RECORD STORE TALES Part 17: New Music
I had always tried to stay ahead of the curve, musically. Not so much anymore, but back then? Definitely. When I was a younger, more handsome fellow (see above, next to Jean-Luc Picard), I used to buy every magazine that was on the shelf, all the time. I knew every band coming out, before they came out. The record store was an extension of this, bands were coming in all the time that you’d try out. Big Wreck for example. I had heard the buzz building about this band for months and then when I saw a CD come in, I tried it and liked it.
Sometimes a CD would just look interesting. If an album cover struck you, you’d play it on your shift. If it sucked, you’d take it off. If you liked it, score! New fave band.
There was this pseudo “super group” called Neurotic Outsiders in 1996. T-Rev raved about their debut album, Neurotic Outsiders, so I snagged it. They consisted of Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses), Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), and John Taylor (Duran Duran). It was decidedly punk rock, which was fine by me, and I was finding myself really getting into punk at the time. It was great! Made my top 10 that year.
Another one was the Sultans of Ping F.C. That’s a mouthful. (F.C. was for Football Club). Their album, Casual Sex in the Cineplex, was discovered by Trevor and quickly spread among us like fungus. It was Irish punk rock with hilarious lyrics!
My brother knows Karl Marx
He met him eating mushrooms in the public park
He said What do you think of my manifesto?
I like your manifesto, put it to the testo – (“Where’s Me Jumper?”)
That album spread like fungus among us. One problem: there was just one copy in the entire chain of stores. And all of us wanted it. So, the CD went on hold into a “store play” pile. Anybody could listen to it on their shift, but it stayed in the store. That arrangement lasted about a year.
The boss wouldn’t let us just “keep it on hold” for ourselves and not buy it, rightfully so. It was a product. Trev put it on the shelves. He was quite confident that nobody would ever buy it. We could listen to it in store to our heart’s desires, and it was still “for sale”.
I think that may have been the status quo for like another year, maybe two. Then they hired this new guy Matty G. Matty G was not aware of the “nobody may buy the Sultans of Ping” rule. Matty G bought the Sultans of Ping on his first shift, after hearing Trev playing it in store.
Matt was kind enough to tape it for me, and later on a guy in England burned me a copy. Yet, that was to this day the only copy I have ever seen. If anybody reading this owns a copy: Name your price.