Remember The Band Filter?
And their famous line "Hey, Dad, what do you think about your son now?"
TW: mention of drug use
Last month I made a playlist of some of my favorite rock songs of the nineties. I think I did it subconsciously because I was feeling really bad about my drinking and these songs are very ~sad girls club~. They give me late teen nostalgia when I romanticized ‘heroin chic’ and the whole garage grunge movement and the messy-and-manic-and-beautifully-broken aesthetic.
It’s the fever dream where addiction is cute and unresolved trauma is sexy.
Back then, that was cool to me—being problematic. How embarrassing. I can’t blame myself though, I was a sheltered church kid. In any case, all of these songs at one time or another played in the background as my friend Sierra and I precariously smoked drugs in our Juicy Couture sweatsuits, sitting in the back of my Oldsmobile somewhere in Los Angeles circa 2007.
The first song on that playlist is “Take a Picture”, released in 1999 by Filter. Remember them? The music video played on VH-1 seemingly on loop for the entirety of 2000 and depicts the band sitting in a campy little fifties style living room with water pouring in from every angle. Behind the front door is a brick wall. If that scene isn’t a metaphor for drinking too much idk what is.
Stills from the music video^^^
Last week during a deep dive down a Wikipedia rabbit hole I found out that “Take a Picture” is based on an event in which lead singer Richard Patrick threw beer bottles from a taxi at a cop car. The next morning his friend asks him if he remembers doing any of those things and he replies, “Good lord, could you take my picture, 'cuz I won't remember.” And that’s how the song was born.
While I haven’t done that (miraculously), I have unquestionably woken up wondering wtf happened more times than I’ll ever admit to in this lifetime.
“Did I pick a fight with my partner, did I kiss someone I shouldn’t have, did I twerk in an inappropriate place, did I insult someone, where did this bump on my head come from, why were the cops there?” Inquiring minds would like to know.
It isn’t cute or sexy. It isn’t whimsically quirky. And it sure as fuck isn’t fun (for the people around you at least). One of the best parts of being sober is I don’t have to wake up to that anymore. I don’t have to wonder. There’s comfort knowing that if I said or did something stupid, that is just me in my natural state.
Robert Patrick has been sober since September 2002. He now sings the trademark line as, “Hey, Son, what do you think about your Dad now?”