Part 60: Back to the Start

Holy crap!  Part 60 already?  I hope you’ve been enjoying the Record Store Tales so far.  For this sort-of-but-not-really-special edition, I’m going to take you back to the start. 

Marko Fox asked me today, “LeBrain, how did you get to be LeBrain?”  Well, it was a unique set of circumstances Marko.

1. Obsession.  Ever since I was a kid I think I was an obsessive-compulsive collector.  I had to have every Star Wars figure, I had to have all their names memorized, I had to have it all.

2. Rock Magazines.  The first rock magazine I ever bought was an old Circus special on Kiss.  All my friends seemed to know all the important details about bands:  Which guy was the bassist and which played guitar, the names of the members, the brands of the guitars.  I decided to needed to catch up and so I started reading magazines.

3. The Power Hour. This MuchMusic show ran for an hour, twice a week.  Two hours of pure rock a week!  I taped them religiously and never missed one until I got my first part-time job.

4. Columbia House.  Remember them?  Buy 11 CDs for a penny, get 2 free, and only have to buy 8 more at regular club prices within the next two years?  We got Columbia House when I was in grade 11, my sister and I, and we split it evenly.  I read the Columbia House catalog cover to cover every month.  So that meant I not only knew who Iron Maiden was, but also Miles Davis, Bell Biv Devoe, and Alan Jackson.

Those four factors sealed into my brain and endless stream of musical knowledge and listening experience that has only grown with the the birth of the Interweeb.

Jump-cut to 1994.  It is July.  I just started at the record store a few days ago.  My boss is having me file discs to get to know the inventory.  He is shocked that I know where to file Miles Davis.  He is surprised that I know which Alan Jackson album has “Chattahoochee” on it.  He asks me how I know this stuff?  I tell him, “Columbia House!”

It wasn’t too long before I was teaching him things, too.  I remember I bought a disc for stock by Pigface (Fook).  The next day he took me aside, holds up the CD, and says, “What is this that you bought?  You paid $4 for this?”  I said, “Yeah.  Side project of Ministry.”  That was when I became known as the guy who knew the side projects from just about everybody.

He was more than happy to stock something if I told him I know it would sell.  With him knowing what was going on with the charts, and Trevor knowing what was happening with new rock, we were a formidable force.

So there you go, Marko.  That is how LeBrain became LeBrain.  You’ll note that two of the four contributing factors don’t exist anymore, so perhaps there could never have been a LeBrain if not for the 80’s!

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