Day 15. “Clash of the Tartans” by The Real McKenzies

On the road to Warped Tour…Labec? We drank pitchers of Hefeweizen. June 2008.

2008 was a whirlwind. I had only been in California for a few months. I had barely turned 21. I started interning at a small Interior Design firm, my Dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, I was finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree online, and I was living with the lead singer of an Irish Punk Band called “The Bleeding Irish“.

I was at a pub almost every night of the week…clapping along to Irish Folk tunes, and swooning every time I heard my name placed in a lyric.

he sang:

I took all of his money and it was a pretty penny.
I took all of his money and I brought it home to Mealzie.
She swore that she’d love me, never would she leave me.
But the devil take that woman for you know she tricked me easy

I loved the music. It reminded me of my parents’ jam sessions they had at our house when I was little. Listening to my mom playing fiddle, and her friends on guitar. The kids would all curl up on the floor, and sometimes we’d sing along.

When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, it didn’t really register. Looking back on it, I felt a little selfish. I was so absorbed in my new life in California. I flew home to Pennsylvania at least 3 times that year to see my Dad. Every time we talked about what I was doing in California. I complained to him about my relationship, and how sad I was. The last time I spoke to him was the first time in my life I had ever heard him cry. I was sprawled out on the back patio at my place in California, telling him over the phone how upset I was for being judged at my work for what I was wearing. I was having a tough time fitting in, and he told me how ridiculous it was. A few days later I got the call to fly home. He passed away that summer. August 26th, 2008.

That same year, I had some of the best times of my life. I had met some amazing women, that are still my friends today. I experienced humanity from the piles of cards and flowers that flooded through my door. I strengthened old friendships, and became even closer to my girlfriends in California. And, I listened to A LOT of music.

Being on Warped Tour was an interesting experience. I was already struggling with random girls befriending me to wiggle their way into the band’s pants. When I wasn’t at one of the shows, I’d get messages explaining how my boyfriend was seen in a car with another woman…or a random apology from an unknown number. Instead of confronting him, I denied it and put on a face at all the shows. I loved being at the shows. It was an escape, and it was everything I had dreamed of when listening to MxPx as a little girl. I was living in a fairy-tale of some sorts, and ignoring the red flags around me.

The Bleeding Irish was the BBQ band, which meant that they had to lug around a giant BBQ and cook for everyone on the tour. I’ve never seen more interesting characters walk through a lunch line. Jeffree Star the youtube sensation was there…still not really sure why. So was Katy Perry? It was nothing like I expected for Warped Tour (but…Say Anything, Against Me! & The Bronx were there to make it tolerable). There are plenty more stories from that trip to share later.

2008 was also the first time I listened to The Real McKenzies. The #1 perk of dating a musician, is the music of course. It never ends. Whether we were jamming out in the car, recording a song on garage band together, going to local shows, or playing Kumbaya at the fire pits on the beach…there was constantly music in my life. This album was played over and over again, and I loved it. It wasn’t until years later that I realized The Bleeding Irish had actually taken one of the songs from this album and wrote their own lyrics to it! Blasphemy!

Track 7- “Wild Mountain Thyme”

they sing:

Well the summer time is comin’
And the trees are sweetly bloomin’
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the bloomin’ heather
Will ye go lassie go

Bagpipes! Aye! 🙂

Track 9- “Scotts Wha Ha’e”

they sing:

Scots wha’ ha’e, Scots wha’ ha’e
Hear the voice of Scotland, Scots wha’ ha’e
Scots wha’ ha’e Scots wha’ ha’e
Screamin’ from the Highlands, Scots wha’ ha’e

To the weekend! Who knows what is in store for my Monday morning commute! 🙂 I’m sure it will be something great! Perhaps a lil’ Trombone Shorty?




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