I’m excited to announce a new installment to the site: “DTF with JB Dunn”. Each post will feature JB (a longtime Frederick musician and major supporter of the music scene/someone who is very knowledgeable about Frederick in general) writing/ranting truthfully and honestly about his experiences, opinions, questions and more about Frederick. His emotional and heartfelt testimonies are what made me ask him to write for the site.
Sidenote: JB is playing tonight at Vintage in New Market from 7:30 PM to 10:30 PM. Do yourself a favor and check him out + the amazing food there (see some live footage I got from one of his shows here).
So now I hand it off to JB Dunn for volume one of “DTF”…
Frederick, I love you. Our relationship has been nuanced. I’ve seen your best, and your worst. There are days when I am infatuated with you. Some days I laugh at how tiny you are. Other days I am endeared to your lofty attempts to be bigger. I have given you everything I am freely and, by my own devices, had it all taken from me countless times. I have been beaten to rock bottom and felt healing I didn’t know was possible in equal measure within your walls, and the only thing I can think to encompass all of that is, again, I am so in love with you.
I remember my first apartment, on 3rd street, just down the block from Casa Pizza. Well, it wasn’t mine, per se. It was Mark’s and Seth’s place. I stayed there just about every weekend of my senior year of high school. I suppose I fell for you with all the veracity that a teenage boy puts into falling in love.
I remember living above the Museum Shop during the early 2000’s. I remember the coffee shop on the corner next to that apartment. I remember the open mic at Venuti’s on Mondays, back when there wasn’t a different open mic every night of the week.
I remember when open mics took off all of a sudden, and there was a different open mic every night of the week where you could play the same 3 songs until you got them just right. I remember that we all used to take turns hosting, trying to prove who was the best at it. In retrospect we all had a different style of hosting, and those differences are what made all of the open mics great.
I remember drunkenly celebrating with perfect strangers about the band we had just formed during a particularly amazing open mic at Bushwallers.
I remember getting sick in that alley next to Nola because I just had to take that last shot of whiskey. I remember getting yelled at by the manager of Nola for it, knowing I’d be back the next weekend.
I remember meeting the woman I would marry outside Cellar Door on Valentine’s Day, and being inseparable thereafter (well…until the divorce..)
I remember living at 732 N. Market street with two of my best friends. I remember watching it all fall apart, thinking life would never be the same. Not like that, at least. For any of us.
I remember living at 21 W. 4th street with the love of my life.
I remember every single gig I’ve played at every bar (ok, maybe not every bar). I remember learning how to be a good front man. I remember re-learning how to be a solo artist, and how scared I was of the prospect.
I remember when I wanted to die after my divorce. I remember coming back to you, broken and empty. I remember being so afraid that I didn’t know anyone and that you wouldn’t remember me.
I remember the feeling of relief when you welcomed me back like I’d never left, and introduced me to all the people I didn’t know were, in point of fact, my family.
My point, Frederick, is this: you have been my constant northern star. I’ve been everywhere I made a point to be. I’ve gone everywhere 18 year old me said he would go. I’ve always come back to you, like a prodigal son, and I always feel guilty, like I’m stepping out on you, when I leave.
You’re not the most refined city. You aren’t always on the vanguard of culture. Sometimes you break my heart with how backwards you can be with your laws (looking at you, liquor board). But no matter what, you are the city that I fell in love with. You are the city that I love. You are the city that I will call home in my obituary, no matter where I die.
Frederick, I love you.