I remember turning on the TV and hearing “I’d Do Anything” by Simple Plan and I can’t recall a moment at that point in my life(12 years old) where a song just captivated me and had me wanting more of whatever it was that I had just listened to. Soon enough I got my parents to take me to the closest Best Buy to get myself a copy of “No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls” were from that point on it snowballed into this full on Simple Plan obsession that would eventually die down with the release of their third album. But I can honestly tell you that I probably wouldn’t be the quirky person that I am today had I not discovered “No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls”.
I’m not saying that in 20-40 years we’re going to be looking back at this album as a classic like Pink Floyds-The Wall but “No Pads No Helmets…Just Balls” did serve its purpose of opening up the doors to many of us who were missing out on “pop rock” or “pop punk” or whatever you want to label this scene. And if your first thought is to say “Hello? What about Blink?” let me remind you that at the time Simple Plan came onto the scene Blink was getting ready to go on hiatus or whatever second break up they were on. So no one was really there to introduce you to this scene unless you had an older relative or friend. Because, if it wasn’t on the radio or on MTV and on Fuse, good luck getting introduced to it or some new music in general.Without this album, I would have probably missed out on a lot of other bands that I still listen to today. It only takes a band or an album to open up a whole new world to you.
And somehow we’re all here were Simple Plan has kicked off their 15-year anniversary tour and I know I’m going to laugh when they play “God Must Hate Me” and “One Day” because to me the lyrics are funny as hell now but back then these songs understood all of my prepubescent angst. But you can bet that I’ll be singing along to them at the top of my lungs regardless because this album got me through those awkward years where I had no idea what was going on and it was one of the few things that made me feel better then. So yes, I might be attending this tour out of nostalgia but isn’t that all we want, to go back to feeling like a kid again?
P.S. My parents still wish that this band was the heaviest band that I would listen to.