Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Song That Got Me A Restraining Order

Singer Andrew WK seems to think he's cleansing his soul by releasing a song that he wrote for a high school "crush" that was so threatening it prompted her to get a restraining order.

I was in high school in the 1990s, in a town called Ann Arbor in Michigan. I had a crush on a girl and was deeply and passionately fixated on her. She had a baby face, a 14-tooth smile, large eyes, a crowned forehead, an oversized brow and a tender style. She consumed me with both lust and hatred – lust, because I was truly drawn to her beauty and soft skin, and hatred because she rarely spoke to me, wouldn't look at me much and never gave me a chance to show her my deep affections. I used to call her house just to listen to her say, "Hello?" Then I'd hang up, terrified and shaking with nervous ecstasy.

In our senior year of high school, when I was 17, we were required to make a final project which was presented to the head of the school and graded as our final exam. This was when my crush was at its absolute height. I decided to write a song dedicated to her and submit it as my final project for graduation. The song was My Destiny. I've never recorded another song like it, and now – listening to it after all these years – I can see why.

Here are the lyrics:

Called Up Your Number Fourteen Times
To See If You Were Home
Home Is Where I'll Find You
When I Find You

Do You Feel Lonely When You're Alone
A Sheet To Keep You Warm
Warm – Electric Blanket
An Extra Blanket

You Are My Destiny
I'll Make You Fall In Love With Me
I'll Make Myself Your Fantasy
Weeping Like The Willow Tree

Drove Past Your Doorway Fifteen Times
I Don't Want To Cause You Harm
Harm – That's What You're In For
If You Don't Open Your Door

So I'll Keep Knocking A Million Times
I Will Knock Until My Knuckles Bleed
Bleed – That Blood Will Leave A Stain
On You Forever

You Are My Destiny
And I'll Make You Fall In Love With Me, Me, Me
It's horribly painful – the sound of confusion and trouble, which is what I was in. I had wanted the song to have a big impact, but not the kind I got. Be careful what you wish for...

The day after I submitted the song, the head of my school called me and my parents in for a private meeting. They played the song for my parents as I sat next to them, paralysed and devastated by the humiliation. The head of the school recommended that I go into counselling or see the school psychiatrist (my parents did send me to a child psychologist following later exploits in arson, baseball card forgery and mail fraud: his final diagnosis? "You have a devilish side"). That was bad, but nothing compared to what happened a year later.

It turned out that the assistant to the head of school got a copy of my song on cassette and gave it to the girl I had a crush on. This was probably the worst thing that had ever happened in my life. She heard the song and was completely freaked out. Within three days, every kid in school had a copy. She told her friends, teachers and parents: "This guy at school is stalking me and threatening my life." She played them the song and they called the police.

In the end, I had a juvenile restraining order put on me, which lasted until I was 21. I've never told anyone about it since, except my closest friends and family. Three months ago, I was advised by my personal manager and life coach to finally let people hear it, to resolve the nightmare. So, I am. Now is the first time since the incident that I've let anyone hear the song. And I can hear why.
This reminds us of a story. Not so long ago we were working with a woman whose partner, as part of his personal redemption for the crimes he committed against her, decided to tell everyone he and his wife knew about all of the violence he had inflicted on her in detail. He told them about beatings and rapes and controlling behavior. He says he did it so that their friends and family could hold him accountable for his actions and so those same people could learn that violence can come from those you would never suspect. Sounds good in theory, right? What he didn't do was ask his wife's permission to share the minute details of the trauma she experienced with everyone in her life. Maybe she didn't want her husband's brother to know how many times he raped her. Maybe she didn't want her colleagues at work to know how he monitored her every move. But it was so important to his journey that he shared those details without considering the way that sharing could revictimize her.

We wonder if Andrew WK contacted his former stalking victim to see if she was OK with him releasing this song to resolve his personal nightmare. Also, does this have anything to do with his album coming out?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for articulating a response that many of we "vintage" domestic violence advocates had when we first read about Mr. WKs song. Still all about him, him him...