NOSTALGIA POST: The Pillows

I am about to take you on a journey. A journey back to the days of old.

The days of portable CD players.

The days of Kazaa.

You know the days.

These are the days of old. The days we return to in moments of NOSTALGIA!!!

Allow me to set the scene for you. It’s 2003, and I just began my Freshman year of high school. I was fresh out of the hormone-ridden halls of my junior high school and trying to get a grip on what I was, or rather, what I ‘thought’ I was and represented to others. This was in that period where I was trying to figure out what kind of a person I was going to be, what kind of things that person would do, how that person would act, speak, sing, etc all while trying to keep myself in my pants, which back then, was the hardest thing on Earth. Um. Moving on.

I’m 13 years old, five foot six, and walking the halls of this institution of high-ish learning; leaving myths I heard about the place behind with every step I take. Class after class goes by and all I can really remember is wondering who all of these people I’ve never seen before were and why they all turned up the collars of their shirts. One of the final classes on my schedule was Personal Fitness. It was a course held in one of the eight classrooms that were located in the school’s larger gym (there were two). It was taught by a big, beefy, and bearded gentleman named John Glapa who coached the wrestling team and kind of resembled a tamely-shaven Santa Claus if he didn’t eat every single batch of cookies left for him at every house and instead of riding a sleigh, ran from house to house wearing a purple baseball cap with matching shirt and shorts and sneakers carrying the huge bag of gifts on his back. Seriously, the guy was big. But I digress. In that class, I met a guy who had one of the deepest voices I’ve ever heard and carried a guitar with him everywhere he went. His name was Brian, and if I recall correctly, the first thing we began discussing was Anime. I had just fallen in love with an anime that summer called FLCL, which was this really wild show that I can’t even begin to explain without sounding bat-shit crazy. But anyway, one of my favorite things about the show was the music. The show was filled with these perfectly placed indie rock jams that made the show that much more rich an experience. However, at the time I wasn’t too adept at looking up bands so I had never learned who wrote those songs…until I met Brian. We started talking about FLCL, and both of us being musicians, our conversation drifted toward the music in the show. I learned that it was all written by this band from Japan called The Pillows.

I thought it was a silly name. At the time, I was just taking the plunge into the undilutedly-epic depths of a genre of music known the world over as ‘power metal’, so any band name that I could either actually pronounce or didn’t sound like something out of Dungeons and Dragons wasn’t too interesting to me. However, I immediately went home, powered up my old Compaq desktop and, using Kazaa, proceeded to fill my machine’s 20 gigabyte hard-drive with whatever I could find from the band. I fell in love with their music. I put it on mix CDs I made, I told my friends about it, I thought they were one of the best bands on the planet. I was happy.

That was seven years ago. Since then, my musical tastes have broadened to such a degree that I know that The Pillows aren’t the best band on the planet. I’m still more or less happy, but you could say that now, I’m aware of more things. However, despite whatever I’ve become and whatever I have done since then, all I have to do is hear the first riff to this song and I’m 13 again. I hate school food. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. My Master of Puppets CD just fell out of my locker and onto the floor of the hallway and broke in half. I am happy.
The Pillows – “Ride On Shooting Star”
Fool On The Planet, King Records 2001

Another one of my favorite tunes from the band that was used in the show.
The Pillows – “Beautiful Morning With You”
Happy Bivouac, King Records 1999

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