All of SPIN Magazine’s archives are up on Google Books, which is a real treat to browse through. I was looking at the second ever issue, in June 1985, and this stream-of-consciousness essay by Henry Rollins about how he adores the 7-Eleven convenience store chain lept out at me.
Here are the best excerpts, but it’s worth the whole surreal read:
I bet, just bet, you and I have one thing in common, one thing that unites us, one thing that will allow us to look each other in the eyes and feel right. Yes, friend… 7-11. They’re in your town, they’re in my town, we both seen the orange, white and green beacon against the night sky. What’s your thing? Coffee, video games, microwave food? You want somethin’? They got somethin’ you want, and that is good.
I ventured into my first 7-11 during the summer of 1968. That was back in the days when said establishment opened at 7:00am and closed at 11:00pm. I was still a believer by the summer of ’80, and went nightly to have my dinner. For as long as I life, I will never forget those nights of fine dining.
Seven-11 is the pulse-beat of America. I think that Bruce Springsteen should do a song about a 7-11 in Asbury Park, New Jersey, but write it in such a way that American’s youth can identify and slurp along with the Boss. Hail the Boss! Hail 7-11!
Seven-11 is more than a store, more than an institution, more than a way of life. It’s – totally cosmic, dude. Like, bigger than “Thriller”.
2/13/85, Hermosa Beach, California: Saw a kid rip off a Creem magazine from the 7-11 on Artesia and Phelton. Slick mover, that kid. He bent down, lifted his pant leg and bailed out of the store. Kids hanging out wearing Iron Maiden T-shirts and playing video games; someday, they will stand behind the counter. Now it’s just dream. Isn’t it everbody’s dream? To don that orange and beige smock, to stand with your feet planted solidly, facing front proudly, turning only to fill an order for a Big Gulp or Slurpee?