by Janet Housden
Back in the olden days, one of the only jobs Rock and Roll loser weirdos could get was as extras in mostly terrible movies and TV shows (there was a rule in the Eighties that you had to have an Obligatory Punk Scene, the less authentic, the better). It was either that, or telemarketing, which I also dabbled in. Some people made a full-time job of extra work, but I only did it a few times, mostly because it was awful. My first time, my little high school punk friends and I got suckered into being unpaid scenery in that timeless classic Rock and Roll High School. A flyer posted at our school touted it as a chance to meet the Ramones, and we all loved the Ramones, so of course we signed up.
They bussed us out to the Valley, along with dozens of our Punk-hating classmates, at the ass-crack of dawn, which is basically torture for teenagers. Then they set us up outside at a bunch of picnic tables. We waited and waited, but there was no sign of the Ramones. Then, to my utter horror, they commanded us to dance, something I would never, ever do under the best of circumstances, and forget about doing it in front of The Enemy (did I mention that pretty much everyone in our school vocally hated Punk Rock, despite having only the foggiest notion of what it even was? And that all the kids you see dancing to the Ramones in that movie were the exact same kids who pelted us with food every day for being actual Ramones fans?). I hid under the table. I think David Nolte did too. It was mortifying.
Then, to make matters worse, the star of the film showed up, and she was . . . she was . . . a POSEUR! I will never forget the shock and embarrassment I felt when I got my first look at PJ Soles as Riff Randell. I mean, I was horrified. And disappointed, because the Ramones never did show up.