The first time I ever heard TSOL’s music was when I was at a friend’s house watching the early 80’s punk film Suburbia. I’m pretty sure it was in late 1989 because I remember being just out of high school. Watching Suburbia was a right of passage if you were any kind of weirdo back then.
I love the film because there were some parts of it that were very relatable, such as metalheads, and other general assholes, who would give you shit even though you were just walking down the street, or shopping, minding your own business. Sure, the acting is pretty atrocious, but that is what makes it a cool film. Most of the actors were actual punks so they looked and acted more real than say the people in Return Of The Living Dead. Also love that film but one of the reasons why it’s so funny is because of the shit they got wrong in it.
With all of that being said the scene that really pulled me into the film and got to me on a deeper level was when TSOL took the stage at the club and started singing Darker My Love. At that time I was already listening to goth and punk music and that song spun the genres together into a sound that really hit me hard in a good way. I’m not going to lie, Jack Grisham was also really easy on the eyes! That same week I bought the soundtrack of the film, Dance With Me and Beneath The Shadows. Needless to say I was hooked. Watch it below.
The only sad aspect to all of this was by the time I discovered them Jack had left the band and without his presence they had morphed into a hair metal band; a music genre that I generally disliked. In 1999 the original members sued the hair metal singer for the rights to the band name, and for the right to perform their older songs. They won, and afterwards started touring again.
In 2001 I had just left my ex-husband so I was somewhat scantily dressed when I went to see them play at The Cactus Club in San Jose. It was a cool venue and I had seen 7 Seconds, Christian Death and some other bands there in the past. When TSOL started playing I was sitting on some stairs that were attached to the left of the stage. I was was only a couple of feet from the band so when Jack complained about the tour bus getting a parking ticket I took some change out of my purse and handed it to him. He gave a sarcastic chuckle, and soon afterwards came the familiar intro to Code Blue. The audience went really nuts and everybody was singing it together. Jack grabbed me and a guy and motioned us to get in front of the mic and sing some of the lines. I don’t have the greatest voice but I knew all of the lines and gave it my all! I had such a blast and after the show I shook Jack’s hand and thanked him. To this day I still smile when I think of that show, because it’s not every day that you get to sing a song about necrophilia with one of your favourite bands!