Four Horsemen

REVIEW: The Four Horsemen – Nobody Said it Was Easy (2018 vinyl reissue)

THE FOUR HORSEMEN – Nobody Said it Was Easy (originally 1991 Def American, 2018 vinyl reissue with bonus tracks)

Though defunct for well over two decades, the Four Horsemen are like the gift that keeps on giving.  When they bit the dust, all they initially left behind were two albums and an EP.  Today there are a set of reissues with bonus tracks, live releases, and a “lost” second LP that was never released before.  In 2018, another handful of unreleased tracks came to light on a brand new vinyl reissue of Nobody Said it Was Easy.  This is the second reissue of the album now, the first (on CD) having three completely different bonus tracks (“She’s Got It”, “Homesick Blues (harmonica version)” and “Born to Boogie”).  The vinyl replaces those with a bunch more you didn’t have.

First, about the album Nobody Said it Was EasyWe reviewed it back in 2016 and stand by every word.  It was a shining beacon of rock n’ roll when it was in danger of drowning in a sea of grunge.  Rick Rubin gave the album an edgy, loud and crisp sound.  The band had a dirty vibe at odds with the Poisons and Motley Crues on the charts.  And they boasted one of the greatest unsung frontmen ever:  Frank C. Starr.  A real life bad boy, there was nothing phony about Frank, nor any of the Four Horsemen.  The nucleus was the man known as Haggis, ex-The Cult, ex-Zodiac Mindwarp.  His slippy-slidey guitars melded perfectly with the southern soloing of Dave Lizmi.  On bass was a chap named Ben Pape, but the secret weapon was drummer Kenneth “Dimwit” Montgomery.  This mountain of a man, a Canadian punk rock veteran, had presence and a deep Bonham-like beat.  The Four Horsemen couldn’t be touched by anyone in their field.  The 12 songs that made up Nobody Said it Was Easy sound derived in equal parts from early AC/DC and the American South, with a healthy dose of sleazy intent.

“My name is Frankie, let’s fuck up the place!”

The three singles are flat-out indispensable.  I wouldn’t want to live my life without “Rockin’ Is Ma Business” any more than I would want to live it without “Let There Be Rock”.  “Tired Wings” is a greasy southern revelation, while the title track has more hooks than a tackle shop.

As an added bonus, this package also includes the first Four Horsemen EP, Welfare Boogie.  It was available separately on a remastered CD with bonus tracks, but now you can get it on vinyl right here.  The four EP songs were pretty high octane.  “Hard Loving Man” remains a ridiculous highlight.  Tattooed pecker indeed!

Onto the unreleased tracks, of which there are six:  five songs and an interview.  All of these are exclusive to this LP; nowhere else.  The interview is a vintage road call from a humorous Haggis to a Calgary radio station, but it’s inconsequential at only 2:30 long.  (My copy of the second LP has the sides labelled incorrectly.)

Check out the original open-G tuning of “Tired Wings”.  It’s remarkable how changing the tuning made the difference between a good song and a great one.  Now it’s timeless.  Frankie did a completely different lead vocal on “’75 Again”, without the screaming (some of the guitar bits are missing too).  I think I prefer the screaming version when you hear them side by side.  An alternate version of “Can’t Stop Rockin'” is a different take, also without screaming (or backing vocals).  These versions that ultimately didn’t make the album are as well produced as the record, but ultimately it’s a matter of taste which you prefer.  It’s certainly startling to hear different versions after this many years.

“The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down” is an instrumental, recorded Christmas Day 1991.  This certainly foreshadows the direction the Four Horsemen would go on their “lost” second album, Daylight Again, which was more Band than AC/DC.  Finally it’s an extended 8:32 live jam on “Can’t Get Next to You”, a non-album rarity.  Another version can be found on the CD/DVD set, Left For Dead.  Dave Lizmi really gets to cut loose on this.

It doesn’t really matter which version of Nobody Said it Was Easy you end up with.  The original 12 track CD was 5/5 stars then and now, but which is best?  The remastered CD gives you unreleased tracks exclusive to the format, so there’s that.  This LP gives you even more, plus the original Welfare Boogie EP, but it is limited to just 500 copies.  Better act fast before it’s too late.

5/5 stars

MORE FOUR HORSEMEN:

  1. Record Store Tales #224:  Rockin’ Is Ma Business
  2. Welfare Boogie (1990 – 21st Anniversary edition CD)
  3. Nobody Said It Was Easy (1991 – 21st Anniversary edition CD)
  4. Daylight Again (1994 “lost” album – 21st Anniversary edition CD)
  5. Gettin’ Pretty Good…At Barely Gettin’ By (1996)
  6. Left For Dead 1988-1994 (2005 – CD/DVD set)
  7. Death Before Suckass – Live at Saratoga Winners 1991 (2012 CD)

 

 

 

Advertisements

Part 224: Rockin’ Is Ma Business

For a closer look at the album itself, check out 1537’s cool writeup!

RECORD STORE TALES Part 224:  Rockin’ Is Ma Business

In 1995, this guy I knew named Freddy was looking for more new tunes.  He’d been playing all the Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughn that I could get him, but he wanted some rock as well.  Something a little heavier.

“Have you heard of the Four Horsemen?” I asked.

“Nope,” he answered.  “Who’re the Four Horsemen?”

The Four Horsemen were a great band.  They had a solid AC/DC vibe mixed in with assloads of southern rock.  They were an odd mixture of personnel, with members from Wales, America and Canada.  They featured ex-members of DOA and The Cult (Haggis), along with a charismatic unknown singer from Long Island who went by the name of Frank C. Starr.  They were a volatile band and the original lineup imploded, but there were also rumours of a reunion and second album.  (Sadly, drummer Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery passed away, and after recording the second album, Frank Starr would be close behind.)  They did manage to crank out a solid debut, helmed by Rick Rubin, called Nobody Said It Was Easy.*

Freddy was sold without hearing a single song, after I described how strong the debut was.  We had it stocked new for the low, low price of $14.99.  Freddy made his purchase and headed out.I was confident he would be satisfied.

A week later, Freddy returned.  He had a bone to pick with me about Nobody Said It Was Easy.

“It was good music,” he said, “But not what I was looking for.  You said it was more like AC/DC.  This doesn’t sound anything like AC/DC.  It’s more country.  I don’t know why you said it sounded like AC/DC.”

I was really confused.  How could you miss those AC/DC-isms?  The rock solid beats, smoking guitars, and screamin’ lead vocalist?  What Freddy was saying didn’t make much sense.

We talked for a while trying to make sense of each others’ side of the story, getting nowhere, so I asked him to bring the CD back in.  He did, and I put it in the player.  Sure enough, Freddy was right — but on a CD clearly labelled The Four Horsemen was music by Dwight Yoakam!  The voice was unmistakable.

How could this happen?  It was rare, but not impossible, for a CD to be manufactured but then labelled and packaged as the wrong album.  Dwight Yoakam was on Reprise, and the Horsemen on Def American.  Both labels were subsidiaries of Warner Brothers.  Obviously the CDs were also manufactured in a Warner plant, for this mix-up to happen.

I insisted that Freddy return the CD so we could make it right, but he didn’t want to!  He liked the Dwight Yoakam album and wanted to keep it!  I ordered him a replacement copy of Nobody Said It Was Easy, and he liked that one too.

A lot of people were surprised that a CD could end up with the wrong music or artwork (however you want to look at it) printed on it.  It was rare, but it could happen and did.  Fortunately Freddy was happy with both records!


*The Four Horsemen finally reached a wider audience in 2012, in the movie GI Joe: Retaliation. From their second album, “Back In Business” is featured completely out of context during a frantic action sequence. The lyrics of the song are clearly about getting screwed over by record labels and passing trends in music.

Part 120: T-Rev Appreciation Day!

I was sitting here, trying to think of some new content to write.  Then it hit me:  T-Rev Appreciation Day!  

RECORD STORE TALES PART 120:  T-Rev Appreciation Day!

T-Rev, a past contributor here at LeBrain’s Blog, is a man whom I owe a lot.  Not only is he one of the best buds I’ve ever had (sniff) but he’s also responsible for getting me so damn many of my treasures.  Directly responsible.  Like, I’m not talking about stuff like, “Mike, you really need to buy some Oasis, Max Webster, and Steve Earle.  Oh, and while you’re at it, the second Four Horsemen album is awesome!” 

He did, in fact, turn me onto all four of those things.  But I’m talking more about the kind of situation where a combination of his eagle eyes, musical knowledge, and friendship scored me some discs!

Here’s two:

QUEENSRYCHE – Road To Promised Land aka ARRIVED!

This 1995  promo CD is a neat little greatest hits, going chronologically from the first EP to the Promised Land album!  The only exclusive track is a radio edit of “Damaged” but Trevor saw this one and gave me a call.  He knew I loved Queensryche, especially since I was going to see them with Tom that summer.

DIAMOND HEAD – Lightning To The Nations (original mix!)

T-Rev and I were both Metallica fans, and were both aware that they had covered numerous Diamond Head songs.  This, like the Queensryche disc, came into Trevor’s store.  While I wouldn’t fault him for snagging this one for himself, he deemed it slightly out of the scope of his core collection.  I’m glad he did, because this disc rocks!  And this is the original “Lars Ulrich approved” mix of the album, ripped straight from the LP.  Most CD editions were remixed, and the master tapes are now lost.  So this is a real treat and hopefully I’ll get around to reviewing it.   15 tracks, from the album itself plus B-sides and so on. 

I raise a glass to Trevor, surely one of the finest Record Store Dudes to ever grace a cash register!  My memories, and my collection, would be poorer without you.

   

Part 53: Heavy Negotiations

Sometimes, things just came into the store that no matter the cost, you had to get it. You’ve all seen Pawnstars, right? It could get that way. 99% of transactions were pretty ordinary, but sometimes you’d get a pretty wild score, and you couldn’t back down.

You’d see imports, singles, bootlegs, promos, special editions, bonus tracks, bonus discs, and sometimes damn near complete collections of several artists.  Tom tells the legend of a guy who came in selling a near complete Zappa collection.

There was one guy that I just loved. We’ll call him C. He was addicted to hard rock, heavy metal, and Euro metal. He was a collector and he had numerous Japanese imports. And frequently, he sold us those Japanese imports, of just about anything decent. A few that weren’t so decent, but very very few.  I don’t know where he got the stuff, and I didn’t ask.  None of my business!

Thanks to C, I have a pretty close to complete collection of Japanese Harem Scarem imports, Bruce Dickinson, and Journey. Whoop de do for a lot of you, but these things are mucho expensivo to buy! Why?

In Japan, it is actually cheaper to buy a CD imported from America then their own (superior) domestic product.  So the Japanese counteract this by putting bonus tracks on their domestic product.  Much of time, these are songs specifically exclusive to Japan.

A really good example of a song written and recorded specifically for the Japanese market would be “Tokyo is Burning” from W.A.S.P.‘s K.F.D. album.  Another would be “Himalaya” by Glenn Tipton.  (Ignore that the Himalaya mountains are not in Japan, please, I’m guessing Glenn didn’t know that when he wrote it.)

There are collectors in every city and every town who pay premius prices to get these discs imported here from Japan.  Average prices can run from $35 to $50 for a single disc, much more if you’re talking about multi-disc sets.  The most I ever paid for a single Japanese disc (new) was $80  (Come Hell Or High Water by Deep Purple), and the least I paid (new) was the “Woman From Tokyo” single by the same band.

So back to the point, these discs were worth coin.  And C might actually bring in 4 or 5 at a time.   I recall he brought in 4 Harem Scarem imports at one time, each with bonus tracks.

Now, C wasn’t stupid.  He knew that if he didn’t get what he wanted for the discs, he could try downtown where there were more collectors and afficianos, and fewer hockey moms.  However, he also knew it would be much easier to come to me personally, because I knew what I was doing when it came to imports.

And frequently, since I was usually seeing stuff I wanted for my own collection, I’d be willing to up the ante when needed.  Since I frequented Amazon, I knew exactly what these things were worth.

One of the coolest things he ever brought in was a Helloween Japanese box set, 4 discs.  I’m shooting myself in the foot for not picking it up back then.  I’ll never see it again, I’m sure. 

Often, the Japanese imports were packaged with extra goodies:  stickers, extra booklets, patches, posters.  To find a used Japanese import with these goodies still intact was very rare.  That ups the value as well.  And for the ultimate collector, Japanese discs come with something called an obi-strip.  They are a piece of paper with Japanese writing on it, that goes over the jewel case of the CD.  This is what they look like:  click to embiggen

    Because the obi strip is actually outside the jewel case, it’s hard to keep, and most people end up throwing them away.  Add a couple bucks to the end value of a CD if the obi strip is intact.  See how this goes?

Unfortunatley,  C usually threw out to obi strips, so most of my Japanese imports lack them.  You can easily store the obi strip by putting your CD in a sandwich bag as you can see with my Bon Jovi single. 

One of the drawbacks of dealing with C is that he became used to a certain level of money when he came in.  And, nobody else liked C.  They all hated him.  I heard it had something to do with him chewing gum when he talked.  Never mind the cool-ass shit he brought into the store that nobody else in town could get!  So, negotiations could get heavy.  He knew what his stuff was worth, and if I could have owned it all, I would have!

Another situation where negotiations could get fierce were with large sales.  The largest I ever saw was an estate sale.  I can’t remember how many discs we looked at.  I’m thinking the number is close to 3000, all in one shot.  I think they were in these big gray convention containers that could hold about 400 each.  And there were 7 containers, plus a few boxes.  And in this case, it was good, good shit.  Sometimes, you’d buy a handful of crappy stuff just to get a mountain of good stuff.  Because the seller often wanted them all gone and not to deal with them anymore.   Clear slate.

When going through these big estate sales, you’d often have a pile of awesome jazz titles alone that probably numbered in the hundreds.  Blues, same deal.  Of course you’d also get boxes of crap, but sometimes you’d take it just to get to the blues and jazz titles. 

Inevitably, there were times when you just could not justify asking as much as the customer wanted.  I remember, very unhappily, having to turn down this Rolling Stones CBS years box set, which came with a bonus EP.  The box even had this neat paper tongue.  I just couldn’t give the guy what he wanted and still make any money off the thing.

Another one that sucked to turn down was the Cult Collection 1984-1990 box set. This sucker is hard to find. I just couldn’t give the guy what he wanted.  I wanted it for myself as it was, so I was willing to go even higher than the call of duty allowed.  Alas, it was not to be.  Thankfully, most of those tracks have been released on the Rare Cult boxed set(s), which I have…thanks to C!

Other great box sets I got from C:  Black Sabbath‘s The Black Box.  Bon Jovi’s 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong.  Metalogy, by Judas Priest, complete with limited edition DVD.  A complete Motley Crue Music to Crash Your Car To box set with the poster and stuff still inside.

Sometimes you’d see stuff that, if you don’t grab it, you’ll never see it again.  One of my treasures is an Aussie import of Faith No More‘s Angel Dust with a 4 song bonus disc called Free Concert in the Park.  Snagged it.  Never seen again.  On the Faith No More front, I also picked up a split live bootleg album with King’s X called Kings of the Absurd.  I have the first Tea Party album, which actually came in more than once.  I paid at least $50 for it.  Possibly $100, I don’t remember anymore.  There was at least one album that we could sell for $100, which was Standing in the Dark by Platinum Blonde.  And people would pay it.  I was offered a $100 reward once to find the album, as in, whatever the CD cost if I found it, plus a $100 finder’s fee.  I never did find it, but I later picked up Alien Shores at a cool hole in the wall in Stratford, and gave it to Peter.

Nowadays, just about everything I want is available from my sofa, even if it’s located in Japan. eBay and Amazon have changed everything about finding rare music.  Just a few weeks ago I snagged the Japanese disc of You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! by Kiss.  Been hunting for that since 1996.  Never seen it for sale anywhere, and the one I got was mint.  Got it for $40.  Incredibly, a month or so ago, I found one of the last two Maiden singles that I still needed.  I got “Hallowed Be Thy Name (Live)” for $35.  This single, thought at the time to be Dickinson’s swan song with the band, features a cover of Eddie impaling Bruce through the chest!

My advice to aspiring collectors out there:  Pick your #1 favourite band, and start on Wikipedia.  Explore the discography, and see what you’re missing.  Check eBay and see what the pricing is like.  Then hunt until you find one at the right price.  Good luck!

Part 6: The Record Store, Year 1

Myself on the left, Trev on the right.

We were pretty slow most evenings.  You could study for exams at work most nights. Fridays got busy, but Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights were dead.  That didn’t mean we doing nothing.  Rule #1:  “If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean.”  We had scheduled to do something every night.  Mondays was cleaning the mirrors which lined the store walls.   Tuesday was putting away new stock, which always came Tuesdays.  Wednesday was checking the security tags on every cassette in the store.  Every fucking cassette.

For the first 2 months or so, it was just me and the owner.  Once September hit, he hired this other guy, Trevor.  I didn’t like him at first, he was the “other guy”.  He was the same age as me, also finishing school at the same time as me.  We shared similar musical interests.  Influences we shared:  Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen, The Four Horsemen, Kim Mitchell, Rush, and any bands with amazing drummers.  Over the course of the years, he introduced me to:  Steve Earle, Oasis, Metallica, Megadeth, Max Webster, anb Buddy Rich.  I give him a lot of credit for expanding my horizons during those days.

A lot of memorable releases came out that first year.  Superunknown and Purple were already out, but I was on board for some major ones.  Nirvana Unplugged was the biggest release of the fall 1994 schedule.  There was an Aerosmith hits disc, a Bon Jovi hits disc, and the Eagles reunion album which was absolutely massive.

The new Tragically Hip, Day For Night, came out on a Saturday.  We sold out by Sunday.  The boss drove down to Scarborough to get more on Monday.  Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy came out on vinyl the week before the CD was released.  We got just five in.  He didn’t expect it to sell, but we sold out before my shift even started.  Interestingly, none of the customers planned on playing it.  They either a) didn’t even have something to play it on, or b) were keeping it sealed as a collector’s item.  It definitely was a cool package.

Some poeople have a “swear jar”.  We had an alarm jar.  If you forgot to de-tag a customer’s purchase and thusly set off the alarm, you had to put a dollar in the jar.  We would use the spoils on our annual Christmas dinner.  It created some friendly competition between us.  That first Christmas is when I started working directly with Trevor, and I started to like him due to his excellent musical taste.  But in the alarm jar game, we were always about equal.  Sometimes you just forgot!

One lady may well have stolen something and set off the alarm, and I’ll never know, because, well….  As she was walking out the alarm went off.  I asked her to come back in the store and check to see if she had something from another store that may had set it off.  She was so upset at the alarm, she really wanted to show me she had nothing on her person.  So, she removed her top.  “See I’m not hiding anything in here!”  Covering my eyes, I told her it was quite alright, I believed her, and she could go.  First time I’d been flashed on the job.  Not the last.

She wasn’t even drunk.  They actually used to serve alcohol at this mall.  There was a licensed restaurant right next door to the store.  The regulars would start in the morning and keep going.  You’d see them in there every day, and they’d wander in completely plastered.

We had a few regular psychos at that mall.  There was Johnny Walker, who would just walk around the mall talking to himself, all day.  Literally, all day.  The story goes that he was quite rich.  He didn’t need to work, wasn’t capable of work, and just came to the mall and walked around all day, talking to himself.  Sometimes he would argue with himself and he had been ejected from the mall a couple times.  He came into the store a couple times but never caused any problems on my shifts.  One time, he even bought a cassette.  It was like the madness turned off.  He spoke to me, bought the tape, and walked out.  Madness set back in, and he’s off arguing with himself.  I wonder what happened to Johnny Walker?  He’d been walking the malls since grade school, sometimes changing malls when he got permanently ejected from one.

Then, there was Sue.  Sue had been in an accident years before, and had a walker.  She moved very  very slow.  She had a bit of a crush on the owner.  She stalked him relentlessly and gave him Christmas gifts.  She’d park her walker right there in front of the counter and talk his ear off for hours.  Hours!

One day, a large Japanese woman was shopping.  The owner said, “Go ask that lady if she needs help.  Then he stood back and waited.  I didn’t know it, but he had just given me my first challenge.

“Hi, can I help you find anything today?”

“No thank you though,” she answered, then almost immediately, “Do you have Soundgarden?”

I showed her what Soundgarden we had both new and used.  We also had the latest copy of M.E.A.T Magazine, and Chris Cornell was on the cover.  I’ll never forget that detail.

“Do you like Chris Cornell?” she asks.

“Yes, he’s actually one of my favourite singers.”

“Oh!  Really!  I love Chris Cornell.  He’s sexy.”

It was too late now.  I had opened Pandora’s box.  She opened the magazine to his picture inside.  She went on:  “I like when he wears his sexy black boots.  Chris Cornell wears black Doc Marten boots.  Do you know the boots?  Chris Cornell wears black Doctor Martens boots.  Do you like Doc Marten boots?”

I was on my own.  The boss just stood back.  I couldn’t even figure out a way to improvise my way out.  I was a rookie  I decided that this woman was most likely a lil’ crazy and I played the polite card.

“Yes, I do…”

“Chris Cornell is sexy.  Did you know that Soundgarden had an original bass player who was Asian?”

I did know that.  “Yes, his name was Hiro Yamamoto…”

“Yes Hiro Yamamoto.  He is Asian.  There are not many Asians in rock bands did you know that?”

This went on for a good 20 minutes.  After she left (not without asking my name, fuck!) my boss came to speak to me.

“That’s your first lesson.  Don’t get into conversations with customers.”

And of course we had the drunks.  I remember one jolly drunk came in that first Christmas Eve.  We all wore ties Christmas Eve, that was the tradition.  It was a tradition I kept every year to my last year at the store, even when I was the only one left who still did it.  This drunk came in, a big Grizzly Adams dude just reeking of alcohol.  He was definitely in great spirits though.  First he asked us why the ties?  The quick-witting Trevor answered, “I’m wearing mine because it makes me feel important.”  We laughed.  I then went over to see if he needed help finding anything.

“Hi there!” I began.

“Not yet, but I will be when I get home.  Hahahaha!” he answered.

Ultimately the jolly drunk guy couldn’t remember what to buy, so he bought $100 in gift certificates for his grand kids.  That was a great sale, and the best part was that it turned out to be $100 of pure profit for the store.  The bearded drunk guy probably lost it, because all my years with the store, they were never redeemed!

After Christmas, the owner confided in Trevor and I that he was going to be opening a second location.  This location would be in Waterloo.  It would be easily accessible by one high school, two universities, and one college.  He would be splitting his time between our store and setting up the new one.  Ultimately this meant he’d be in much less and we’d be getting more hours, and also bhe was bringing a new guy in.

I walked in one Tuesday to see this black-bearded behemoth behind the counter.  It was kind of awkward because the owner didn’t introduce us at first.  I looked around for an hour, stealing glances at this big grizzly bear of a man with the thickest blackest beard you can picture.  Finally he introduced me to Thomas, later to become Tom, the legendary founder of Sausagefest.  Ahh, but that comes much later.

TOM

Tom was a wicked cool guy who expanded my musical tastes even further than Trevor had.  Tom and I had many influences in common.  I had met another kindred spirit.  Influences:  Black Sabbath, Dio, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Van Halan (not Van Hagar!) and Johnny Cash.  Music he would introduce me to:  Miles Davis, Willie Nelson, Fu Manchu, and the whole stoner rock scene in general.  His place was plastered with rare Marillion posters.  Tom was serious about music.

Tom was so serious about music that it was actually hilarious.  Kids, this is the difference between liking music and loving music.  Nobody loves music as much as Tom.  Dare I say it, Tom loves music even more than me.

One night in Toronto, we visited the big HMV on Yonge St.  Tom was methodically working his way through every decent section of the store.  Long after Trevor and I had finished shopping, Tom was just finishing browsing rock.  With a handful of discs by Rainbow and Saga, Tom would then announce, “OK…I just have to check country.”

20 minutes would pass.  “Alright…on to jazz.”

20 more minutes.

“I just have to check blues.”

10 more minutes.

“Oohh…I wonder if they have the soundtrack to the Godfather.”

Checkout.  Trev, Tom and I usually checked out of that store $200 lighter.  Each.

Then, repeat.  We walked down the street to Sam’s, and finally to Virgin.  Rock, country, jazz, blues.  Every store.  That was Tom, three stores, one night.

Seriously those early days at the store were the best times I ever had working.  Working hard or hardly working?  No, we worked hard.  If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean.  We ran that store with the owner making guest appearances, adding to it with our own creative ideas.

I graduated school in the summer of 1995, and hadn’t decided on my next move.  After that I was putting in increasingly more hours at the store.  It gradually built up from a part time job to full time.  When the new store opened, Tom split hours between the two of them so there were plenty of day and night shifts available, usually alone, which were the best times because you could play whatever you wanted!

I remember Tom walked in one night when I was playing Dio.  Back in 1995 you could not play Dio in a mainstream record store.  That would be like the equivalent of playing Michael Bolton in one today.  He was so far removed from what was selling at the time.  But I was rocking out to Holy Diver and Tom appreciated that I had the balls to do it.

Tom went to a lot of concerts.  After we had bonded over the mutual love of metal, I joined him and many of my future Sausagefest friends at a Black Sabbath concert.  It was Motorhead opening on the Sacrifice tour, and Black Sabbath headining, supporting their final studio album (17 years and counting!) Forbidden.  They played at Lulu’s Roadhouse just down the street.  A few weeks later we saw Queensryche in Toronto on the Promised Land tour.

Trev, Tom and I would have many adventures.  Such as that time seeing Kiss in…ahh, but that’s another story.  Before I talk about Tom and Trev again, I need to tell you a really shitty story.

TBC…