The Session #9: Beer & Music – Black Flag, Six Pack

Session 9 - beer and music(This post is part of “The Session,” a monthly first-Friday group beer blogging event. This month’s Session is hosted by Tomme Arthur at Lost Abbey Brewing. Visit his brewer’s log to read a collection of posts from lots of other people on the topic “Beer and Music.”)

I’m an activist and a beer drinker. This blog is devoted to those two things. But before I was either one of those, I was a punk. Beer drinking followed pretty soon thereafter. And so did activism.

The first time I was exposed to the idea of punk rock was by a TV show on public television called Soapbox. It was a bunch of kids sitting around talking with this old-fart-of-a-show-host. The kids on the punk rock episode of the show talked about “being different” and just “wanting to be themselves” and all that kind of punk rock stuff. They also talked about the ethic of “D.I.Y” – Do It Yourself. The idea being not to let “the man” (corporations, the government, the church – name your favorite oppressive authority figure or institution) force feed you stuff. Instead you should build your own better world by publishing ‘zines, producing your own music, silk-screening your own t-shirts, etc., you get the idea.

It wasn’t a far leap from punk rock to beer and soon I was drinking beer as often and indulgently as any other self-respecting angst-ridden punk rock teenager. The first album I bought was Damaged by Black Flag. Track number three on side one is called Six Pack. Here are the lyrics:

Thirty-five dollars and a six pack to my name
Six-pack!
Spent the rest on beer so who’s to blame?
Six-pack!
They say I’m fucked up all the time
Six pack!
What they do is a waste of time
Six pack!

I know it’ll be o.k.
I get a six pack in me, alright!

My girl friend asks me which one I like better
Six pack!
I hope the answer won’t upset her
Six pack!
I was born with a bottle in my mouth
Six pack!
Now I got a six so I’ll never run out
Six pack!

I know it’ll be o.k.
I got a six pack in me alright!

Thirty-five dollars and a six pack to my name
Six-pack!
Spent the rest on beer so who’s to blame
Six-pack!
They say I’m fucked up all the time
Six pack!
What they do is a waste of time
Six pack!

Six pack!
Six pack!
Six pack!

Six packAs a punk rock kid, this song meant a lot to me. Even in those immature years I was capable of recognizing the satire in these lyrics. But knowing they were tongue-in-cheek didn’t stop me from adopting this song as an anthem that comforted me during many-a-drunken escapade or drooling-evening-of-personal-adolescent-hell.

Now I’m all growed up. I still listen to punk rock (I still buy vinyl records). And I still drink beer. I’m less mad at the world at large, but I’m still focussed on changing the stuff that I don’t like about it. Brewing my own beer was a natural outgrowth of the DIY ethic, and the whole craft brewing movement is a wide-scale example of the good that can come when a lot of people decide not to accept the choices they’re given and instead create new choices by making better things for themselves.

But about those lyrics, I love the unintended irony of the optimism that pokes through in the line that says: “Now I got a six so I’ll never run out.” Who ever thought Black Flag had a “six pack is half-full” outlook on life?

Advertisements

5 Responses to The Session #9: Beer & Music – Black Flag, Six Pack

  1. […] Beer Activist Ah… punk rock and beer. […]

  2. […] The Session #9: Beer & Music – Black Flag, Six Pack « Beer Activist […]

  3. […] away every first monthly Friday on topics ranging from “Beer and Atmosphere” to “Beer and Music,” the latter of which was my favorite topic so far due to the fact that those two things have […]

  4. […] The Session #9: Beer & Music – Black Flag, Six Pack « Beer Activist […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: