usually only his `Pull-Ups. The elasticity of the Pull-Ups allowed him the flexibility to play air guitar like a champ and while doing rock star kicks that would bring David Lee Roth to his knees.

Def Leppard became our gateway band to other well-respected rock groups of the time, such as Poison, Warrant, and Bon Jovi (Jon Bon Jovi was the hottest rocker of them all--with that mane of wild, bed head hair he exuded so much sexual prowess, and whenever I saw him on the MTV, I was just powerless; he was the first guy I ever got my rocks off to). It was widely known that Rick Allen, the drummer for Def Leppard had lost his left arm in a terrible car accident. Electronic drum technology, determination, and his raw talent enabled to him to continue to be one of the most innovative and inspirational musicians. He was one of the reasons I wanted to be a rock and roll drummer. So, in fifth grade, when we were faced with the life altering decision of either joining band or tutoring first graders, I decided I was going start my musical career by playing percussion. Unfortunately, my head said yes, but my heart said no.

“What instrument are you going to play in band?” I asked whiled I batted my eyelashes at Tony, my new strawberry blonde-haired, lightly freckled crush.

“I’m not joining stupid band, it’s for losers,” he snorted and retorted, not even looking at me because he was concentrating on playing catch with Todd, a mean-spirited but incredibly handsome cowboy.

“Yeah, totally, losers,” I laughed nervously while I chewed on my hair, but he ran off too quickly to hear me. Tony and the rest of the cool kids headed towards these four benches that were beneath arcs of rainbow bars. Everyone called it the “Tickle Machine.” The “Tickle Machine” was exclusively reserved for Tony, Todd, Megan, Brandy, Dale, Kristy and Christy. This clique was very powerful and intimidating. Not only were they fairly smart according to La Junta, Colorado’s low standards, they were all athletic, unnaturally good-looking and physically maturing at alarming rates. Megan was already developing a perky set of breasts, which I am sure received a lot of supposedly accidental tickling. Tony seemed particularly fascinated with her -- and them.

The way the “Tickle Machine” worked was that you would lie down and slide along the benches, using the rainbow bars to pull yourself along. The rest of the kids would then proceed to tickle you as you tried to slither by. They laughed so boisterously as they poked and prodded each other, and looked like they were having so much fun that it made the rest of kids on the playground wished they hadn’t wasted their time even coming out for recess. So I didn’t for quite a while and did homework during that period, but I vowed to one day be invited to be part of the “Tickle Machine” crew. Later that year, it became the “Kissing Machine”. I never received my invitation to either machine.

I also never joined band, something I have always regretted. I could have been a percussive virtuoso by now, but through one of the first graders I tutored, I met my first boyfriend. His name was Quentin (what a kick ass name, right?), and he had the dreamiest sea green eyes. He was in the second tier of popularity, which was ranks above me. He did join band, and he played the saxophone. How sexy, I thought. Fuck athletes, musicians are where it’s at. Thus began my long lasting, destructive affair with musicians. This affair was a bit more innocent than those that came later.

-- Elaine Acosta

Bandicoots is written by Eli Mishkin from Hot IQs and appears every week except when it doesn't. Got questions? Get answers. Hit Eli up here.

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