30 Albums, 30 Stories: Transnational Speedway League


This November, I’m telling 30 stories about 30 albums. The albums on this list are not necessarily my favorite albums, but they are the ones that are instantly associated with a time and place. All of these albums represent a chapter of my life. This is the story of those albums, and by extension, the story of me, presented mostly chronologically.

Album 17: Transnational Speedway League by Clutch.

I was tired of living at home. I wouldn’t have lived there at all had I not become a homeless teen prostitute drug addict addle-brained traumatic brain injury survivor. For a while, I had no choice but to live with my family and that fact killed me. I still had never gotten over their betrayal at bringing a pedophile into our home and not doing anything about it when I told them. I’m still not over that, but I’ve somewhat forgiven them for it now. We have a terse, tense relationship, but it’s a relationship nonetheless.

Domestic violence monster and I hatched yet another foolhardy plan to move out on our own, but unlike when we were 18, I had no intention of becoming homeless again. I had a job and it was time to be on my own again.

We found a shitty apartment and I moved all my crap. This time, my parents knew all about it. My mom was worried, and possibly rightly so, that my brain wasn’t recovered enough, but I was, frankly, sick of her shit.

Up to that point, I had never had a birthday party. My birthday was in the summer when school was out and my family was always on vacation. I wanted a proper birthday party, dammit.

That was the first night that domestic violence monster touched me. He was drunk and I said something to piss him off. He slammed me into the closet breaking the door. Happy birthday!

I was pissed, but he promised never to do it again. Yeah, right. He didn’t touch me again though, at least, not for a while. I should have left then, but I didn’t. I couldn’t afford to live on my own and I had nowhere else to go but home. I was not going to go there again.

I discovered this band through a DJ friend at the Shelter in downtown Detroit. He was immediately smitten with them and so was I. The best thing to come out of that time period was Clutch. They were all mine. Domestic violence monster hated them.

I had tickets to see Clutch live one night. Monster and I were standing outside the venue about to go in when he convinced me to scalp the tickets and go to some bar he wanted to go to instead. I will always regret caving on that, but I’ve seen Clutch live more than any other band, and every time I do, it’s a little fuck you to the monster.

Favorite track:

It’s funny that now, this is my least favorite album by Clutch, but at the time, it was revolutionary and it was something that was all mine.