Greg Franco (left), in a photo for his band Rough Church
To the stupid “where were you” question I have to respond “asleep” because I’m on the west coast and lazy. Where I was the night before? At my old good friend Greg’s birthday party, because up until 2001, September 11 meant GERG’s birthday. And it still does, goddamnit.
I’ve known him since 1985, and he and I have been in many car crashes. We did a radio show together and played even crazier music than the crazy college radio station wanted us to. We both showed up at a Cabaret Voltaire show in sweaters because we were fucking corndogs. I always bought lunch and he always had a car. We made the same mistakes and forgave each other. We spent a lot of time in the dark listening to some magically good record. We also spent a lot of time listening to shitty music that one of us thought would be good.
He was there for me when my life exploded in college, and when I was a flat broke depressed part-time editorial assistant with a stain on my pants. He saved my ass in the L.A. Riots with his insane courier driving skills and bravery. He and I lent each other two dimes back and forth 1,000 times and ate cheap rice sitting on the floor of a hundred crap apartments. He moved me across town in blinding heat in a 1967 Mustang, 8 trips. I carried his amps and drums around. He kidnapped me from work the day after my dad died and drove me up in the mountains.
My friendship with this guy led to an night sessions at a Persian recording studio in Van Nuys, and to a big beach party we threw where no one came but us, and to a hundred other adventures we can call back with one or two words: “Buttonwillow,” “Psych 201,” “Pepper pot soup,” “Mike F. on acid.”
I have not seen him in a long time but I bet you we could have a conversation entirely in incomprehensible catchphrases to this day.
He makes great music and is passionate about it, and gives up a lot to do it well. Do yourselves a favor and visit Rough Church, see if you agree about the music.
Celebrate Gergmas with me. Instead.