Sunday, December 19, 2010

Going Against the Grain with Greg Graffin

Back in 2007, I got to interview Greg Graffin, the singer of Bad Religion, over the phone for Harp Magazine. Recently, I got to meet him in person for the latest in English, baby!'s Celebrity English Lessons series.

I just waited in the book line and asked him to do the interview when he signed mine. I also had him sign one for my friend Mark. He was writing "Good luck!" in most of the books, but when I told him Mark and I once drove all night without tickets to Phoenix from Albuquerque to see the Process of Belief tour (we successfully scalped) he said, "Sounds like Mark deserves a 'thanks!'" So that's what he wrote.

Though I was certainly more passionate about them at age 16, Bad Religion remains my favorite band. Singing along to it is kind of like what I imagine reciting prayers and singing hymns would be for religious people. Greg's book has a whole section describing his life as a teenager and it sounds pretty similar to mine and probably most punks--except that he was already writing lyrics that were better than what most lyricists will ever write. Like these:

A modern man, evolutionary betrayer
A modern man, ecosystem destroyer
Modern man destroy yourself in shame
A modern man, pathetic example of
Earth's organic heritage

Pretty good for a high school sophomore, and pretty indicative of how Greg merges punk and science in his book. It's a good read even for a non-scientist like me. I recommend it.

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