by Frank Lewis
Signs abound that Greater Cleveland still retains at least a modicum of cool. On Friday, MTV.com twice referenced Our Fare City (yeah, we spelled that right) in a bit of the punk light — first for what it called “one of the greatest subliminal pranks of all time” and then for … apparently being really gracious as the butt of everyone’s joke.
At least one graduating senior at Shaker Heights High “gets,” as they say, “it” — but the school isn’t saying who he is. He might still get pimples all over his forehead and a boner when the wind blows, but he had the wherewithal to not only be selected to create his graduating class’ yearbook cover, but he also managed to slip in a clearly visible “FUCK ALL Y’ALL” when you turn the book upside-down. School officials have offered to exchange or cover the statement, and we believe they should just SHUT THE FUCK UP AND RESPECT THIS KID’S CAJONES AND CREATIVE VISION.
It was ingenious enough to inspire MTV News staffers to create a list of (in)famously subliminal messages in rock songs and this apology from the boy/man: “I cannot begin to explain the miserable feeling I brought upon myself, when I betrayed the trust of all of you. I apologize for offending anyone and everyone. It is unfortunate that I did not recognize the big responsibility and honor given to me when asked to design the cover of the Shaker Heights yearbook. I offer my sincere apologies.”
Scene offers its final grade of A to the student and to administrators, who seem to just have said, “Good one,” about the whole thing.
And at almost the same time, Cleveland-area Blink-182 fans got the shits excited out of them when the group inexplicably announced Friday on its record label Interscope's site that it would kick off its reunion tour in Cleveland — they’re bringing Weezer, so it’s not as bad as you think — with a show at Alice’s International Salon & Spa on July 10. That’s a whole two weeks before the Vegas show that’s really starting off their tour, which promises to pimp all of the best of what Hollywood pop-punk has to offer. Yeah, all of that. Only problem: The show’s not legit.
The label’s representative says they have no idea how that date announcement even got on their site — adding in his head, “Cleveland? Are you kidding?” — and so we’re left with just a few speculative possibilities: Interscope’s webmaster is related to the owner of Alice’s, which MTV News reports as being finally inundated with a little business; Interscope wanted its marketing blitz to be complete with Midwestern middle-fingers and big-city nonchalance; or — and this is the one we’d like to believe most — Blink-182’s drummer-turned-debutante Travis Barker is still pissed about that injurious fight he had at a Cuyahoga Falls Taco Bell around the turn of the century, when he and a girlfriend were allegedly inundated with some hillbilly nonsense the likes of which Beverly Hills hasn’t seen since OJ lost his coke contact.
So what big city would Barker suggest to slam during the big reunion thing? The same one he cracked on after the fight, in a Rolling Stone cover story: “That guy was way bigger and older than me,” Barker bragged on himself, even though police were never able to see how bad the other guy ended up getting his. “Ohio’s not that tough.”
We do know that Barker did report getting a hairline fracture in his hand, sustained, he says, by whaling away on the guy who dared to sucker-punch him for looking more pop than punk.
We’re proud to say, that if this is all just a ploy to sell tickets, then Cleveland will gladly be the butt of this sad little parody of a Blink-182 joke, masquerading as a punk band, smothered in Cleveland hospitality. —Dan Harkins