Back in 2006, a few weeks after I left the store, I became a “normal customer”. (As if there is such a thing!) I started getting calls from my former compatriots any time they saw something cool come in for me. Which was frequent back then. Today I have a hard time finding discs locally that I still need, as my collection is pretty beefy.
I drove on a snowy Saturday to one of my former haunts to see my friends and former co-workers. I managed to snag a mint condition used copy of Dio’s Holy Diver – Live. It was his newest album. (Also, sadly, his last album released while he was still alive.) The package was 2 CD’s including one disc of Holy Diver, performed live in sequence. I tried to explain to Jen how cool this release was:
It’s the first time he’s played the whole album live. It was his first album, and considered his best solo album by a lot of fans. It’s a landmark album — you’ll know some of these songs.
Jen had already heard some Dio. I played Intermission (on vinyl) for her regularly, and she knew tunes like “Rainbow in the Dark” quite well. Plus, Jen enjoys back rubs. If she wanted a back rub, for example, I’d put some tunes on, usually Dio. Soon it became known as “Dio Massages”. It wasn’t too long before Jen knew most of Dio’s best tunes from Rainbow and beyond: “Man On The Silver Mountain”, “Holy Diver”, and so on. Dio Massages became a regular weekend ritual.
So, when I picked up Holy Diver – Live, I was stoked! I got it cheap, used, which was not always easy with new metal releases. Metal fans tend to hang on to their new releases, since they’re not always easy to come across in mainstream retail outlets. Jen and I listened to disc one, and went to bed.
I had rather stupidly left the CD case (with second disc still inside) on the end table. Right next to Jen’s can of diet Pepsi. An idiot could have predicted what would happen next. My only defense is “I am not an idiot!” but it didn’t save my Dio CD. Jen reached for her diet Pepsi, missed, and spilled. Dio was drenched – the booklet, the back cover, and the second disc. I owned the CD for less than a day, and it was already wrecked. In the morning, the second disc (previously mint) had little beads of dried Pepsi on it. The booklet and back cover were a lost cause. Couldn’t even open the booklet, like a teenager’s first Playboy mag!
I called up my buddy at the store where I had bought the CD. We’ll call him “Steven Tyler” as an alias. (He happens to share the name of a famous rock star in real life.)
“Steven! You got any more of those Dio live albums floating around in the system?”
“Nope, sorry man. You got the only one,” said Steven.
I ordered a replacement copy from Amazon later that morning. New. Over $30 all said and done.
MORAL: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DIO DISCS NEXT TO A CAN OF DIET PEPSI OVERNIGHT!
I still love my wife more than anything. She still loves “Rainbow in the Dark”.