This is the only record I ever stole from anyone.
In 1980, in our last semester living in university housing, we had a bad suitemate. I’ve written several times before about that apartment, in the old Seneca Apartments, where we landed for a single semester after applying for a transfer out of our old dorm and to not quite technically steal a van in order to make the move. We were moving into a suite-style apartment with one big central bedroom that Danny and I would share, and two smaller side rooms that were occupied by guys we didn’t know. One was Salim, a charming operator from Algeria who seemed to be discoing his way through college. He was a delight. The other was Pete, a big hulk who mostly kept to himself but still managed to piss us off because Pete didn’t like to flush the toilet. Almost any time you went into the bathroom, you might be greeted by evidence of Pete’s digestive prowess. We talked to him about it, left notes about it, and it became clear that Pete was not flushing on purpose. Pete also had an excessively cute girlfriend, which also angered us since he had zero personality, a porn-stache, and these disgusting bathroom habits. We didn’t spend much time talking to Pete.
Pete had a small record collection, mostly not to our taste but nothing that was highly annoying – and being who we were, we would have been in no position to complain about music being played, because we played it constantly. (Salim was usually at the disco and Pete was usually somewhere else, so it all worked out pretty well.) When the end of the semester came, I think Pete was moving out a little bit ahead of us and had cleared out a bunch of his stuff. We took a peek into his room just to see what was up in there, and one of the things still left in the room was his little crate of records. So, we had to thumb through to see what he had . . . and there was a copy of Misfits. I don’t know which of us actually thought of this, though Danny and I could be of a single mind a lot of the time, but it occured to us that Pete had a copy of Misfits, and we didn’t. And then Pete didn’t, and we did. While not proud of it now or then, it seemed like a rational response to someone who had committed aggressive acts of bad behavior involving his poop.
So the lesson for all the kids out there is: flush the toilet, or expect to be stolen from. It’s that simple.
I’d love to say that it then quickly became my favorite Kinks record, but that wasn’t the case. Released in 1978, while it certainly has its moments, we were already enamored of “Low Budget,” and this didn’t seem nearly as great as that, nor as great as the 1980 live album “One For The Road” (which apparently I never had on vinyl, but did get on CD some years later).