The posters on his wall fascinated me. These were so different from the Leif Garrett poster on the back of my bedroom door. I would sneak into his bedroom when he wasn’t home, and sit and stare; creating a story that explained the scene. Sorting through his stack of records I would find the accompanying album that would help paint the whole picture. Bloody letters dripping over the face of one of the most terrifying figures I had ever seen with “Slash” and “Germs” splayed across the poster. Maybe it was a commentary that this guy should cover the many exposed cuts on his body before they became infected. I searched for a “Slash” or “Germs” album and found a small 7”. Yeah, I knew this song, it was played on a regular rotation that easily permeated the sheet rock.
I sat on Jerry’s bed and stared at the poster with the paired music. I could make out a fraction of the lyrics, which sounded drunken and slurred. It occurred to me that the music didn’t quite fit the image in the poster. Here was this angry, bloodied ruffian creating what sounded like a differently structured, harder version of old rock and roll. Was that Chuck Barry with a hint of surf? The Trashmen? I didn’t have the repertoire to place it but parts of it sounded so familiar while the timing and structure was so different from Saturday Night Fever that dominated the radio. Although I didn’t quite understand it, I liked it. I liked the energy and I liked that it was different. I remember thinking, “I’ll never hear this on the radio,” and from my 6th grade perspective not recognizing the value in that.