so anyway, as i was saying. after our first show (what i lovingly refer to as "the saint swithins day massacre") we began to attract the attention of a small independent label called Micro Earth records. we were offered a contract. we laughed. so on a nice spring day three of us drove out to the office with a gallon of rum in tow.
we reviewed the contract and i slit my finger open with a knife and dipped the tip into my blood and signed on the line. jay beamed at this and followed suit. brett couldn't bring himself to slice his thumb and wanted me to do it. well, i cut him a little too deep and he bled all over the office. but not before signing his name. i believe he may still have a photocopy of the bloodstained contract. kai was not present at the meeting and although he signed, it was not in blood. afterward, we celebrated. i ate a xanax and fell down. i awoke with a terrible hangover and my bedsheet stuck to my elbow, which was crusted with blood from my fall.
it was also at this time that we began to reap the rivalry that we had sown. one day as i was running a delivery up to smith college, john peter's roomate jay ponti literally jumped out of the bushes and punched me in the arm and yelled "what's up?!" in my face. oh yeah. i forgot that i spraypainted "LANDLORDS!" on the wall next to their house. i told him that we are not fucking around, and if he wants to get in my face then he had better do it when i'm not on the clock.
it seems that john peter, in some "i'm an artist" moment had become frustrated during a fucking sparklies practice and spraypainted "CONCENTRATE" above the toilet. the toilet broke and now the landlord would not only see the spraypaint in the loo, but also my modern art masterpiece outside. i guess they painted over the bathroom because i moved into the same house two years later and it was gone. my graffiti is still there. but anyway, ha ha.
after the incident with jay ponti, our band rivalry hit a fork in the road. jay ponti was in a terrible cock rock band called The Holics. they wanted desperately to be The Unband. in fact, they asked my friend matt pierce from The Unband to sing for them. he went to a rehearsal and he told me that they laminate their lyric sheets. because jay and john peter lived together and promoted shows together, he naturally joined rank in john peter's anti-landlord campaign. The Holics had this song called "what the fuck." the chorus was such a rip off of "panama" by van halen that we would laugh about it. they said "what the fuck" instead of "panama." lame. so when we played the northampton music festival, we ridiculed The Holics on stage. we even broke down one of our songs in the middle and did the break in "panama." you know, "i think we're running a little bit hot tonight..." i was wearing a tiny pair of smith college running shorts and nothing else. brett and i did whippets onstage. at one point The Holics were at the front of the stage trying to fuck with us. we didn't let them get a word in edgewise. they tried to take my mic stand and i kicked it over on them, followed with a gob of spit. one of them threw a bottle and it broke on my guitar. a shard of glass cut my thigh and a trickle of blood flowed down to my sock. i kept playing. as we were packing up we looked for The Holics but they were nowhere to be found.
a week later we recorded our one and only EP, "freddy and the landlords pay the fucking rent." i handled the art. the front cover is a photo of the four of us standing next to a dumpster. there was a car accident when our friend courtney was shooting the photos and brett and i are staring at it. the mix sounds dirty tinny and raw but i liked it. we did minimal overdubs. there were 3 songs on the record but we recorded more. i doubt that these will ever see the light.
that summer it felt like the world was ours. a couple of bands around town were covering "pay the rent," and matt pierce wanted to produce our next single. we played huge college parties that would get shut down by the police. jay started hanging out with a groupie. he didn't see it that way. she would eventually work her way through the whole band minus me. i had a girlfriend. then again, so did jay. after a while kai realised that brett was sleeping with her although kai had some notion that he and her were dating. needless to say this shook things up and we were in limbo. limbo turned to decay. although we rarely practiced, now we NEVER practiced. we didn't even hang out together. well, me and kai did because we lived together.
a final show was planned and all of our friends were there. it was videotaped and we made a live recording of it which, due to contractual obligations cannot be released by the band. freddy and the landlords left some memories of great times and a few heavy frustrations but if i could do it all over i wouldn't change a stinking, drugged-out, chewing on a gas station burrito moment of it.