We Used To Call This Home
I’ve always been a nostalgic person. Each place I’ve lived in and each album I’ve ever listened to seem to have a thousand memories attached. We Used To Call This Home is a song that celebrates the nostalgia I have for a house I once lived in during my junior year of college at Purdue University. I busted out my old Les Paul and brought the heavy riffs for this one. This song appears on my first official full-length album, The Essentials: 2009-2018.
It’s hard to think of a time of my life that contained more crazy fun and spontaneity than the time I spent living in that old yellow house at Purdue. To be honest, the house was on the verge of falling over at any moment. Seriously. It was one of the oldest houses in the area and had actually been moved from a different location in the city. How’d they do it? They rolled it down the street on logs. Can you believe that?! I somehow doubt a house can truly make a full recovery from a journey like that. The result was the house sat at an angle. All of the floors were slanted especially upstairs. Oh, and one of my roommates screwed rock-climbing holds all over the walls in the entry way to make going upstairs a little more fun! When we stood downstairs in the room below the upstairs bathroom, we could see the ceiling rotting away. Whenever we took a shower in the bathroom upstairs, the floor moved significantly as if it would fail at any moment and we might go crashing through the ceiling of the living room. The jam room, as we called it, was an awesome place for my band to rehearse, but it reeked terribly! Someone had spilled beer on the hardwood and never cleaned it up, and the vomit-like smell never quite went away. Here’s a picture of my college band Red 9 in that very room.
The house had an endless amount of quirks. One of the windows had been replaced with a piece of a door, complete with a doorknob. No joke! It didn’t open, of course. Finally, the previous renters had let their pet bunny roam free and we continued to find “presents” from the bunny in new and interesting locations on an almost daily basis! Ah yes, college houses are fantastic. None of this made the house any less awesome to us, of course. If I had extra money I would have bought it in a heartbeat even though it would be the worst investment of all-time. Nostalgia is powerful. Sometimes it leads us to make decisions that don’t make much sense, but they’re full of heart. In any case, living in this crazy house was certainly better than the house next door, which contained a massive pentagram and the words “Gateway To Hell” spray-painted on the basement wall. Creepy…
Speaking of creepy, this video tells the story of one of my favorite memories from that yellow house at Purdue University. I went to a lot of work to scare my roommates half to death so if you’re looking for some great Halloween pranks, look no further…. these are the events that inspired the song We Used To Call This Home.
I wish I had time to tell you all of the other stories from that year. I remember when my roommate dropped a TV out the window, not realizing that the postal worker was standing just below at our mailbox on the porch. That could have turned tragic in a hurry! I can remember which albums I was listening to when I lived there; the three on my regular rotation were Foo Fighters: Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace, Queens of the Stone Age: Era Vulgaris, and Avenged Sevenfold: Self-Titled. I remember beating Devil May Cry on Playstation 2 and skipping my Intro To Behavioral Psychology class to play Spider-Man 3 on the Wii. I remember reading vintage Batman comics every night until 3 AM. I remember the day I arrived at the house with my bags and found a homeless man living in it. I remember setting a large box fan on fire and turning it on in the driveway. I remember jamming with friends and performing for the girls next door until the police came through our front door to shut us down. I remember taping a full-scale picture of the creepy subliminal face from The Exorcist in the window of the house next door as a Halloween prank. The girls made sure we knew when they discovered it in the window by the staircase landing! Most significantly, I remember the conversations I had with my roommates about life, its purpose and relationships. Finally, I remember the day I finally had to leave the house and my friends to move back to Indianapolis. Ah, memories. These are the kind of stories that breathe life into the music of the song We Used To Call This Home.