Part 306: Happy Birthday to Me

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RECORD STORE TALES Part 306: Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday!

20 years ago…20 YEARS AGO!…I was hired at the old Record Store. It wasn’t 20 years ago today; I don’t remember the exact date. But it was mere days before my birthday, two weeks at best. I was given some money for my birthday, and I remember the exact CD that I bought on July 19, 1994. It was Rush. Chronicles.

So here’s a confession, something I’ve never admitted to here before. Privately yes, but not publicly. That Rush Chronicles that I bought 20 years ago today was my first Rush album. Ever.

I was pretty late to the Rush party. I didn’t really start to pay attention to them until the 1990’s. Growing up in the late 1980’s, in my age group, none of my friends liked Rush. As far as I could tell, nobody liked Rush. They simply were not in my hemispheres. I had seen their music videos on Much, but for the most part I didn’t like what I saw. A funny looking guy, keyboards, a guitar player wearing a tie…I overlooked Rush.

I did like one song. “Subdivisions”. That song was undeniably cool, with that slick synth part as the main hook. This song, I dug. Way more than “Tom Sawyer”. Way more than “Red Barchetta”. Definitely more than “Time Stand Still”, which I considered an embarrassment at the time. “Subdivisions” stuck with me, through highschool, through university. I decided I needed to get it, so I finally started exploring the Rush repertoire. And I started with Chronicles.

I would have got it sooner, but I didn’t have the money. Now I had money, a staff discount, and access to hundreds of used CDs in great condition. I had arrived in my own musical paradise!

I was soon enthralled with Chronicles.  Many songs that were new to me were quickly becoming favourites: the new-to-CD live version of “What You’re Doing”.  The silly but instantly likable “The Trees”.  Most of all though, “Red Sector A” from Grace Under Pressure.   For a brief while, this song unseated “Subdivisions” as my favourite Rush track.

On this day, I’m going to extend a hearty virtual handshake to the man who gave me a chance at that job, the owner-founder of the store. He did it just because he knew my dad, and my dad asked him to help me out. He didn’t have to, he didn’t even ask for a resume. He just asked me to come down one afternoon and talk. That one talk irreversibly changed my life, and I look at that moment as the end of one life and the beginning of another. It was one of those proverbial turning points.

Thank you.  Now, I’m off to party!

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68 comments

      1. Oh man, spend all the time you can with your Grandma. All my grandparents are gone now, and if I could go over to their house for a hang out, birthday or not, I would go RIGHT NOW.

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  1. Happy Birthday. Same birthday as my brother. If you could get a present of one of each of: dvd, cd, boxset, record, concert tickets, autograph/meet and greet. What/who would you choose? Spare no expense.

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    1. Wow, I think it would HAVE to be the meet and greet. I don’t think any box set could be more valuable than that. (If I did choose a box set, it would be the deleted Thin Lizzy BBC multi-disc set.)

      For my meet and greet I’d pick Paul Stanley.

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      1. It is your birthday, so you can also get 1 dvd, 1 cd and 1 vinyl. Which one? Imports, rareties, mis-prints, test pressings. No limits.

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  2. Birthday buddies!! (mine is on the 22nd). Happy birthday to you!

    I borrowed Chronicles from a friend in high school, and got my own copy for my birthday around 1991. Got Roll the Bones for my birthday in 1992. Good times!

    Enjoy your day!

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        1. My scary age was 35, and I got through it lol. This is also a monumental 4-0, and I am pretty zen about it. I can’t fight City Hall, so I might as well deal with it, right?! Besides, my hubs is younger, so keeps me young lol

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        2. I dated older gals a couple times but it didn’t work out because I’m too damn immature for most of them. I still think farts are funny, and I have more toys than both Aaron’s kids combined with Aaron.

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        3. Farts ARE funny!!
          I dated a guy who was older in my early 20s – but that didn’t work because he was jonesing for marriage and children, and that was too much domesticated pressure for me. I also tend to be serious, and I can’t be the funny one in the relationship – too much! The hubs has 2.5 years to go before 40, and he is a big kid and hilarious as hell. And doesn’t mind being with this Ol Bag. Perfect for me. And his farts are funny! :)

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        4. Yeah I wasn’t ready to settle down with anyone, with I was with older people too. In fact I remember telling my wife that I was “never” getting married, because my home was my “fortress of solitude”. Just wanted her to know what she was getting into. You see how that turned out.

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        5. It used to bother me that he was younger, but then had a complete reset when he said, “I will always be younger, that will never change.” TRUTH! Most of that feeling was felt in my 20s. Once I turned 30, it no longer bothered me. Cresting on 14 years of marriage! That’s the milestone to focus on!

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        1. I’d be more likely to say that good things happened in October or November (which resulted in July) but we’re not thinking about our parents doing that LALALA I CAN’T HEAR ANYTHING NOT THINKING ABOUT IT LALALA

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    1. You beat me to Rush! Not bad. And Rush on your birthday is a great thing! It wasn’t my last Birthday Rush either!

      Day has been enjoyable thus far, except for a technical glitch regarding some HDMI cables that took a while to diagnose.

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      1. I am taking a 4-day weekend, leading into my birthday (’cause I don’t want to work on my birthday, damn it!). We’re gonna finish Borderlands 2, buy some gaming headphones, he’s taking me out for sushi, and laze about. We were thinking of a trip to London, but we will likely postpone that when I take my full 2 weeks vacay the end of the month. :)
        Hope Jen spoils you!

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  3. Ummm I’m the old Geezer here! Got Moving pictures late 1981 followed by Exit Stage Left at Xmas time 81 as well!
    Happy bday ……..no one is never too late to join!

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    1. Thanks buddy! That was the thing about Rush — it didn’t seem like my buddies liked them, it was more my buddies’ older brothers and sisters.

      Moving Pictures…what a first Rush album to get.

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  4. Happy Birthday, Buddy. Make it a huge one and when the dust settles and the cops let you out on bail, you’ll have stories to tell us in these pages!

    I got my first copy of Chronicles in 1994, but I surely heard a lot of Rush before that thanks to a university roommate who used to howl along in falsetto with Geddy. Yeah.

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    1. Well dude, there has been some gift giving so far (look for a post later today or tomorrow with fully action-packed photos!) and let me say this — Somebody named “Cindy” bought me a CD that I am going to put in my player now. (Yes, I purposely kept it sealed until my birthday.)

      There have been some Transformers too, so stay tuned…

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  5. I have starting my vinyl resurgence. I have no Rush yet on vinyl. But I will listen to Battle Scar today. “Feel the way I feel.”
    Does that count?

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    1. The challenge is out…. LeBrain followers … A) Can anyone tell me the musical artist that I am singing over on that birthday track … and for alot more points … B) What is the name of the song……. Ill be impressed if anyone gets it. But I should expect SOMEONE to know of it …

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      1. Dammit, that’s frustrating. I believe I know that song, but I can’t place it. When you tell us the answer, I’m gonna say OH YEAH! THAT WAS IT!

        For now, however, I admit defeat. Unless maybe my subconscious coughs up the answer before anyone else gets it.

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  6. I dont know how many people actually saw it to even try to guess .. but the artist in question was Bela Fleck and the Flecktones .. a song called Vix 9. Opening track off of their album Three Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ( first album as a trio after Howard Levy left the band).

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  7. Happy birthday indeed, my friend! I cannot believe it has been 20 years since the store hired us! A lot has happened since eh? Good day to you sir! -sorry it’s belated

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