Vomit Sauce Goes to College!

(Fall 1998-Summer 1999)


So in 1998 I ended up living on the IT Honors floor of Middlebrook Hall (that's the 6th floor for you people who like numbers). I went into college excited for the incredible drunken debauchery that had been described to me by Aaron, who had gone to Mankato State. Alas, nerds and fun didn't really mix. Don't get me wrong, I had a few good times, but my life was pretty damn calm. I spent most weekends wishing that people wanted to do something more than play Starcraft (which they played for hours and hours and hours and hours). I got pretty damn good at Mario Kart (compared to the general population), and spent many nights out in the TV lounge watching music videos till 5 in the morning. This was a good excuse to not be in the death quiet of my dorm room. I generally need quiet music to sleep (to keep my mind from drifting), but my roommate needed absolute silence. Did I mention he hung a "Blues Brothers 2000" poster above MY computer desk? I still believe I didn't meet any members of the oppisite sex that year because of that fucking poster.

Every once in a while while partaking in shitty 5 am rap videos, I would see this strange night manager roaming the halls. We generally hated night managers, but this one always minded his own business, and never did anything but nod and maybe say "how's it going". He had this long, shitty green hair, and pretty much looked like a total dirtball. I had no idea how much of a dirtball he really was.


Freshman year I moved into Middlebrook Hall with Matt Berger. I was really the only one of my friends to leave home and go to school so it was a little frightening. I was used to a very tight knit group of people who had been my entire social life for almost a decade and suddenly I’m in a shitty dorm room with a chubby kid who loved the Rolling Stones. Berger ended up being a great guy and I do wonder what the hell happened to him and need to give him credit for putting up with all my crazy shit that year.

I needed money to buy beer so I got a job working 3rd shift at Middlebrook as a “night manager.” Essentially I was paid to walk around the dorm at night busting underage drinkers and checking on the boiler in the basement to make sure it didn’t over pressurize and explode. Most nights I showed up to work already a few beers in so I wasn’t really policing anything. I liked that I had keys to EVERYTHING in the building and that I was the only person responsible for the dorm so I could throw parties in our room without having to worry about getting busted.

I never said much except to the people who treated me shitty or acted like they owned the building. Despite having no problem with the underage drinking, I did have to maintain some front of responsibility so I occasionally wrote up the shit heads on the 9th floor for nothing. That way I looked like I was actually doing something and not sitting in my room drinking and playing Final Fantasy VII while on the clock. The 6th floor kids were always up watching TV or playing video games but they weren’t the nasty kids in the building. I mean they were an honors IT floor for Christ’s sake. These guys spent more time jerking off to Laura Croft than the stoners on 10th floor did bong hits. I thought they were all decent people.

One night I did find a nerd in his tighty whities in the shower being held up by his huge girlfriend. The dude was totally incoherent. He was so wasted he didn’t notice the 10 people show up after I called 911 dragging him across the floor into the hallway with his underwear falling down around his ankles. Drunken wet nerds with ugly girlfriends don’t make for good times. But that’s not really what this is about…(Andy: Actually, that guy was my next door neighbor!  I saw him too.  Not pretty.)
I apparently even had a conversation with Munsch in the elevator one day about what a sweet album Mutations was but it’s all a little hazy. I didn’t really meet the kid until Fliss’ girlfriend’s party and even then we didn’t become friends until I had to patch a stupid hole in his basement wall.

Anyway, that first year in college went by fast. I was kicked out of the honors program by the 3rd quarter and had dropped my big plans of being a doctor because all night boozing and chemistry apparently do not mix. At that point in time I don’t think I’d ever felt like more of a disappointment and fuck up in my entire life. But looking back… it was pretty fucking fun.

Andy: Summer 1999

Now you know how Alex and I ended up in the same place, but what you don't know is the REAL initial catalyst for the creation of Vomit Sauce. It happened on the first day of freshmen orientation. The first thing I saw when I walked in the door was my old best friend, Butch from elementry school right in front of me. I hadn't seen him in six or seven years, so it was strange that he would be the first person I would see upon arriving at college. We had a brief conversation where we learned that we had both gotten into music, but Butch had chosen to learn the drums. I'm not exactly sure how we arranged it, but we decided it would be fun to collaborate on a project Butch was working on. I had never really recorded anything before, but I was excited to get the chance.

I think it was during the winter of 98-99 when I went over to his house in Richfield for the first time since middle school (I had moved to Eagan in 1990). The house was exactly the same, except of course for the drum set in the basement. Butch's basement had once contained a huge old train-set, tons of vintage beer signs, and beer cans, and this old monkey toy with symbols, that I always called "Monkey Shines". I was absolutely terrified of that monkey. It turned out that Butch wanted me to help him record guitar for wrestling themes for some ameteur wrestling videos. Butch had been into pro-wrestling since we were kids. We ended up recording a few riffs, none of which I remember. The thing that hit me the most was how easy it was to record a song. All Butch had was a cheap four track and a couple of microphones, but to me this was all amazing. I had never seen a four-track before, so I had no idea that this kind of multi-track recording was possible. At the end of the school year, Aaron came home for the summer from Mankato, and I thought it would be fun for the two of us to go to Butch's and record. We recorded a couple more tracks for Butch, and that was that. I never really heard from Butch again. I never saw the wrestlng video, and I don't have copies of what we worked on. I'd love to hear my first attempts at recording now for comparison though.

Aaron recording a bass part at Butch's Basement. That's Butch on the left.

Aaron and I both thought the 4-track thing was pretty sweet, so the next day we went up to Mars Music (which has since shut down) to buy one. Aaron picked up a cheap Tascam 410, and me not wanting to look weird for buying the same thing, bought a shitty multi-effects pedal. To be honest, the pressure of having to actually write music instead of learning cover songs was terrifying. I had never been a very artistic or creative person. I would need a catalyst to get me to record anything of my own. It would be another year before that happened.

Aaron testing his new four track with my Tele

Next: The Redmond and the Nerd Squad


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