Total Pageviews

Friday, September 23, 2016

Concrete or Mykel's Journey to the North Part 7

Mykel's Northern Exposure
Seventh Entry: Concrete
by Mykel Board

I start writing this in a Thai coffee shop housed in a large wooden shack in Aasiaat, Greenland. This town is so small and obscure that Google maps don't show the streets. And here am I, eating sweet ramen, and saying Kup Kun Crahp. Hey, an Eskimo friend has joined me. I met her in the tourist info center just down the street. (Everything in this town is just down the street.)

Her name is Silly... at least that's her nickname. She's an artist, a theater lady, and a tourist information giver. Here we are-- not rubbing noses... yet:

FLASH AHEAD: I sit in another ferry-- much smaller than the vessel I took here (Aasiaat) from Nuuk. No beds on this boat. Only a sitting lounge, and an outdoor cargo/smoking deck. We're docked here in port waiting to set sail.

I'm waiting to go from Aasiaat to a disco. Actually, to DISKO ISLAND about 3 hours away. My instructions are: when I get there, I'm supposed to go to a soccer stadium... THE soccer stadium... on the other side of town. There, I'm supposed to look for a guy filming the installation of new AstroTurf. His name is Georg (no E at the end). He'll “take care of me” from there. This blog will self-destruct in 1 minute.

For me, waiting for public transportation is as much fun as listening to a JOURNEY concert... or any of those progressive bands. They're as progressive as Hillary Clinton... and as irritating. YES? No! GENISIS? I exodus. JOURNEY? I'll take Greenland, thank you. That's journey enough for me.

It's 1:28... and we should be off in 2 minutes. We'll see.


I've arrived at Pedro's super out-of-the way domain. I'm staying in his girlfriend's room. On the wall is art:

Pedro tells me the artwork is called GITA S. It's named after Sylvester Stallone's famously endowed paramour ex-wife. The girlfriend/ owner of the art is off in Copenhagen... having a pancreas transplant: the fourth ever performed in the country.

Today, I'm going to visit Johnny Concrete, my very long time pal, punk rocker, train-lover, and... er... different kind of guy. I plan to spend some time with him. Then join him and his friends at the rehearsal studio-- to get down to some music business. The old punks of Aarhus have joined together to make The Snotty Old Punkband. They'll be playing soon. That means they've got to rehearse.

After we get up and eat-- Pedro drives up to Johnny's place. There... on the door... above the mail slot is:

It's about noon-- on Monday. Johnny's day job is a school teacher. I hear the kids love him.... doesn't surprise me at all. If you had a punkrock teacher in third grade, you'd love him too. Right now school's out... doesn't start again til mid-September.

Pedro knows on the door. No answer. Knock again. A shuffling comes from inside. The handle turns. There's Johnny, half awake... in the middle of dressing... putting on a CBGB t-shirt.

For a New Yorker,” he says, “I should wear something New York.”

We hug. It's really good seeing him again. There's no one like him. While some punks are angry, some are funny, some are rebellious, Johnny's is grumpy. He sits on the couch in front of the TV. There is a soccer game on. Pedro and I glance at it. Johnny is paying it more attention. Pedro and Johnny are civil, but not exactly palsy. After a few minutes of chit-chat, he leaves.

That's the first contact I've had with that guy in months,” Johnny tells me. “He was in our band and just quit. We had a whole tour set up and he just walked away.”

I did it again!” I think. “With The Sods in Copenhage and the Dream Police here in Aarhus. Oh yeah... that's Mykel. He brings people together.”

You wait here, Mykel,” Johnny tells me, “I'm going out to get some beer.”

I check my cellphone. It's 12:30. [I never drink before noon.] “Sure,” I tell him. “You want some money?”

He waves me away with a PSHAWW gesture. Then he leaves and returns with a shopping bag full of beer.

I again offer money. He refuses. He'll make me pay in another way.

With an open beer for each of us Johnny settles to watch to the boring soccer game (a pleonasm?).

Let's go out and eat something,” I suggest.

No Mykel,” says Johnny. “This is my holiday. I'm not leaving home if I don't have to... besides I want you to see some things.”

He switches the TV to YouTube.

Look at this, Mykel,” he says. “Unbelievable musicianship... and more than 40 years ago!”

You've probably guessed it: JOURNEY.

What you haven't guessed is FIVE HOURS of it. JOURNEY. YES. GENESIS. By the end, I was longing for an ingrown toenail or an anal fisher to distract me from the pain.

You want another beer?” Johnny asks an hour into the skin-peeling.

Several,” I tell him. “Why don't we go out and get something to eat?”

I don't want to go out, Mykel. I told you that,” he answers.

Then he disappears into the kitchen and comes out with a couple pieces of smorbrod... a Danish-style open faced sandwich... thin brown bread topped with fish or liverpaste or something like that. [In Greenland, I have it topped with reindeer pate.] The snack is delicious... just right for my hunger... but on TV...

Look, there's Peter Gabrielle... as a young man... wasn't he terrific?”

I did get a couple breaks. One DEAD KENNEDYS with a very young Jello Biafra singing Holiday in Cambodia... and one clip of Rodney Dangerfield on Johnny Carson. You know the rest....

At about 6 o'clock, Steen from the Zero Point shows up with the rest of the band. We're off to the rehearsal space. There's a lot of people... mostly old guys... and then there's me.

Here we are again, in case you missed the picture last time. That's Johnny making the Devil's Horn gesture, Steen, with the black shirt and hideous grin, me you know. The others... all fine guys, but I forget their names. I think there's a Michael in there somewhere.

--To Be Continued

If, for some odd reason, you like my writing and want to see more (opinionated, political, punkrock), you can check out my other blog here.

You can subscribe to my writings (get email when something new is posted), by sending a subscribe email to:

No comments: