When I was maybe 19 years old only one of my friends lived in an apartment alone. His name was Chris Peppard and I think he had a job working for his Dad at a construction company. so to a fellow adolescent he seemed independent, adult and rich with rolls of cash for pizza, beer and drugs and anything else your teenage heart might desire. Like vinyl records.
Chris Peppard - pronounced "Peppered" like Peppered Steak and not like George Peppard with the pretensious movie-star long ahrd at the end – had really bad cleaning habits. I can still remember my girlfriend Suzy Hutchinson screaming in horror when she went into the bathroom. This was where I was first introduced to that magical creature, the silverfish, which live off mold and other yummy stuff. To make up for his sub-par cleaning habits, Chris Peppard had impeccable taste in music.
Chris first introduced me to Redd Kross and Tales of Terror.
We would listen to the Redd Kross album "Teenage Babes from Monsanto" which was a complete cover album and a taste guide to what you should be listening to, and what is cool. They cover songs by Kiss, The Rollling Stones, The Shangri-La's, Boyce and Heart's "Blow You a Kiss in the Wind" from Bewitched, and David Bowie.
Redd Kross took their name from Linda Blair and they were the original interpreters of pop culture, telling us with punk-pop wit, what is cool and what is not.
Tales of Terror were a band from Sacramento. They were part of the punk scene and much to rough around the edges for LA. But they didn't play fast. They were riffy and really good. They were a huge influence on Nirvana and Green River - in fact, Green River covered their song Ozzy.
Another band that he introduced me to was the band Scream. They were a DC band on the Dischord Label and being from DC, or the other side of the river, appropriately idealistic with songs filled with political commentary. They've been on my mind because I just went to Brooklyn to see them! Three decades between shows! The last time was at the Gorilla Gardens in the mid 80's in Seattle.
Chris Peppard sang for one band. And he could do that thing where he could whistle really loud - which I have always found to be one of those mystery skills that make one a true alpha male, along with juggling and not breaking into an immediate sweat when talking to pretty girls.
Chris Peppard had red hair, and life treated him like a stepchild. He was not able to get clean and sober. He is one of my friends that died too young.