#569: Webb Surfing

GETTING MORE TALE #569:  Webb Surfing

Some readers are young enough to never have known a time without the internet.  Half my lifetime ago, in 1997, the World Wide Web was was a luxury that few had regular access to.  Tom, T-Rev and myself were eager to check out what the web had to offer to a bunch of music geeks.  We visited an internet cafe in downtown Kitchener, paid a couple bucks, and searched.  Remember Webcrawler?

T-Rev was trying to find rare releases by Steve Earle, and another country rocker named Webb Wilder.  Trevor owned his album Doo Dad and wanted to see what Wilder had been up to since.  He found a plethora of releases listed on some now-defunct website.  He also confirmed the existence of Steve Earle’s very rare debut EP, Pink and Black.  Thus the Pink and Black EP became one of T-Rev’s first “Holy Grail” must-haves.  Meanwhile, I was exploring previously unseen Deep Purple live albums and compilations.

Together we decided we should join forces and order some impossible-to-find CDs that we knew were out there, but lacked access to.  Tom had a friend who had the internet at home:  British Phil.  What luck!  One winter evening we ventured to British Phil’s house and gathered around a small computer monitor in the basement.  CDNow was the best online retailer for music.  We took turns browsing and deciding.  The only one who didn’t order anything was British Phil.  Trevor bought Webb Wilder’s Town and Country.  I can’t remember what Tom would have chosen, but I remember mine well:  Deep Purple’s Stormbringer.  It was $30.  I had it on cassette, but I was dying to get a CD copy.

British Phil and LeBrain

We pooled our goodies into one order and used my credit card.  A week or two later, we each had some new music to enjoy.  Our test run went smooth without a hitch.  Having proven that ordering music online was safe and easy, the door had opened to hundreds upon hundreds of purchases over the years.  Now, it’s simply second nature.

I need some new tunes and have a $25 Amazon gift card to burn.  I think I’m going to place an online order right now!

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24 comments

    1. Amazon gift cards (and this newfangled world wide web/cyberspace for that matter) are grand – earlier this year, I ‘shared’ that I did my taxes through Turbo tax, and when somebody clicked my link to do their taxes, I got a $10 card.
      Weezer’s El Scorcho CD single was promptly ordered!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh man, I remember no internet. We had to actually look things up in books and magazines! Haha kids today have no idea.

    I honestly don’t remember the first CD I ever ordered online. But it would have been around the same time. I had internet on my first computer (the one with the 2x CD-R drive). Oh man, nostalgia. I miss that sound the dial-up modem made. “Weee-ooo-squeeeeeee-ssshhhhhhhhh…”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe you remember this — I used to scour the mail order CD lists you’d find in certain magazines. There’d be no information at all other than artist, title and price. You had to guess! You’d see rare things you never heard of before — singles presumably B-sides.

      I never ordered from any of those places, but I always wanted to. Either way, those magazine lists were the first version of browsing “music sites”!

      Like

  2. Ah. I remember using an Internet cafe to look up and print off all the stuff I found about people and things that interested me. Mental how fast and easy the internet is now… and how easy it makes everything. From buying stuff to researching or meeting folks you’d never meet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to imagine even how much it will change 10 years from now. Typing on a keyboard might be outdated! I’ve seen neat laser things that shine a keyboard on your desk, and you just type as normal on the keys, but it’s really just your desk! And the lasers pick up your movements. No idea how well it works, but that’s my prediction. 10 years from now, we will not be using keyboards….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everything will be online. The atmosphere will be controlled by Google and everything recorded and voice activated. Images projected right in front of you… or on the clouds. Or in our eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Arthur C Clarke imagined a future world where everyone is hooked up to viewing devices. When you want to actually look where you’re going, you just set the viewing device to front camera.

          Liked by 1 person

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