Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bro Hymn Tribute

I was going through some old pictures today and I thought I would post some. This will be kinda long, so settle in.

We used to have rock and roll practice at Whit's house. We ended up spending lots of time there. I ended up sitting on his bed a lot. I ended up wearing his sombrero. Someone ended up taking a picture of me wearing it. The picture ended up black and white and slightly out of focus.

Check out this hard guy: Jeff Stock, in the flesh. Or actually represented as a series of 1s and 0s that results in this blurry nostalgic photo. Jeff and I have been hanging since seventh grade. I'll never forget the day he drank too much Sunny D at lunch just so he could throw up on Mr. Valencia's furniture. Classic.

L to R: Whit "The S**t" Gardner (no one calls him that -- I just had to give him a nickname cuz Devyn has a sweet nickname) and Devyn "D-Rock" Gillespie. This was taken at a hungry party at In-n-Out Burger. Hungry parties are where we go to a restaurant when we're hungry and then we eat so we're not hungry anymore.

David Lowery at same hungry party. He's just as often known as Fatcat as he is by his Biblical given name. This guy is my hardest. If everyone had a friend like him a great deal of the world's problems would disappear. This guy has had my back more times than I can even remember. I could write a book about it. As a matter of fact, we've been meaning to put together a scrapbook chronicling our exploits, adventures, and plunders. He's headed off to BYU-H this fall and I can't wait to visit him.

Matthew "Manwhore" Olsen. He's my brother. Here he is posing in our father's leather jacket he got when he used to sell franchises for Money Mailer. This picture was taken by the legendary Seanathon Tedwerd Huntington at a show/dance party held at his mother's too-legit-to-quit sandwich/cookie shop, Sweet Cakes, in d-town Mesa. Some of the best dance parties/band shows in the Valley of the Sun have occurred at this place.

One of my favorite memories of Matt was when I was a 9th grader and he was a 7th grader at Charles D. Poston Junior High School, home of the Panthers. Like most junior highs we had a weekly spirit day where students were encouraged to dress a certain theme to show their school spirit. One Wednesday it was 70s day at PJHS (good thing we weren't Poston Middle School, right?). As my friends and I gathered at our regular morning hang out spot, we spied Matt with one of his friends, Kyle I believe, from afar. Matt and Kyle stuck out because they weren't dressed as the other high-spirited students, clad in bell-bottoms, polyester shirts, and afro wigs. No, Matt and Kyle were dressed as high-spirited pirates. When asked why he chose to spend 70s day in such attire, he simply replied, "They never specified which century!" This is typical of Matt's sense of humor and personality.

This is my older brother Spencer and me. Bet you can't guess who is who (if the forest of auburn arm hair doesn't give it away... ). To know Spencer is to love Spencer. He has a way of magnetizing people toward him and making them feel good about themselves. I'm not joking when I say he was probably the most popular kid at school when he was a senior and I was a sophomore, my first year of 'real' high school. At least to me it seemed like he was. Naturally, I felt pretty cool in a place where I was seemingly uncool when his equally good-natured friends would say "What's up Olsen" to me in passing on the way to class.

The one and only Trevor Denton. Some gnarly dude named Paul taught me how to play the guitar but Trev taught me how to rock. Trev joined the Manhattan Project when the rest of us (Jeff, Devyn and I) were in 11th grade and Trev was in 10th. He brought a much needed boost to our live shows, rhythm section (he played bass) and background vox (that means "vocals" if you aren't too band savvy; not to be confused with the British amp-maker). Trev was known to swing from the pipes protruding from the ceiling during the shows we played at the Nile. One time at the same venue he and I got into a jumping contest -- he knocked me off the stage. Not as dramatic as it sounds but it was funny.

This is my former pet, a desert tortoise named Joanie (short for Joan of Arc). Sadly, I had to leave her behind when I moved to Idaho for school; desert tortoises aren't allowed to leave Arizona. Anyway, as you can see, she's totally awesome. She probably would've outlived me.

This one's for the ladies: Meet Emiglio, seen here pumping iron. A space traveler from the Galilean moon Ganymede (Jupiter III), he's best known as the famed mascot of the band xyzebra. Like E.T., Emiglio misses the vast expanses of space, and because he means so much to us, Whit and I spent the better part of our work day today texting back and forth devising a way to return him to outer space. Emiglio's tentative launch date is 8 August, 2009. You are all invited to attend (venue and entertainment TBA). Also, don't be surprised/shy if he tries to add you as a friend on Facebook.

My post-mission band xyzebra was a very do-it-yourself type of band. As a result, I ended up making many of our flyers. I'm by no means an artist or graphic designer but I had a lot of fun making them and I miss doing so. You'll notice Love You Longtime on this flyer. This was before I had seen them in Rexburg, and before I even considered going to BYU-I (I would've laughed in your face had you told me I'd end up there -- though I'm very glad/blessed I did). Anyawy, LYL played a pretty awesome rendition of Kip Dynamite's "I Love Technology" at this show.

Another testament of xyzebra's DIY-ness, this is Batmannequin, whose full name -- say it out loud -- is Batmannequinskywalertexasranger... it actually goes on longer than that I just can't remember it (Jeff or Trev, if you read this help a brother out). I drew this for a t-shirt design.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this merry jaunt down my memory lane as much as I did. Chances are you didn't because most of you who read this don't know these folks, but that's OK. The guys I've mentioned in this blog I've been friends with since our high school and junior high days (exceptions are Matt, Spencer and Fatcat: I've known Matt for his entire life, Spencer's know me for all of mine, and Fatcat and I go back to early '05). A few of these guys have since gotten married... I think sometimes when your friends get married there's this idea that your friendship will suffer or be less satisfying as a result. Actually, the opposite has been true. Anyway, I'm grateful to have -- seriously -- the best friends in the world.


  1. Although it's quieted down now, I've had a sort of obsession with Joan of Arc (the person not the turtle) since 5th grade.

    Also, in mission prep today we were talking about Judas and how he was given agency/ had the option of being good (as far as Christ already knowing what he would do, but still calling him to be an apostle) and somehow my mind related this to Anakin Skywalker...Anyway, it made sense in my mind at the time.

  2. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm in-n-out.

  3. I want to have hungry parties.
    My middle school was Elkins Pointe Middle School, EPMS
    I used to have 2 pet ducks, one was Archimedes and the other was Joan of Arc!

  4. I didn't even read your post title until I was just about to comment. Perfect. Bro hymn. Such good stuff...

    Let's rock again. Soon. Seriously.

    P. S. Would you send me any files you have of flyers/shirt artwork? I was just thinking the other day how I wish I had access to that.

    P. P. S. Have a nice day.

  5. Jeff -- The only artwork I have is xy stuff since, as you know, TMP was just behind the technology curve. Next time I'm in AZ maybe I can delve into the archives and start scanning TMP stuff. I'll try to get you the xy artwork soon.

    The rock countdown as begun.

  6. Great post...I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. Your comments on Spencer sent me right back to good old PJHS and the 9th grade talent show when your band (whatever it was called back then) played Surf Wax America and all of Spencer's friends jumped up on stage at the end to dance and then ran out of the building trailed by a cursing Mr. Ctibor. Good times