Was flipping through pictures, looking for a piece that I don’t see all the time and settled on this one. It’s a cartoon I drew for my friend Avi. It’s about what a judgmental butthole I used to be. The text below it is from the same time as the cartoon.
My first reaction to the Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club was something along the lines of “Fuck this hippy dippy, peace punk, Plan-It-X, fake community bullshit. This is one kid running a record label and trying to make it seem like more than that as a marketing tactic aimed at dorks who want to believe that their ill-attended costume parties and stupid fucking dance parties are somehow important.”
That might say a little something more about me than it does about anything relating to Silver Sprocket or Avi.
When I met Avi (2009) at the Basement House in Tampa, he was a nice enough sort, but I also found out that he was making these custom jackets (that he was selling for – I don’t know – eighty dollars? One hundred dollars?) I scoffed when I found out – if not out loud, then in my head. (Expensive clothing = not punk). I also remember hearing about his “business model” and about “presentations” he’d given to bands before putting out their records. This only confirmed my suspicions: not punk, not cool.
In spite of all this, I liked him. He was a geek and he had it all wrong, but I liked him. In the nicest way I could manage, I tried to tell him why the way he ran his label was wrong and the way I ran my label was right. My memory isn’t too clear, but I’m sure I sounded like a tremendous asshole.
Silver Sprocket may not be a bicycle club, but – as I’ve come to realize – it is more than a record label. Or – at the very least – it’s more than your typical DIY record label. Avi does things. He does things that other people are afraid to do. He has ideas and he follows through on them. He believes in fun. He’s not jaded and cynical. From what I can tell, he doesn’t worry about how other people are going to react to the things he does. I have a sneaking suspicion that Silver Sprocket is more profitable than your typical DIY label, but I no longer think that there’s anything wrong with that. The more well-adjusted I’ve become, the more I realize that my contempt was nothing but jealousy. He had something that I didn’t: self-esteem. And, from that, the courage to be innovative, different, and (most of all) really, really punk.
And here’s an incredibly appropriate song (by a band with releases on both Silver Sprocket and Traffic Street)!