I Learned From a Sucky Garage Band

What I have to say about love and hope and desire begins — and ends — with the Bloody Snowmen, the rock band I was in when I was 16. Saying the Snowmen was a rock band stretches the truth a bit, sort of like calling a piece of dog poop on your shoe a fashion statement, but if a person can’t lie to himself, he has no business lying to anyone else.

So. We were five stupid kids with less than a shred of musical talent among us. Combined, our ability would have fit into a shot glass — with room left over for a shot. Buck shot. The Snowmen was a perversion, a sideshow act, an aberration, a blight. For an uninterrupted two weeks, The Snowmen, surely the worst band to never make it out of the garage, offended our parents, the community at large, domesticated animals of varying shapes and sizes, and, one supposes, the recently cremated with our high-decibel assault. Although we had a passion for music, there were no delusions of greatness among us; black holes suck less than the Bloody Snowmen did.

Our music consisted of notes, some of which were in relation to the notes played by our fellow band members. And we had a singer, although for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what he was saying at any given moment. When we were not spitting on each other, we wrote classic hits such as, “I’m Dead, You’re Stupid, So Buy Me a Beer (a Love Song), Uncle Elvis Married My Sister, and Ottoman, The Turk. These little wonders could be compared to say, The Beer Barrel Polka, Smells Like Teen Spirit, and La Marseillaise in that they were all, upon closer inspection, songs.

Every day we rode in to the appointed garage to practice. We arrived tired and strung out, looking like gunshot victims often do, our eyes bleary from unceasing bouts of geometry and American politics. As is the fashion with 16-year-olds, we were stupider than the chairs we sat on. None of us could stand each other; there was nothing to hold us together but our love and some hope and a desire that burned like a syphilitic’s urine stream. We played not because we had to, but because to do otherwise would have compromised our souls.

Sometimes, though, the grand triumvirate of love and hope and desire just don’t cut it. After two weeks, the Snowmen fell apart. We scattered to the winds, joined new bands, began dating women. Some of us went to college, got jobs writing for comic book magazines, tested video games for pay. There was talk of a Snowmen reunion some years back, but it turned out it was just an ex-member making a prank call.

One of us (me) made it to Imagine Media’s new Web site Daily Radar. My name is Gregory Orlando, and I can still play the harmonica as poorly as I did when I was 16. My quest for the greatest burrito in the universe has taken me from the bucolic splendor of New York to the vaguely unsettling fault lines of San Francisco. I gave up the country’s best pizza, a happy home, and the thrill of watching the New York Mets stomp the royal bug juice out of the hated Chicago Cubs on a regular basis to come to California.

Daily Radar needed a Dreamcast editor. After an exhaustive search of the United States job pool, as well as a severe combing of the talent market from Trinidad and Tobago, Mars, Peru, Iceland, Upper (and Lower) Volta, and finally, a quick perusal of all the job qualifications of the surviving cast members of TV’s Diff’rent Strokes, I was hired for the job. This means, God help us, that I’ll have a hand in most, if not all, of the Dreamcast-related text on this site.

Today, we give birth to Daily Radar, a cranky baby which will hopefully prosper and outlive us all. We’re determined to make this Web site something wonderful, a place for our readers to go for some excellent videogame and entertainment news, features, previews, and reviews. As we struggle to put this puppy into place, the words of ex-Beatle Ringo Starr resonate in our collective brains: “You know it don’t come easy,” he said, possibly before falling into an alcoholic haze.

For my part, I will endeavor to make the Dreamcast portion of Daily Radar the best it possibly can be. This means digging for hard news, having smart, well-written videogame previews and reviews, and not being afraid to challenge the status quo. It also means that when you write in with your comments and criticisms, they will be read by me, and taken to heart. As sycophantic as it sounds, you readers are the most important part of Daily Radar. Without you, I’ll have to go back to scraping dead animals off the highway.

Right now, the Daily Radar office reeks of desperation and sour body odors. Most of us work 20-plus hours a day and some have taken to sleeping on a beanbag in an unused corner of Imagine Media’s headquarters. Laundry, significant others, and life in general have fallen to the wayside. The sun is like some distant notion that I can’t quite fathom. We are doing it because to do otherwise would be to compromise our souls.

All of us are here, pushing ourselves, running on the same ideals that moved me when I was 16. And we all are prepared to make two promises to you right now. The second thing we can promise you is that we will stink. Sometimes, we will get our facts mixed up. Typos will make us seem even more stupid than we really are. At times, Daily Radar will be the Bloody Snowmen of videogame reporting.

But we will also be magnificent. Because sometimes, love and hope and desire are more than enough.

We promise.

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