#882: The Day KK Came Back

RECORD STORE TALES #882: The Day KK Came Back

Working retail means you can’t control who you see on a day-to-day basis.  Faces from the past are part of the job.  Teachers, old neighbours, bullies, and so on.  Sometimes it’s not a face you really cared to see again.  For example, there was this one kid named Terry Moulton from grade school.  He was known as a burnout even in grade eight.  The word in class is that he would skip to go and smoke pot with his dad.  One day I was working and who should show up to sell me some used CDs but Terry.  He recognized me.  I’m not so good with faces from the that long ago, but I remembered the name.  I made him a generous offer on the discs, and asked for his ID.  We had to ask for ID in order to buy anything used from the public.  Part of theft prevention.  Of course Terry didn’t have any ID so I skipped that part for him as a favour.  I asked for his address and he didn’t even have a fixed address.  I broke a few bi-laws by buying discs from him that day.

My journal records another encounter with a forgotten face from the Catholic school days.

Kevin Kirby’s name was ingrained in my memory even if I didn’t recognize his face.  Kirby was into metal when none of the other kids were.  He had Black Sabbath, Van Halen and Ozzy records thanks to an older sister.  He was my “friend” I guess.  Friends by circumstance, not by choice?  Frenemies?  He copied my homework.  He pushed me around.  He made fun of me.  Once he picked on me, and I fought back, so he cried to his mom about it.  His mom called the school.

According to my journal the last time I saw him was in 2004.

Date: 2004/08/04

An interesting day, thus far.

A couple assholes, but not many in general.

Saw Jessica, waved hello.*

Then a dude with a mullet came in. Bought a CD. Asked if I remembered him. He knew my name. Kevin Kirby it was…guy who used to pick on me in grade eight. Nice to see ya, pal.

He might have been into good music, but he was a prick to me in our last year of school together.  Don’t care if I ever see him again.


Yours Truly

* Jessica was Money Mart Girl who I had a crush on.  


#853: “The wedding is coming and life is very sweet!” (Getting More Retro!)

Jen dug up this Facebook note that I wrote on August 8, 2008.  I thought it would be nice to include as part of Getting More Tale.  Even back in 2008, I was excited about Sausagefest and bitching about the Record Store.  The wedding was August 31, 2008 and I was obviously very excited.

GETTING MORE TALE (Retro) #853: “The wedding is coming and life is very sweet!”

I can’t believe I haven’t written a note in more than a month. If you had told me that getting married was this much work, I wouldn’t believe you. Actually, some of you DID tell me that getting married was this much work, and I didn’t believe you.

However it wouldn’t have changed anything. I still love my crazy Leafs girl and would have married her anyway.

So what’s new? Well, last I wrote, I was just about to head to Sausagefest. I did and it was awesome. The new format needs a little work* I think, there were a few kinks in the tape. Meat, Tom and Haslam hosted a great party and we had an awesome time. Even Tyler’s dog Zeppelin didn’t bug me this time. And Zach’s lamb was DELECTABLE. My compliments to the Chef Britton.

After that, I turned 36…wow…unbelievable! However I will still tell people that I am 26.

Work is great. Unbelievable amount of responsibility and it weighs heavy sometimes. However I have been there over a year now, and it looks to be like I will be there a long time to come. There will be news about that soon but I can’t talk about that yet.**

It’s interesting. I spent 11 1/2 years working in the record store, working my way up, until there was nowhere left to work up to. A lot of people wish they could have worked in a record store, and I’m glad to say that I did it. I always have the best work stories,*** and I’m glad to say that with the glow of nostalgia, all the stories are good ones.*^ However everyone grows up, everyone gets older, and I didn’t want to be that guy who’s on call 24/7 anymore. In my 30’s I wanted to do something else.

So, I spent the last 3 years working in accounting departments, working for manufacturers and refining my skill set and experiences. It’s slowly been paying off; it’s tough starting over but it was worth it. Now I never have to bring my work home with me, and when the phone rings on the weekends it’s usually a telemarketer, not work!

So here I am about to embark on the next stage of my life, this time as a married dude. In a lot of ways I’ve become the guy I never wanted to be when I was a younger: The guy who never buys a CD by a new band because he thinks all the new bands suck. The guy who thinks nothing since 1978 has ever sounded as good. But you know what? I don’t give a fuck. I stick to my guns, always have and always will, and I’ll never go for the trends. Sure when I worked in the store I bought a lot of stuff, but my heart and soul will always be with the heaviest of metals.

Meat can bug me about the Danko Jones (ha ha),**^ but who cares…in the end he knows that I like what I like not because YOU think I should like it, but because I liked it.

This is another busy weekend…tomorrow our new bed gets delivered, tomorrow we’re going to hopefully pick our rings, and Sunday we meet with the DJ to cross the t’s and dot the lower-case j’s.

But for tonight, I think I shall rock to The Scream featuring John Corabi, and play Lego Star Wars. Yes I shall.


* This could have been the infamous “Bag of Rock” format that nearly derailed Sausagefest.

** The news was that I had been offered a permanent position, but I couldn’t say anything until papers were signed.

*** Record Store Tales.

*^ “Good” as in good stories, but not necessarily happy ones!

**^ Meat raked me over the coals for picking “Take Me Home” by Danko Jones as my tribute song.

Sunday Chuckle: The Farts

My journal is loaded with stuff that didn’t make it into the original Record Store Tales.  Sometimes I’ll let some of this material “squeak” out.  Here’s one!

Date: 2007/08/23 20:51
Title: Farts

I’ve been having the farts something fierce today. But not those juicy, squishy farts. These are the ones that are more whistle-y, flute-like. Which of course are some of the smelliest.

Yes, I journaled that.  Enjoy your Sunday.

#383: The Moment of Inspiration

#383: The Moment of Inspiration

I’m not comfortable using the word “writer” or “artist” when describing myself.  Where I’m concerned, I find it pretentious for myself to wear the guise of an “artist”.  But I do write, and what I have posted here does amount to my art.  Within the context of music reviews, I use this platform to be creative and express myself.  I’ve told my stories via Record Store Tales.  Even though I don’t like calling myself a “writer” per se, I do spend a lot of time writing and trying to come up with fresh ideas.  Writer’s block does exist.  Many days go by when I can’t be arsed to write anything down.

When the inspiration to create strikes, it’s usually in an inconvenient setting.  The car, where much of my music listening is done, has proven to be a great location for ideas.  Sometimes it’s a mall, or a grocery store.  Other times it’s in the middle of the night in bed!  The key is being able to take quick notes and write down your ideas before they are gone.  This takes determination but is well worth it, to tap those fleeting good ideas that we all get.

I’ve had one advantage that I’ve been happy to exploit: a huge backlog of unpublished reviews and stories.  When creativity fails to strike, I was always able to dip into the pile and polish work up for posting.  In a similar vein, my buddy Craig once told me, “Don’t be afraid to re-post a good idea that’s worth the exposure.”  So sometimes I will even revamp something you’ve read before in a new way, and hopefully you haven’t noticed.

Once the creative juices start flowing, keeping the faucet turned on is the next challenge.  My advice is to try to avoid second guessing yourself.  Keep your work accessible, but write for you.  Readers will offer their feedback.  Some will be good advice, some will not be.  I’ll give you two examples.

  • A friend of mine found the length of some of my earlier articles to be too much. I found that, even if I had a lot to say about a matter, it was better to break it down into smaller parts.  That way I can actually milk a story for longer, by posting multiple chapters instead of trying to squeeze it all into one.  I also reduce the risk of losing the reader’s attention over a long ass story.
  • A former co-worker at the Record Store made a point to send a lengthy email about my site.  He was upset about the things I was saying and how I said them. He didn’t approve of the “great pains” that I took to poke fun at one or two people that he knows.  This feedback had me questioning my direction, and considering whether I should have lightened things up or even written anything at all.  After some serious soul searching I concluded that there were no “great pains” taken; that the stories were fun for me and others, and would continue to be.  I poke fun and criticize myself more than anyone else in my stories.  I am my own worst critic, as are many of us.  I decided that I should not change my style to please a small but vocal minority of readers.

Keep writing.  Keep searching for inspiration.  It can be found in the unlikeliest of places, all you have to do is open your eyes and keep a pen nearby.  Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.  Take the time to compose your thoughts.  Don’t rush into posting something.  Be sure you’re satisfied before you hit that button.

Any time anybody verbalizes their opinions about anything and puts it out there on the internet, they take the chance that someone will take issue with what was said.  That goes for people like me who write about music, and it can go for anyone.  I’ve certainly read plenty of nasty reader comments over seemingly inoffensive subjects all over this World Wide Web of ours.  People can be nasty.  Many of them would rather take a shot at you and try to take you down a notch than live and let live.  But you can’t let that scare you off.  WordPress allows you to screen your comments if that’s something you think you need to do, but don’t be afraid of what others might say.

Let me sum up this writing advice in point form below.

  • When inspiration strikes no matter where, write it down! (Just park your car first.)
  • Listen to advice…
  • …but write for yourself.
  • Any good idea is worth re-using.
  • Don’t worry about how your art will be received. Fear kills creativity.

Enjoy the creative juices!  Preferably with a great song in the background!


#348: More Journals — SAUSAGEFEST 2007 Reportings


#348: More Journals — SAUSAGEFEST 2007 Reportings

If you’ve been reading along, then you know I kept a journal back in the Record Store days, from which Record Store Tales was partially culled.  The journals didn’t end there, and I’m still sifting through them looking for gold.  This entry might not be gold per se, but there may be some nuggets.  There are also some good rock n’ roll memories!  This was my second ever Sausagefest.  And it sounds like it was interesting at least.

Date: 2007/07/09 17:25
Title: SAUSAGEFEST 2007 Reportings

“What happens in the valley, stays in the valley”, but here are some Sausagefest memories for the record books. It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times….


  1. Helix made the list. Twice! At #100 was “Wish I Could Be There” and smokin it up at #13 was “Billy Oxygen”! Scott and I air-guitared like mental.
  2. “Zero The Hero”, my all time favourite Sabbath track from my all time favourite Sabbath album made it.
  3. More Maiden and Lizzy than I could shake a sausage at.
  4. Mmmm, lamb.
  5. Swimming.
  6. “Mandarin Dumpshoot”.


  1. It is my own fault. Jen asked me to open up the tent she loaned me and to practice putting it together. I, however, did not. I said, “There will be like 20 guys there. We’ll figure it out.” However, you can’t assemble a tent without the tent posts, and those I was lacking. Sure, I could blame Jen, but it’s my own fault for not checking. So I slept in my car. Second year in a row. It wasn’t so bad until the morning when I was crippled by a wicked leg cramp.
  2. No portapotty. I took a shit in the river. I had little choice.
  3. On the Saturday, I ate too much sausage (maybe a little undercooked, that last one), and vomited all over a scarecrow.

It was an amazing rock n’ roll party and I can’t wait for 2008. Since I’m getting married in August of ’08, this will be my BACHELORSAUSAGEFEST!

But that, dear friends, is another story.

#330: A Journey of Journaling (RSTs MkII: Getting More Tale)



#330: A Journey of Journaling 

Just because I left my old job at the Record Store didn’t mean I stopped journaling. It did slow down, but it’s interesting to review them today, having just completed the Record Store Tales. It’s fascinating to me how positive they are (in general) compared to the ones only 18 months prior. It’s also interesting how even over a year after leaving that place, certain people continued to terrify me. Even though the person I’ll call “the office bully” had no power over me anymore, I was still in the grips in fear at the mere thought. I’m seeing journal entries about this person haunting my thoughts over a year after my last encounter, and I’m reading words like “terror”. I didn’t realize how I’d been affected by the whole thing.  I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  It took years for me to really put it all together, and I’m still doing that.

My journals after the store are pretty bland by comparison to the ones before. There are still some pretty funny ones, such as a review of the movie Transformers (2007) that is so stupidly positive that there is no way I will post it here, not even for comedic value! I would simply lose all credibility, so forget it.  I remember dragging Jen out to see that stupid thing.

Of the journals I’ve re-discovered, one in particular jumped out at me as a great one to post first.

I won’t share the whole thing in its entirety as it includes a private email, but the first paragraph is pretty cool.  I had made a video on Youtube back then regarding the passing of Mark St. John.  I don’t have the video anymore, but it was pretty heartfelt and apparently others must have got that out of the video as well.  This journal preserved an email that I received from a cousin of Mark:

Date: 2007/04/07 05:17

I just got the most amazing email in regards to my youtube video (below) [now gone] about Mark St. John of Kiss:

“Thank you so much for your tribute to Mark. He was my cousin. Mom called to tell me the bad news. She said Aunt Terry said to look him up online to see all the posts etc. on different sites. It was really cool of you to make your RIP video. [content edited] Thanks again for what you said….he will be greatly missed.”

Stuff like that video, I just threw it together. It was a first take with no edits. But apparently it really touched Mark’s cousin.  This was yet another stepping stone in my realization that I should be online, talking about music.  I think that was a good decision.

Part 213: A Dandy Douche In Need is a Dandy Douche Indeed

A Dandy Douche In Need is a Dandy Douche Indeed

While digging through old papers, hard drives, and photos for this blog, I ran across some interesting journal entries.  I had forgotten this myself, but the handful of entries flooded back the memories.  They are regarding Dandy, a person about whom I have very little positive to say.  He brought me never-ending grief.

I remember that there was a fire downtown, and he lived near (or below?) the unit that ignited.  He lost everything in the fire due to water damage.  He couldn’t even go in to get his clothes, it was taped off.  For whatever reason (and I really cannot remember my thoughts to this day), I — me!? — organized a relief fund for him.

I remember Jonathan asking me why I wanted to help him.  I wish I knew what I told Jon.  My motivations are lost to me now.   I think part of the reason I did this was ignorance.  I didn’t know about half the shit he pulled, until after he quit his job at the record store.  If I had known then what I know now, would I have organized a relief fund?

I’ll let the unedited journals speak for themselves.  Only the names have been changed.

Date: 2004/05/18 19:43

I’m putting a collection together to help [Dandy] out after his fire. He had to buy clothes just to come to work today. So far I’ve collected $50, and by Thursday I hope to buy him some sweet gift certificates to replace his clothes and anything else essential he may need. I expect I’ll be able to get about $200 or so by Thursday afternoon. At least I certainly hope so.

You know, I’m not heartless. I can’t forgive [Dandy] for what he did…but that was nothing compared to this tragedy. I think anybody who couldn’t understand my doing this is really, really heartless. I don’t know how someone could feel that way about another person.

Date: 2004/05/19 10:31

Just sold one of my Zeppelin CDs [I had another version of it] and threw the proceeds into the [Dandy] fund.

Date: 2004/05/19 14:02

OK, Julie just stepped up to bat and gave $25 to [Dandy] via PayPal.

Date: 2004/05/20 21:36

Relief fund is now done, and I beat my goal.  I collected $220 for him.  Unfortunately, [someone] accidentally sent HIM an email that should have been sent to me, so he knows about it, there will be no surprise.

It’s actually kind of uncomfortable to read my younger self’s words with the years between us now.  It is what it is: LeBrain in the raw!