The Hall Monitors
Aug. 10 2007
Quarry House Tavern, Silver Spring MD
Dear Jimbromski Jr.--
Three days before you were born, I attended a rock show at the Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring, Maryland. Despite its name, Silver Spring is not silver, and there is no spring. And there certainly isn't a spring, flowing with silver. Let that be your first lesson--adults lie. Welcome to Earth, little man.
The name of the band dad saw was The Hall Monitors. A real hall monitor is a little fascist traitor who works for authority (henceforth known as "The Man") and rats out his (or her--in fact, most fucking hall monitors when I was growing up were chicks--lesson 2: women...no, forget it, I'll save that one for August 2022) classmates to the teacher. Don't ever be a hall monitor. I will disown you.
The band the Hall Monitors named themselves The Hall Monitors because they were being ironic. They don't actually look up to hall monitors, or want to be hall monitors. Lesson Two: adults lie.
Despite the fact this band lies, dad enjoyed the show. Why? Because dad likes garage rock. Garage rock is the best kind of rock. Growing up you will hear all kinds of shit about how you have to grow up in the big city in order to be "real" and authentic. If not the big city, then the backward-assed country. Bullshit. Everybody lives in the suburbs. We have the great good fortune to live in a middle class country. Don't run from it. Embrace it. Garage rock is the sound of the suburbs, son. Like your dad, you will grow up in a soulless suburb. Everyone will look alike. Everyone will wear the same clothes. Everyone will want the same things. One day, if you have any sense, you'll realize this and you'll start doing everything the opposite. This is similar to, but not to be confused with, "Opposite Day", which you will experience in grade school. In my day, "Opposite Day" was on Wednesdays. Doing things the opposite may mean wearing pressed velvet suits and ruffled collars, and growing your hair in a Prince Valiant 'do, and playing your guitars at high volume:
Lesson Three: The Kinks rule.
Lessons Four & Five & Six: (4) The Hall Monitors have a good garage sound. (5) If they're still around when you're old enough to drive, go see them. (6) Also of note is that the freaks and punks of Silver Spring hang out at the Quarry House. Pay attention in history class. You'll learn about people called "Catholics". Their HQ is in Rome. Catholics in Rome were notoriously decadent and cynical:
There were also a lot of Catholics in a place called Ireland. They were surrounded by heathens, pagans, and later, Protestants from England. As a result they were tougher, meaner, and more Catholic than the "real" Catholics in Rome:
My point is, it's easy to be Catholic in Rome, not so easy in Ireland. Punk rocker in East Village? Easy peasy. Punk rockers (or whatever they call themselves) in Silver Spring? Eh, not so easy. It's up to you, but remember, if you look and think like everyone else around you, that's not punk. If it means moving to Williamsburg and wearing Dockers to a Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert, then so be it.
To the Hall Monitors, I give a 6.5 rating. Maybe we'll go to a reunion show at Wolf Trap in 2022. What's that, you're busy? No, I don't mind. I'll just stay home and drink beer and pass out in front of the television, like I always do. Have a good time with your friends, son.