“Professor’s book looks back with a punk perspective” in Daily Gazette.

DailyGazetteLogo.jpgDid you read that headline?

Read it again.


As Fear’s Lee Ving says in The Decline of Western Civilization, “yous all suck–who don’t think so?”

Neat little interview with Jeff Wilkin from Schenectady’s Daily Gazette. I will never like any photos of me, but I like the one that went with this because it’s in my office and it has my cherished “Daniel from Williamsburg has joined our staff” poster. Wilkin’s favorite New Wave band was XTC and we nerded out over music; I’m surprised an actual interview could be culled from our conversation.

The interview is behind a paywall, but here’s an excerpt:

Q: How did “Shader” come to life?

A: I decided a couple years ago I’d like to write a coming-of-age memoir. I just felt really compelled to tell the story of growing up in South Jersey as a blue collar kid in a blue collar town with a kind of a crazy dad who discovered record stores and figures out what he’s going to do with his life.

I found myself telling the small stories, little stories, writing little “memoirettes” and essays about that time. I guess maybe five or six years ago, they started to look like they made sense all together, so that’s how “Shader” came to be.

I think I figured out a couple of common themes. One is my father, who passed away a couple years ago — that’s sort of a moment when you realize there’s a bit of a bookend to part of your life. Another is becoming a father, another is thinking about growing up in this town Maple Shade.

Q: You were into the punk rock scene in those days?

A: I was a poser, I was a wannabe, I think, growing up in a town like Maple Shade where the posers and punkers were few and far between. I think it was pretty tribal. It was definitely a classic rock kind of town.

Q: What kinds of problems did you have? People chasing you down the street?

A: The book has a couple of fist fights that I got into, things like that, nothing terribly illegal. But yeah, it was a tough town and I was a sensitive kid. But it was also a town that was tight-knit, everybody knew each other.

Q: Did you have the punk rock hair? Black Flag buttons in your lapel?

A: I had like a Duran Duran mullet, with sun-in blond hair. I might have worn a fedora to look like a member of Duran Duran.

Q: C’mon, Duran Duran wasn’t a punk band!

A: Exactly. I was a poser.

Here’s the link to photo and the full thing in case it come out of the paywall someday.

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