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Draplin Design Co., North America
November 30, 1998
Mike Watt: The Punk Rock Uncle
Posted at 02:11 PM
Draplindustries Gazette #3
November, 1998

Dear Everyone crazy enough to read these.

As the clock ticks over into November we pass the hump point of the semester. 6 weeks to go and semester 1 will be history.

The weeks haul on by…each night I find myself doing something interesting, be it homework drama or catching a band…very rarely to I plop down in front of the tube for a night of nothing butme and A&E. I’m a big fan of Biography. Me and Jack Perkins are like this. (Hold yer fingers together real tight.)

Last night I went and saw my punk rock uncle Mike Watt. My neighbor down the hall was friends with the opening band Caustic Resin enabling us access to the taboo areas. We hung out in the backstage pit of 7th street entry, shootin’ the shit with the Boise boys. Watt showed up, in full sailor regalia…instantly hootin’ a bellow to captivate any crowd. “I didn’t join the navy as you know it…I joined the punk rock navy. That’s how I got to see the world.” He rattled off his history spiel in no time flat, speaking of old friends like Rollins and Thurston and the Meat Puppets. I grew up on punk rock, here I am hanging with one of the heavy hitters, a hero of mine. Each time I see the guy, I get a handshake and say thanks for everything. His contributions to what I would call “cool music” are endless. He’s the punk-rock uncle.

He played the “Contemplating the Engine Room” punk opera for the set…his facial expressions, comical, intense, each note generating a grunt or smile…amazing. I gotta mention guitarist Nels Kline…he lit the fretboard up! Too many notes for one kid to take in. Insane. Watt is the real thing. He lives econo…still sleepin’ in the van, navigating himself, den mother to the van, chartin’ a course all over these great states of ours. Long live Watt. Get the sea-worthy news at “www.hootpage.com”. Thunderbroom!

The leaves are really getting sparse…some trees are still hanging in there…fire red and a feast for the eyes as I tool through the neighborhood headin’ for school.

3 weeks from now…Mom and Dad are coming out this way. Turkey Day will be spent around the Twin Cities. Dad wants to hit the junk store, Mom wants to go record shopping, little Leah is gonna shop till she drops at the Mall of America. Can’t wait to see them…really, I’m actually anticipating the harassment from my loving father.

I saw “Antz” a couple days back with the lovely Brandi Mayes. She was passin’ through on her way out to upstate New York to see her boyfriend Mike. I worked with her in Alaska and she’s cruisin’ all over the damn place…alive! I commend her for her willingness to explore and learn…and, stop in to hang around me.

Oh, Antz was rad…lotsa word around school from the Animation students….freaking out over the pixels.

PW Long and his Reelfoot are coming this week. Excellent. He’s a Michigan Man and rumor has it he wrote the Mule records while stowed away in a trailer in the Upper Peninnsula. I caught him last month, just a couple days before I passed the mid-twenties cusp.

25 feels like 24. Imagine that. Hell, 25 feels like 15…actually.

In got a call from a friend by the name of Dave Sypniewski the other day. He’s working for Transworld Snowboarding magazine out of Oceanside, California…word is they are looking for an Assistant Art Director and as much as I want to go for it…I think of school and the new chapter I committed myself to. It would be amazing…the best of both worlds…design and snowboard…not to mention being around Dave. We could play chess on our lunch breaks. Just for the record, Dave never loses, he just beats himself….whatever. I talked to Jamie the current Art Director and it sounded so rad. I’m gonna send them a pile of goodies, see what they think and so on.

Goodnight to all, the loft calls.

aaron james draplin, Watt-digger.

Draplindustries now offer yet another email address at “draplin@earthlink.net”…I had to get home service. So if you send us some words of greeting, send it to the afforementioned address along with the school address.

The new Afghan Whigs is really sexy.