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In our conversations, that never really came up

Interestingly, when Larry and I communicated, we might start off with topics about cables, but didn't really dwell on them. Instead, his being a musician was more important. In the early-80s, since the band was struggling to establish itself and make a living, Larry was more focused on the existing fans, who tended to be young adults. He was generally unaware that middle school kids, via older siblings (not radio or MTV), had become aware of Romeo Void.

By the time we were old enough to go to concerts on our own, Mabuhay Gardens, where Romeo Void would play, had closed. Across Broadway, The Stone, which catered to the burgeoning heavy metal scene, had opened. This was after Romeo Void had split, in 1985. My friends/classmates therefore went to concerts at The Stone, and audiophiles know full-well how the acts that performed there shaped me/us.

Likewise, Larry told me that, while he typically didn't say anything, he was absorbing all of my stories of SF Bay Area life. I'm not sure when he left, but he was indeed interested in the SF he had left behind. He said that, obviously, old guard audiophiles had great depth of, say, Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana. So he absolutely loved my chronicles of the rest of the 80s and early-90s.

Being in Romeo Void, Larry was directly immersed in the often-thorny gay/straight, male/female, fat/skinny issues. But again, he was pleasantly surprised that, right here in San Francisco, the band had middle school listeners.

Larry thought it was a trip that, when he joined Romeo Void, I was in elementary school, and my teammates had already given me the nicknames "Lummy" and "Luminator." When I entered Presidio Middle School in Fall 1982, Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" became an underground hit. At the same time, my nicknames were cemented, and I've had them ever since. I never did ask how or why Larry chose "Duster" as his moniker.


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