by Steele Diamond

I brewed a batch of beer last weekend. It has been a long time. I used to brew about every week. Especially during football season. I could brew while I watched football. It usually took a week to complete the process, so it worked out fine. See, if you brew on Sunday and put in in the fermenting bucket, it was usually done fermenting by the next Saturday. Then you bottle on Sun morning. Clean everything up, brew a new batch and get it fermenting by Sun evening. The batch I bottled, I would put in the basement and not touch for a month. As long as I had more than 5 “batches” brewed, I would never run out. I normally kept about fifteen batches brewed, as that is how many shelves I had in my basement.

This past weekend, I did a batch of American Pilsner. I normally like darker beers, like the reds or ambers, but I went with a pilsner. Since it is not football season, I had my stereo on, with classic rock vibrating the walls. As I was brewing, my thoughts wondered back to when I was a teenager. I don't know why I do that. I am too old to care about what happened back then. Maybe I am old enough to really care about what happened back then.

I was in a band. I started playing guitar. The guy who played lead recruited me. I played rhythm to his lead. I did not do a good job. In the process, it was discovered I could sing better than anyone else in the band. Looking back, this was not a difficult task, but one that made me happy. So, they let me sing. We usually opened with Foreigner's “Double Vision,” which morphed in to an instrumental jam. We did all of the good rock songs of the late 70's. Bad Company. Skynyrd. Ted Nugent. BTO. Deep Purple. Journey. Foghat. We were pretty good. We played a lot of parties. Mostly for free. A lot of times for free beer. Keg parties. We opened for Joan Jett one time. Actually, we opened a festival type concert, that Joan Jett headlined. We played. About 10 other bands played. Then Joan Jett played. I still say it was opening for Joan Jett. I'm a Joan Jett fan to this day.

I wish I would have taken more advantage of the chick situation. Everybody said I was “too nice” of a guy. I don't know if that is a regret or not. I don't know if I would change much if I could do it all over again, knowing what I know now. I had a couple of steady girls and a couple of flings in between. I did alright for a high school kid. All of my friends said I dated out of my league. Usually older. When I was a junior, I dated seniors. When I was a senior, I dated college girls. Singing in a band allows that opportunity. But I definitely had more offers that I did not take. We had a couple of older guys in our band. They were in the military, stationed at a nearby Army base. Our drummer and bass player were Army, and a couple years older. The other three of us were high school. The Army guys used to always complain because we had long hair and the chicks liked that. (After all, it was the 70's). But I think them being a little older actually helped us with the “older” girls.

After a gig late one night or early one morning, I was having breakfast with our manager. I use the term “manager” very loosely. He did help us get gigs, but he was mostly a guy we knew with a van. Anyway, we were in this twenty four hour joint eating breakfast. These two hot girls were sitting at a table. My friend has the waitress take them a note that says, “We're starting a phone book and would like to add your numbers.” They got up and left. When we walked out there was a cop car there waiting for us. They arrested us and threw us in jail for disorderly conduct. I guess the girls didn't want to be in our phone book. A few weeks later, one of the girls was at one of our shows. She was telling the story to the guitar player and me. I pointed out that it was me, in her story. We all laughed. She thought it was the funniest thing.

That night we had sex in the back of the manger's van. The manager stole her clothes. We gave her a band t-shirt and kicked her out on the street. This was before cell phones. (After all, it was the 70's). Don't know how she got home. Never saw her again.

That memory, like my beer, had been brewing a while.