AFI/Blaqk Audio frontman Davey Havok is set to release his debut novel Pop Kids on April 2. According to the website, it’s about a 17-year-old guy who’s a “pop-culture-obsessed, pseudo-vegetarian, atheist pyromaniac trapped within a rural northern Californian town.” Although I haven’t paid close attention to his various projects since the late 1990s, I’m pretty intrigued by this one.
I first met Dave shortly after the start of UC Berkeley’s fall 1993 semester. I’m not completely certain, but it may have been at a 924 Gilman St. show. He had a baby mohawk, a skateboard, and a crisp black leather jacket with the blue Germs circle neatly painted on the back of it. I was hyper, pushy, and in-your-face (not much has changed!); he was super-friendly with a ready smile. Somehow we became friends, yet I never called him Davey.
Unfortunately, my memory’s pretty spotty and we weren’t the type to get into trouble so I don’t have any scandalous stories to share. We were just good kids in the East Bay punk scene. At that time, I lived on the top floor of a three-story house. Since cell phones hadn’t become commonplace yet, Dave would either have to yell up or throw rocks at my window if he wanted to visit. I’d help him put up and hand out flyers for AFI shows (his personable nature no doubt helped boost his fledgling band’s fanbase). I’d play his band’s singles fairly frequently on my KALX radio show (starting with this one). He’d school me on slang from his hometown, none of which I remember. He got his first tattoo (Gogo the Dodo, of all things) shortly after I got mine (topless Winnie the Pooh, no better). Ditto with the lip piercing.
Dave also wrote a series of personal essays for my zine My Letter to the World. All of them were about his troubles with girls—but not in the way you’d think. The first appeared in issue 7, published on October 29, 1993 (click for a larger view):
I’m sure Dave no longer writes with the voice of an almost-18-year-old, but it’d be a spectacular feat if he managed to channel it for Pop Kids, considering the protagonist is soon-to-be 18. I guess I’ll just have to pick up a copy and see if I catch a glimpse of that weak pinner kid with a round Hostess Twinkie belly. [2/28/13: I posted another of his essays here. 4/2/13: And another one.]