The song I’m using for this post was originally going to be the inspiration for a completely different post. When I first heard it last week, it brought up a whole series of memories involving the drama of a very bad breakup of two of my closest friends. The more that I thought about writing that post, the more I realized that many parts of that were not my story to tell. I’ve crossed that line here and there through the course of this blog, but mostly I’ve tried to focus not on the events of other people, but my reactions to them or the ripples they caused in my own life. Suffice to say, Josh and Jamie’s Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Breakup was quite en event for six months of my life, but I don’t have the perspective on all parts of it to do all sides justice. Plus, on the off-hand chance Josh ever decided to read this, I don’t want him to go through that again.
Instead, I’m going to focus on a good memory. My friend Josh was a rabid Tub Ring fan for a while. So much so, that he would go to see them if they were anywhere within a three hour drive from us. I would go with him on most, but not all of these shows. Oddly enough, they never seemed to play in our town (just once to my memory, as the opener for Sleepytime Gorilla Museum). So each show had an accompanying drive with it. A lot of these shows were just across the river south of Cincinnati, so I got used to that drive more than any. I didn’t go with Josh to see them in Indianapolis or in Michigan. I did, however, go with him when they played the little town of Bellefontaine. Now, you might want to pronounce that name like it looks, with some French flourish. But, because this is Ohio, it’s actually pronounced like “bell fountain” here. Be angry all you want, but at least we’re consistent. Our version of Canton has the emphasis on the first syllable rather than the last, and there’s a Versailles here pronounced as “ver-sails.”
There’s not much to tell you about Bellefontaine. It’s a small Ohio town that looks like a lot of other small Ohio towns. The most notable feature, in my mind, is that it is the birthplace of inventor George Bartholomew, inventor of concrete pavement. The world’s first concrete street his here, complete with a statue of Bartholomew made out of, you guessed it, concrete. Tub Ring was playing at a small venue there called The Blue Cat (which I’ve learned has since become a church).
Before going to the show, Josh wanted to stop by his parents’ house in Anna, Ohio. So we drove past Bellefontaine to the west side of the state and swung by their place for a few minutes. We were there a little longer than Josh wanted to be, and were in danger of missing the show. Josh decided to save time and, instead of getting back on the highways, decided to take the most direct back roads through rural Ohio.
While driving at night down dark country roads, we were, of course, listening to Tub Ring to get pumped up for the show. I’m not sure if it was that we were running late, or that Josh was excited to get to the show, or the fact that his favorite Tub Ring song came on, but we drove through dark roads, both windows down, going about 80 mph with the stereo cranked. It was awesome. And when I say cranked, I mean that it was louder than the concert we went to. Thankfully, we were going so fast that any disturbance to the houses around us was no more than a second or two, even with the Doppler effect.
I went to a lot of Tub Ring shows with Josh, and spent a lot of time driving to those shows. But that was my favorite time. It didn’t stop after that song, either, as We Are the Righteous came on next and our speed run through western Ohio continued. It was dangerous, it was loud, and it was fun.