Published on the old blog in November 2008. I decided to exhume it for no particular reason except that I remembered it fondly.
You might remember from prior posts on this blog that I sometimes go on the Interwebs to answer questions or resolve memories that have been dogging me for years.
For the first time, the Net has failed me.
Here’s the deal:
For pretty much all of the Nineties, and into the Oughts, I used to take the New York State Thruway regularly between Boston and upstate New York.
This one particular overpass in the Albany area — going westbound, I think — was spray-painted for years with the enigmatic statement:
“WELCOME TO SCHODACK HOME OF THE ENZMEN.”
Of course I figured the Enzmen had to be a really brash’n’fantastic basement band — the sort that certain Maple Hill High School alumni still hear ringing in their heads when they catch the reek of cheap, stale beer.
And certainly, you’d think a band ballsy enough to paint its name above the longest interstate highway in the U.S. would leave at least some kind of marker behind on the Internet.
(I cannot remember any other graffiti being painted on that span, by the way. It wasn’t like the Enzmen were there in July and “STOP THE WAR” was there in September and “JOSH LOVES DONNA” was there in January. It was just the Enzmen, and for a good long while.)
But there is no indication on the Internet that any band called the Enzmen ever existed in Schodack or anywhere else.
Nothing on Google. Nothing on Flickr.
No nostalgic former member has posted an Enzmen MySpace page, either, for that matter.
These guys, who used to be always there, are now as nowhere as yesterday’s flatus.
I’m hoping that someday, someone else who remembers the Enzmen as an actual band rather than a spray-painted rumour will see this blog post and write in with information.
Were you in the band? Share your gig-stories.
Or, better still, tell me about the day when the principal called all three (or four, or five) of you into his/her office, and asked you who was responsible for the graffiti above the Thruway, and you each shrugged as casually as you could and looked around and said, “I dunno. You guys know?”
And if you’re out there, feel free to send MP3s, too. I got silence on my radio. Let the airwaves flow.
* * * * *
About 14 months after this was originally posted, it drew the following comment from an anonymous visitor:
“So funny to stumble upon this. Not a band… just a bunch of goofy guys who hung together, shared the same acerbic wit, and thought (think?) they were the coolest people around. Said bridge was decorated on ‘Enzmen Publicity Night ’87?’, you know, just to get the word out on their coolness, and I believe all were in college and convening during the summer. Their crowning achievement was entering a float in the Memorial Day parade as a “slap in the face” to Castleton with such propoganda on it as ‘Enzmen Say Buckle Up for Safety’ and ’55 saves lives’. They claimed the trophy for best Youth float – narrowly beating out the Cub Scouts – and preceded to take a victory lap around the parade route. They say they’re still around you know.”
The Internet rules.