A: I origionaly moved to Alaska with my parents when I was 13. I was too young to 'strike out' on my own, so I was stuck here. It didn't really matter much to me because I didn't have many friends anyway. You see, my family liked to move once a year. That means a new town, a new school, new bullies, new problems, and the loss of any friends I DID have from the last year. Since we came here we moved another 6 times around the state (with a year back in California) before my parents left the state and I stayed behind. Since then I've lived in office spaces, warehouses, dilapidated old buildings, and even nice condos in the nice part of town. Not a very stable lifestyle, but at least I've remained in the same city!
I used to live in this old building on 5th Ave. It was big enough to house myself, my roommates, AND the punk shop I ran at the time. The place was really run down with leaks, sporadic heat, and dust so we got a pretty good discount on the rent (not to mention my landlord was a crook and didn't even OWN the place - which I found out after I moved out). I consider myself lucky though. We had a great place for band practice and it was only a few blocks from Nordstrom and their 25c (strong) coffee w/free refills, plus being downtown it's not too far-a-walk to the occasional show.
Q: What ever happend to your shop?
A: RecentlyI decided to close down The Extreme (My shop). It brought to close over 6 years of involvement in the Anchorage underground/punk scene. It's really amazing how much can happen in that time, yet how little things can change as well. I met people I would never have met otherwise, and I kept in contact with those on the 'outside'. Many of which I met through my shop. Mostly I'm putting all this here for local people who feel let down or betrayed that I would do such a thing. There's always been a large amount of ignorance towards what I do anyway. Like most cities, Anchorage is filled with rumor and gossip that usually only serves to hurt the innocent. In my case people always assumed that since I owned my own business that I had money stashed somewhere, or that I was really well-liked by everyone. Neither of which is true. So, of course there were people that decided they were going to be just the opposite of what they thought everyone else was. Those people hated me. Even though they usually had never even spoken a word to me, they assumed that I was a well-liked person and they didn't want to be a part of their own imagined bandwagon. Yeah, it's all drama, but it's something that can weigh heavy on you after it goes on for year after year. Not many people here DO anything at all anyway, so when someone finally does, they get allot of shit from everyone else.
Q: How did 'the Extreme' get started?
A: I started out in doing Mail Order, then went to a friends Living room (see Subterranea in the SCENE section), then an art gallery, then another art gallery, then to the third floor of an office building where I ended up living for a year without windows, fresh air, or heat, then I ended up on 5th Ave. After a couple of years there, I went on a 6 month trip around the states and the place became the property of some friends who do a tattoo shop. Now they live there with their family.
Q: Anything you'd like to say to your former customers?
A: Thanx to everyone who supported me and my shop, for those who gave me free food, and those who forced me to "keep the change" even though I tried to force them to take it back (sometimes 'change' was a 10-dollar bill!). I never charged full price, and always had a place to stay for people who really needed it. In the end, I hope my The Extreme is remembered as a pretty cool shop that made a differece in the way things were around this crummy town.
[back to the nonsense...]
Q: Why do you hate school?
A: I'm GLAD YOU ASKED!! I'm all for letting people choose which schools they want to go to. Therefore, I have nothing at allk against colleges or grad schools, etc. It's the K-12 manditory public schools I have a problem with. In my humble opinion, I think those schools should be burned to the ground. With the money we would save from not running them, we could more than afford to promote home education (or something of some semblance). I think K-12 public education system is probably one of the most traumatizing things that happens in most peoples lives. Even the kids that everyone seems to think 'have it all' will usually hate school. It's just one of those things that we all feel we have to do, and regardless of how much it is destroying you, you are forced to do it. College is different (obviously), but I encourage anyone who dislikes the peer group they are stuck with in a school to find an alternative. That's a big subject though, so I should shut up about it.
Q: Damn Rex, You sound so negative! Do you hate absolutely everything and everybody?!
A: No, of course not! It's not that I have a strong distaste for ALL people, just most of them. Maybe the natural flow of evolution is to feel a separation from those around you that refuse to evolve. I don't judge a person by the way they look, rather by the way they 'are' inside. If I meet an individual who has lost all curiosity, all desire to learn, and the ability to think for themselves, I'm probably not going to want to be around them. You see, I want to learn and experience as much as I can in life, but there are always those people who are caught up in the whole 'consumerism head' that stand in my way. I'm sure most of us have had to deal with some drunk idiot blurting insults from the window of his buddy's truck while they drive by. Allot of us have had to deal with these people physically at one time or another. There are those that just seem to be too busy making life miserable for everyone who isn't JUST LIKE THEM to realize that there is allot more out there than what only THEY perceive. Live & let live, right?
Q: So, What do you think about those spooky ALIENS?
A: I don't know HOW many countless hours I've spent yakin' my head off to a friend about those raskily critters! I've spent a lot of time learning as much about 'extraterrestrial phenomenon' as I can. Now-a-days when someone starts talking to me about the subject I have to tell them "Listen, I'd LOVE to talk to you about this sometime, but unless you have a minimum of 3 hours and 4 pots of coffee, I'm just gonna have to 'zip up' ". Yeah, I think they're real, yeah I think they are having an impact on our society, and no I don't think they're all nice folks!
[<- Whoa! Check out that schnoz!]
Well, at least the pictures were sorta nice, right?? Just you be glad I didn't start complaining about my love-life or something! [yawn]