In a series of profiles I wrote for crosscut.com, I asked four Seattle creatives this simple question: Who were you at 17, and what part of that person is still with you today?
This isn’t my first go-round with this subject, and it seemed like a good idea to share my early attempts. Early as in 1994 -1995.
That’s when I was 17, and putting together a fanzine called Candy Heart with my lifelong bestie, Shana. I’d gotten the idea while working on my senior thesis for English class — a 20+ comparative paper that explored the mother daughter relationship as a metaphor for the relationships between the colonizer and the colonized in Jamaica Kincaid’s short stories and novels. In my research, I’d learned that Kincaid wrote for a teen magazine early in her writing career, and that she’d interview celebrities about what they were like when they were 17.
Being 17 at the time, I couldn’t think of anything much cooler. With an old handheld tape deck and a few previously recorded on mini-cassettes that I begged from my dad, I set out to do the same.
Philadelphia, PA had a great DIY scene, with punk shows in clubs, living rooms, and warehouse spaces. I stalked a bunch of older kids from touring bands, and asked them for a story about when they were 17.
Stories from Chuck (Weston), PingPong (The Showcase Showdown), Jen (Softies), and Eric (Queers / Smears) made the cut and ran in the third issue of Candy Heart. My interview with Ben Weasel from Screeching Weasel ended in a near fist fight (me mad at him), and I couldn’t make out Calvin Johnson’s mumbles over the city traffic.
I have to say, the presentation is a bit… embarrassing. But, I was 17.