W is for Wasted Youth

Wasted YouthWhen I was in eighth grade I went to Royal Palm Junior High here in Phoenix. The 1982-83 school year was the first year that school was a junior high and my homeroom teacher was also my English teacher. I loved that class, Miss Bradberry taught how to identify prepositions and prepositional phrases by playing music on her turntable. She would play songs, we listened to the lyrics and wrote down all the prepositions. I thought it was a great way to teach grammar.

Back then teachers did not lock their rooms the way they have to now. We were kids and screwed around but teachers didn’t worry about their students stealing things back in the day. However, Miss Bradberry probably didn’t think we would bring in our own records to play.

The Bob was one of my classmates and responsible (well, Lance and I should take some credit as well) for Miss Bradberry cracking down on using her turntable when she was not around. We had listened to songs such Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Another Brick in the Wall part II” from Pink Floyd during class. You know, music that was safe. I am sure Wasted Youth was not a band she planned to play at anytime. Needless to say when she walked in and heard us playing “Fuck Authority” from the band’s 1981 debut album Reagan’s In she was mildly perturbed.

Wasted Youth - Reagans InWasted Youth was classic early eighties California hardcore punk rock. Reagan’s In was ten songs of punk fury, clocking in at just under 15 minutes. Songs such as “You’re a Jerk”, “Teenage Narc” and “We Were on Heroin” don’t exactly lend themselves to delivering a meaningful message in the lyrics but that was never the point. The music was fun, brash and spoke to the kids of that time period. More important, “Fuck Authority”, “Born Deprived” and “Uni-High Beefrag” were great songs. Part of me today feels bad for liking “Uni-High Beefrag” since I guess Tiffany was a real person and the band did not exactly talk about her in flattering terms. All that mattered to me was the fact I laughed my ass off when first hearing it. Still do to this day. 🙂 And let’s face it, for anyone that was a product of the eighties like me that album cover was bad ass.

I had the album years ago on vinyl, have a CD today that contains Reagan’s In as well as the band’s second album Get Out of Yard. Reagan’s In is worth hearing if you want to hear what old school punk rock sounded like and “Fuck Authority” is my favorite song from that record.

Album Inspiration: Reagan’s In


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