Over a year ago, when Ra went away, she threw several people together to run a new blog called Stories That Must Not Die. Strangely, and for no good reason at all, I was one of them. I knew some of the other suckers she chose, but there were a few who were strangers to me. One of the strangers was Samara.
I’ve known very few native New Yorkers in my life, because I’ve never lived there and natives tend not to leave New York City, because why would you? It’s hard to stay a stranger in Samara’s presence for long. The city’s directness is in her blood.
We discovered that we had a lot on common. We both say what we want and swear a lot. We both threw off the shackles of the normal and expected in favor of the rock and roll lifestyle. Neither one of us made the best decisions. In fact, we made some pretty poor ones, but we’re still around to tell you about them. We’re both cynical with a childlike sense of wonder buried under all the black leather.
She became someone I would call friend, and not just virtual friend, but real friend. The type I could call up if I really needed her and she’d be there–the best kind and the only kind I’m interested in these days.
Now that Ra is back, she asked me if I might be interested in celebrating Samara’s birthday with a song that reminds me of her. Since I am a fan of music and Samara, it was a natural fit. For some reason, the very first song I thought of when I heard the request was this one:
But, then I thought that maybe “trash” wasn’t a very nice thing to say reminds me of someone. In no way, do I mean to imply that Samara is trash. It’s just that 70s New York proto-punk reminds me of Samara.
So, I went back to the drawing board. She is a huge Patti Smith fan, but that seemed so obvious that I was sure someone else would pick a Patti song. Then, I remembered a conversation we had over a year ago when we were still getting to know each other.
She wrote a post called How Lou Reed Destroyed My Life and it’s about how hearing him play for the first time made her realize that she didn’t want a normal life.
I had zero interest in going to college; graduating, getting a good job, getting married, moving to the suburbs and having 2.3 kids.
I wanted nothing of that. I wanted Reed’s world.
Replace Lou Reed with Minor Threat, and swap NYC for Detroit, and I could have written that post. It is gritty and raw and everything I love about Samara, and ever since then, this song always reminds me of her.
So, happy birthday, Samara, my kindred spirit in fucking shit up. Here’s to many more years of bad choices and living to tell the tales.
See other songs for Samara here.