Even in retrospect I hate High School. My High School years were by far the most unhappy years of my life. Big deal, you might say, every teenager is unhappy, right? But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about growing up, feeling insecure about your place in the world and your relationship to the opposite sex. I’m talking about something more substantial, I’m talking about the kind of unhappiness you feel with every heartbeat, when you wake up, go to bed, and all hours in between.

If all this unhappiness was because of a particular High School,then…well, how did I get there?


It was all my fault. Instead of my parents I selected High School, and I selected a relatively small, exclusive school. It turned out to be a jungle. My Primary School was quiet, progressive and protective, this High School was free market in the truest sense of the word. It was kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. I arrived as a shy ‘All you need is love’ long haired Beatles kid. I arrived, looked around and got crushed by the full force of this new environment.

I then dried my eyes, picked up the pieces, replaced love with anger, positivism with nihilism, shut down my feelings and moved to Punk and the darker side of New Wave. Goodbye Beatles, hello Sex Pistols. In a matter of weeks I became angry, frustrated, nihilistic and depressed. All at once and all together. My own dark passenger, my sole companion during High School. Did it bring me anything? Hell yeah, in quick succession I discovered:

The aggressive, nihilistic, poppy or activist Punk of The Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, The Clash, The Angelic Upstarts, The Buzzcocks, The Dead Kennedys, The Crass and X;

Garage Rock according to The Gun Club and The Cramps;

How to translate melancholy and depression into music (The Cure, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy);

The Dutch arty New Wave connection of Mecano, Clan of Xymox, de Div, and Mekanik Kommando);

The essence of Gothic through Siouxsie & the Banshees, Bauhaus and The Cult);

The crazy innovative power of Magazine, P.I.L., Gang of Four, and Wire;

Romanticism a la Echo & the Bunnymen, Simple Minds, and U2 (although I didn’t appreciate those at the time);

Industrial before the term was even invented: Killing Joke;

The Queen to rule them all: David Bowie;

His dark and evil son Nick Cave;

The guitar wizards Robert Fripp and Frank Zappa;

New York from Andy Warhol’s Factory to CBGB’s: The Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, The Stooges, The Ramones, The Talking heads and Richard Hell.

Thank you school, you made all of that possible. Thank you for making me so depressed and so angry I had no choice but to dump my first love, the Beatles. No more summer of love, No more heroes.