Free Pizza For Life: The Early Days of Plan-It-X Records
by Chris Clavin
Chris Clavin, accidental co-founder of DIY punk label Plan-it-X Records, likes to tell stories. He's a mythical man of epic proportions that peels out in layers, like an onion. He unintentionally built an empire, reluctantly each step of the way. Sometimes it seemed he was following his heart and sometimes the point was to prove that something impossible could be done, or at least attempted. It's vain in a way to write and release your own memoir, to presuppose some importance in your life, that there are lessons or points to it all. In Chris' case, while he was obviously lacking an editor, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, there are merits to his stories, to his points, to his embrace of adventure. The book follows Chris in high school as he goes to college, drops out, tries to find himself and his future, starts a band, tours the country, and slowly becomes recognizable as the person he is today, rapidly approaching 40 years old. A lot of this book is hard to read, in that there's a lot of heartache, sacrifice, and inadvisable choices. His friends don't always behave as such. But it all shapes the person that he becomes. And in another way, his story is strangely similar to the Microcosm story. Nobody wakes us as a teenager intending to create a virtual DIY punk institution. They simply know their moral approach to right and wrong and what distresses them about the approaches that others take. There are a lot of wrong turns. People are, quite literally, human. And it's nice to see the horns along with the haloes here.
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