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LaVAR N O T R BU Issue one


/100 Created By Pat Stiener Writers Alex Donahue, Matt Pleasant, Aaron Austin Photos Gore, Stiener, Henry, Zuczek, Pang, Coulthard Illustrations Aaron Austin, Alex Cox Contact LavarBurton.com, @LavarBurton, LavarBurton1@Gmail.com

LaVAR BURTON


Drugs Are Bad By: Alex Donahue

I

grew up in a pretty average American family. Firefighter for a father and a prude for a mother. So of course my parents weren’t “down” with their kids experimenting with drugs. But why would I listen to my parents? Those faggots don't party. I believe it was the year 1999. South Park was the shit and I was in the 8th or 9th grade. It was the year I started experimenting with drugs besides pot; nothing like crack or heroin, just some LSD and Xanax. It was also the year I ran away from home with my friend. We planned to travel to California to start a band. My favorite musical acts back then were Screeching Weasel and the Wu-Tang Clan. So we were either going to start a punk band, a hip-hop group or some kind of shitty rap-metal band (Later in high school, I did end up becoming a D.J. in a rap-metal band. Some dreams do come true. Sadly.) We made it about ten miles away and spent most of the night breaking into houses and cars stealing money or whatever we thought was cool. After a few hours of pillaging, we scored a watch, some cash and bag of weed. We then headed to my friend Stephen's house to sleep in his shed. But last minute Stephen decided he didn’t want us in there, thinking rightfully we’d steal something. We ended up spending the night behind it. I'd passed out drunk on Daytona Beach before; sleeping next to used condoms wasn't anything new. But goddamn, sleeping behind that shed was a new level of gross. There were crumbled HUSTLER magazines and empty spray paint cans with tie dye looking socks stretched over them. (Stephen was addicted to huffing paint.) Plus, Stephen had an obsession with killing squirrels. The backside of that shed looked like a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as if I was having a sleepover with Leatherface. But this was only the beginning of our journey. It would get better from here. I remember the thoughts running through my mind before I passed out. “Man, this is going to be awesome. I can’t wait until we make it to California.”


The next morning, I woke to my father pulling me out from behind the shed, beating the shit out of me as my mother yelled, “You deserve it you ungrateful piece of shit!” I guess my friend’s mom heard us talking behind the shed and called my parents. During my ass beating, my mother called the cops. They arrested us for truancy and took us to the juvenile detention center, where I spent the rest of the day. After my release, my father took my brother and me to get drug tested. If you failed the pissed test, you would be entered into a week-long drug rehab program. On the way to the drug center I remember my brother giving me dirty looks and whispering, “I’m gonna fucking kill you, you fucking faggot.” While waiting on the results, I prayed that my brother’s test wouldn’t come back positive. I didn’t want to get my ass kicked and I already knew I was going to fail. But I looked forward to the program. Not because I thought I had a problem and needed help. I’d seen a cute girl who looked about my age entering the program when we first arrived at the drug-testing center. Even at 13 I knew that girls who drink and do drugs also like to fuck. The test came back in about 15 minutes, and, for some crazy reason, I passed. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been smoking pot non-stop for a couple months and had dropped some acid about a week earlier. Plus I had popped a few Xanax during the two days we’d attempted to run away. (Even to this day I still haven’t failed a drug test.) My brother wasn’t so lucky. His test came back positive for marijuana. I will never forget the look my brother gave me as they were taking him away. I knew when he got out he was going to beat the shit out of me. On the way home, my father said that he didn’t know how I passed the test, but he didn’t care. He was going to beat my ass anyway. I didn’t care that I was going to get the shit kicked out of me. I just felt like the biggest piece of shit for getting my brother locked up. I would have been ok sitting in there for a week. Their was snatch to be pounded. My brother, well, he's too good of a dude to beat some jail bait. A week later, my brother walked. During that week I’d gotten more beatings from my father than I’d ever had before. To be honest, I felt like I deserved all of them. Not because I ran away, but because I’d gotten my brother sent to the clink. I remember going with my father to pick him up. I was scared completely shitless of my brother walking out and beating the shit out of me right then and there. But he didn’t. He didn’t even look at me. The drive home was one of the most awkward car rides I’ve ever had in my life. (Trust me when I say I’ve had some seriously awkward car rides in my life.) When we finally got home my parents told me to go to my room while they had a talk with my brother. I went to my room and turned on Tony Hawk Pro Skater. About a half-hour later my brother walked in, looked me straight in the face and slugged me square in the eye. He pushed me against the wall and wrapped a hand around my neck. The blows kept coming as he yelled.


“Listen, I’ll never forgive you. It was the worst week of my life.” Punch. “I watched a fucking kid eat a fucking moldy orange peel to try to get high.” Punch. “I was surrounded by fucking junkies.” Punch. “Don’t ever think you and me are cool. I got a bag of weed left and I’m not gonna let it go to waste. Don’t you say shit to mom and dad.” I already knew about the pot. I’d been smoking it the whole time he was locked up. I watched him roll a joint with toilet paper and tape it together. At 14, he didn't really know how to roll a J yet, but I was impressed. "They didn't teach him shit in that rehab center," I remember thinking. Our room had once been the garage, so there was a door that led to our backyard. My brother told me to warn him if I heard our parents coming. About two minutes later my mom opened my door and asked me where my brother was. I told her he was in the bathroom, but it was completely useless for me


to lie to her. The smell of burning pot, tape and toilet paper totally gave him away. My mother screamed for my father. She busted through the back door, grabbed my brother and started to beat him as if he just dropped the big "C Word." (You know, CUNT.) Then my father grabbed me and started beating my ass for some reason. I don’t think he liked me too much back then. As my mom was hitting my brother she screamed, “Do you have any clue how stupid you look right now? Huh? Do you have any clue how stupid drugs make you look? Well I’ll show you!" She grabbed a Polaroid camera and took pictures of us. The other day, I was going through some boxes and found the pictures. They were still as funny and damaging as the day they were taken. Today, my brother has done pretty well for himself. He has a pretty good career going and a family. I didn’t want to incriminate him with these photos, so I blacked out his eyes and drew on some devil horns.


1

There Is No Me

A video surfaced online a few years ago of a 1985 Cleveland news show. The clip opens with an anchor explaining that a local band has made “modern music very popular in our area.” The band is Exotic Birds. Its members defend creating music with computers. In a concert clip, a guy on the left of the stage with a shorter, more practical version of a Flock of Seagulls haircut sways behind a big keyboard. He seems excited. He seems happy. He seems downright earnest.

2

The guy on the left of the stage: Trent Reznor

3

At that time, I would have been about 2 years old. Reznor would have been about four years from “Pretty Hate Machine” and nine from “The Downward Spiral.” I would have been about two decades from sitting down to reckon with either album.

4

In middle school, I listened to music on a clock radio. I remember tuning the small dial to 98 Rock and hearing the chorus I want to … you like an animal and filling in the blank in my head. I remember contemplating the lyric You let me desecrate yo u.

5

Back then, if you wanted to show how much you liked a band, you went to Specs or Camelot Music and bought their shirt. They seemed to come exclusively in XL, so they hung from your shoulders like a stretched out nightgown. But you felt subversive wearing it to class. You felt like you were making a statement. To everyone else you looked ridiculous.


6

In seventh grade, there was a chick with braces, freckles and a greasy ponytail who rode a school bus home to a rough trailer park. She wore a “Downward Spiral” shirt once a week. In my judgmental pre-adolescent mind, she was dirty. And Nine Inch Nails were dirty by association.

7

Years later, sometime shortly after college, I watched Nine Inch Nails melt the faces of an audience gathered for an outdoor festival in New Orleans. Reznor stalked the stage like a man possessed. There is no fucking you, he screamed into the darkened park. There is only me.

8

Shortly after Nine Inch Nails rose to fame, Reznor packed up and moved from Cleveland to New Orleans. By his account, things did not go well. He became an alcoholic. “It’s a tough process realizing hey, my life is pretty terrible right now,” he once said about those years, “and if I look down, I can see a trail of vodka bottles leading to where I am.” But he would recover in New Orleans, too. He turned a funeral parlor into a studio. He bought a mansion. He thought about moving.

9

He sold his mansion to John Goodman.

10

A few months ago, I packed into a sold out concert in Ybor City. The lights dimmed, and the band took the stage. Everyone in the audience aimed a cell phone at the lead singer. When that happens, there's always a moment when you realize: I'm not watching a concert. I'm watching everyone else watch a concert. Later I heard the band had an unusual agreement with the venue staff: No eye contact.

11

When I saw Nine Inch Nails in New Orleans, Reznor had his own camera attached to his microphone. On a dime, he could pivot his voice from a full-throated scream (There is no fucking you) to a deadpan calm (There is only me).

12

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--pleasantville


T

. k n yMo l l a c o v i u q e n su ki n fMo no r e t t a gp n i y a l ep h . e d r a g t n a v ea h ht t zwi z a fj yo r o t s i eh h dt e z i s e h t n y ks n cMo i t a r c n y s o i d Ani e h et d Hema . p o b e tb ei d kma n ;Mo c i s nmu a c i r Ame , z z a j , g n wi s , e d i r St s Hi . e l b a n e t s i dl n ea l b a h c a o r p p la l i t es d r a g t n a v ea h t , g n i t s e r e t n ei r ”mo d r wa r o f t h g i a r t s “ . d e t a c i l p e nr e e rb e v e sn a sh s e n e v i t n e v n i t e y , l ma i r —p ms h t y h dr e t a p o c n y ns si y e ek h ft go n i d n u o sp i h , s n o i t a t i s e sh Hi d n sa e i n mo r a th n a n o s s i gd n i s a e l hp c u es t a e r dc l u o kc n yMo l On . l u f i t u a e db n na r e d mo f no o i s r e sv i dh n ”a , y p h o r t s i Ep e“ k i sl g n o ns si y e ok n a i ep h wnt o ”d s e l k n i r t l“ u f t h g i l e d ” . s g n i hTh s i l o eFo s e Th “ s e t o ”n g n o wr t“ h g i er h ft eo s du n sa t n me e g n a r r sa i fh yo t i r a l u g e r r ei Th . y cwa i t s i t r a , e u g a nav yi l n to u b , e l b a n i f e md i eh k yma l l a i t n e u q e s n o c , d o h t dme e x i yf n ya db e z i r e t c a r a h tc o n , s e l u dr e h s i l b a t s oe gt n mi r o f n o tc No p eu k tma a h st t n e n o mp o ec h ot s l ea r ”a r a l u g e r r i f“ so n o i t i n i f e ed s e h —t e t a rr yo t i u n i t n o c o st t n ewa n o y r e Ev . l a n me o n e h tp h g i r wn o dd n la o o oc ss ’ t yi swh ’ t a Th . d n u o ss ’ k n Mo ” . y tmywa oi ld l ’ I m. e t s y es h tt e g r o df n ua o ty e g r Fo “ , y a ds n sa e l u dr e h s i l b a t s ee h kt c u b . y l d u o ol ss e t a n o s e cr i s smu i yh swh ’ t a Th . l a u d i v i d n ni ea ob tt n ywa e Th

--Aaron Austin


I

f i r s the a r dofMe r c ha ndi s ea boutt woye a r sa go.Iwa sa tTheBr i c ksi nYborCi t y ha vi ngabe e rwi t hmyf r i e ndCa r s ondi s c us s i ngt heus ua l :Punk,wome na ndhow br odude sa ndj oc ksc a l lhi m af a ggotf r om t he i rc a r swhe nhewa l kshomef r om wor k. Be t we e nr a nt sa nds i psofwe l lwhi s ke y,Ca r s onme nt i one dhi sba nd' sa l bum wa sbe i ng pr e s s e donvi nyl . Iha dbe e ndr i nki ngwi t hhi mf oraf e wmont hsa tt hi st i mea nddi dn' te ve n knowhewa si naba ndorha da nymus i c a lt a l e nta ta l l .( Tobehone s t ,It houghthewa sga y mys e l fa ndonl ys t a r t e dt a l ki ngt ot heki dbe c a us eIha dt hehot sf orhi ss i s t e r . )Myf i r s t t houghtwa s" Oka yc ool ,a not he rga yki di nagr i ndba ndt a l ki nga bouta ni ma lr i ght sa nd Rona l dRe a ga n. � Ma ybeamont hort wol a t e rIwa sa taf r i e nd' shous eha vi ngs omebr e wsa nd l i s t e ni ngt omus i c .Myf r i e nda s ke di fIha dhe a r dCa r s on' sr e c or da ndIwa sl i ke ," Na h, pl e a s et e l lmei t ' snots omee l i t i s tP. C. punkba nd. "Note xa c t l y, myf r i e nds a i d, a shes l i dt he a l bum f r om t hes l e e vea ndt ur ne don " ILoc ke dTheDoor . "Iwa sf uc ki ngs hoc ke d!Iwa s l i ke" Ohs hi t ,hei s n' tga ya ndhe ' sgonnage thi sdi c kf uc ki ngs l ur pe dona l lda yl ongwhe n hegoe sont our . " Af t e rme e t i ngDa vea ndPa tIs t a r t e dt ounde r s t a ndwhyt he i rmus i ci ss of uc ki ng a ma z i ng-be c a us eofwha tagr e a ts e tofdude st he ya r e .Ea c honepl a ysar ol ei nt heba nd. AsIs e ei tDa vei st hebr a i n,Pa ti st heba c kbone ,a ndCa r s oni st hee mot i ona ndl ooks .I me a n,t ha t ' sapr e t t ydude .I ' vebe e nf r i e ndswi t ht he mf ors omet i menowa nda l wa yst r yt o t a gal ongwhe nt he ygoont our .Abunc hofuswe ntt oJ a c ks onvi l l ewhe nt he ypl a ye d305 Fe s t .Ast he ys t oodons t a ge ,Is c r e a me d," Ca r s on,you' r egi vi ngmeabone rwi t hyour be a ui t f ulvoi c eyouf uc ki ngf a ggot ! "Af t e r wa r dshea pol i gi z e dt ot hec r owdf ormybe ha vi or a sheha sdonema nyt i me sa f t e r . I fyouha ve n' tdi s c ove r e dMe r c ha ndi s eye t ,wha tt hef uc ki swr ongwi t hyou? The y' r eoutt he r ea nde a s yt of i nd.Andwhe nyoudof i ndt he m,Is ugge s tyoupi c kupa l lof t he i ra l bums .The yne ve rdi s a ppoi nta nda r ef i l l e dwi t hBONERJ AMS.

--Alex

donahue


Ab o u taf e wmo n t h sb a c kI we n tt oJ a c k s o n v i l l ewi t hmyf r i e n d si nCh u r c hWh i pa n dMe r c h a n d i s e . Myg o a lwa st og e tc o mp l e t e l ys h i t h o u s e d , mo s hl i k et h eo l dma nI a ma n dd oa smu c hb l o wa sI c o u l da f f o r da n d / o r g e t u pmyn o n j e wi s h b u t l o o k s v e r y j e wi s hn o s e . Or ma y b eGr e e k ?T h eGr e e k s g o ts o meb i gn o s e so nt h e m, t o o . J e s u sCh r i s t , a n dh a v ey o us e e nt h eh a n d so naGr e e kwo ma n ? Ve r yma n l y . I me a n , i f y o ug o tah a n dj o bf r o maGr e e kWo ma nt h e r e ’ sag o o dc h a n c ey o u r d i c kh e a d wo u l dg r o wo n eo ft h o s eh i p s t e r mu s t a c h e s . Wh e nI a r r v i e di nJ a c k s o n v i l l eI me tmyb u d d yS a ma t t h ev e n u ea n dh a dt woq u e s t i o n s : “ Doy o uk n o wwh e r eI c a ng e ts o meb l o w? ” a n d“ Doy o uh a v ea n y Ga n gGr e e nc a s s e t t e s ? ”T h ea n s we rwa sy e st ob o t h , wh i c hi sa we s o me , b e c a u s eS a mi ss t r a i g h t e d g e . Bu ts t r a i g h te d g ek i d sk n o wwh e r et og e tt h eb e s td r u g sf o r s o mer e a s o n . I wi l l s a yt h eGa n g Gr e e nt a p ewa st h eb e t t e r b u y . I d i ds omu c hb l o wI f u c k e du pmyp u s s y f o r t h en i g h ta n de n d e du p s i t t i n gn a k e d ,s c a r e dt u r t l e( we i n e ri nt h eb o d y )wi t ht wod u d e si nas a u n a .Wi t hs o n g sl i k e “ Ba l l e r i n aMa s s a c r e ” a n d“ S i c k , S e x , S i x , ” t h e r ei sn owa yt h i swa sas h i t t yb u y . Pl u s , i t wa sl e s st h a n f i v eb u c k s . I fI wa sy o uI wo u l dc h e c ke b a yo r g o o g l ea n dg e to n ef o r y o u r s e l f . An di fy o u ’ r ee v e r i n J a c k s o n v i l l e , g e tt h ec o k e . I t ’ sg o o dc o k e . F o r o n c eMr . S we a t s h i r t c l e a r st h ea i r . Ov e r as i mp l ep i a n ol o o p , h ed i s c u s s e se v e r y t h i n gwel e a r n e d a b o u th i mwh i l ewea wa i t e dh i sr e t u r nf r o me x i l e : Gr o wi n gu pwi t h o u th i sb i o l o g i c a lf a t h e r , h i s s t r a i n e dr e l a t i o n s h i pwi t hh i smo t h e r , t h er e p o r t e r st r y i n gt ot r a c kh i md o wnwh i l et h er e s to fOd d F u t u r er o s et of a me . Heh a dt oa d d r e s swh a tc a meb e f o r es oh ec o u l dmo v ef o r wa r d , s a n st h e“ F r e e Ea r l ” my s t i q u e . T h es o n gc l e a r st h es t a g es oh ec a ns e t i t wi t hs o me t h i n gn e w. Goa h e a d . Yo uh a v e o u r a t t e n t i o n .

Wh e r e ’ sa l lt h ef a n f a r e ?Wh e r e ’ st h en o s t a l g i cr e t r o s p e c t i v e s ?T h eo r a lh i s t o r i e s ?T h eu s u a l t r u mp e t b l a s t st h a t h e r a l dt h ea r r i v a l o f ar e i s s u e dc l a s s i c ?Ea r l i e r t h i sy e a r , T h eWa l k me nb r o u g h t f o r t ht h e i r2 0 0 4a l b u mBo ws+Ar r o wsf o ras e c o n dt i me , a n da l li sq u i e t . Ni n ey e a r sh a v ep a s s e d s i n c et h eb a n dc r e a t e do n eo ft h es t r o n g e s tr e c o r d sb yt h ec r o po fNe wYo r kCi t yb a n d sr i s i n ga t t h a tt i me . T h i si s n ’ to n eo ft h o s er e i s s u e so v e r s t u f f e dwi t hBs i d e sa n dd e mo s . T h i si sj u s tt h e a l b u m, c o mi n go u tf r e s h . ? u e s t l o v eo n c es a i dh er e p e a t e d l yb u y sS t r a i g h tOu tt h eJ u n g l eb yt h e J u n g l eBr o t h e r s , j u s tt oa p p r o x i ma t et h ef e e l i n gh eg o tt h ef i r s tt i meh eh e a r dt h a tr e c o r d . I c o u l d d ot h a twi t ht h i sa l b u m. Wh e nI d r o pt h en e e d l eo nmyn e wc o p y , I ’ l lh e a rt h ea n c i e n t s o u n d i n g o r g a ng r o a nt ol i f eo nt h ef i r s tt r a c k , “ Wh a t ’ sI nI tF o r Me . ” I ’ l l c l o s emye y e swh e nI h e a r “ T h eRa t ” a n d“ L i t t l eHo u s eo fS a v a g e s ” a n dt h i n ko ft h ef i r s tt i meI s a wt h eb a n dl i v e . I ’ l l r e me mb e r t h ewa y l e a ds i n g e r Ha mi l t o nL e i t h a u s e r , i n t i mi d a t i n g l yt a l l , g r i p p e dt h emi c r o p h o n ei no n eh a n da n ds t a r e d o v e r t h eh e a d si nt h ea u d i e n c ewi t hap u g i l i s t ’ sg a z e . An dI ’ l l s i n ga l o n go n“ T h i n k i n go faDr e a mI Ha d , ”s o me h o wk n o wi n ge x a c t l ywh a th eme a n swh e nh es h o u t s“ Noo n es p e a k st omet h a t wa y / An dme , I ’ l l b eh a n g i n gf r o mt h ec e i l i n gf a n . ”


2013


Lavar Burton Issue One