REVIEW: Brant Bjork – Jalamanta (Remixed and Remastered 2019)

BRANT BJORK – Jalamanta (Originally 1999, Remixed and Remastered 2019 Heavy Psych Sounds)

When the needle hits wax it won’t be long,
You got your radio tuned but it won’t play this song.

20 years ago, Jalamanta was one of my favourite albums in the world.  This is my third copy.  Partly instrumental, partly vocal, but 100% Brant Bjork.  It was his first solo album, and he played virtually everything himself.  The laid-back desert vibes are perfect for a summer evening chill-out.  Humid, sparse, exotic, varied compositions take you across a hazy landscape.

In 2019, Brant and engineer Tony Mason remixed Jalamanta, to take it the place they “always wanted it to go”.  The remixes are largely subtle, just making the album sound bigger in your ears.  The vocals might be a little less buried.  It’s still raw, and sparse, and all the things you always liked about Jalamanta.  Some songs have more noticeable differences.  More guitar on “Toot”.  Tracks tend to run longer than their previous fade-outs.  But there are things I enjoyed about the original that aren’t here.  The echoey lead vocal on “Toot” — “Cat scan, cat scan…”  That echo is gone, maybe so the sonic field wouldn’t be too crowded with that louder backing guitar?

This remix will never replace an original, especially when it was one of my favourites 20 years ago.  What is “Jalamanta” made of that makes it so tasty?  Only the most basic of ingredients.  Rolling bass and drums, simple unaffected guitar parts, and Brant’s laid back singing style.

Yeah, the man shakes me down and that’s why I’m broke.
The rich man’s got all the green but it ain’t the kind you smoke.
So we turn up the rock, and we roll it slow.
We’re always flying high, and the ride is always low.

Snakey guitars jab in and out of the speakers — one song is even called “Cobra Jab”.   Other tunes are more aggressive.  “Too Many Chiefs… Not Enough Indians” has a relentless and simple riff, with the snakey guitars carrying the melody over it like a wave.  Brant’s quiet vocal is hypnotic.  By contrast, “Defender of the Oleander” has a barely-there main riff while the snakey licks do all the brilliant melodic work.  Brant goes for hypnotic again on “Her Brown Blood”, a speedy run through the desert, with a cool monotone vocal right in the middle of your head.

Whichever version of Jalamanta you happen upon, you are guaranteed an incredible listening experience.  The new remix is certainly more three-dimensional, and will sound better on your big system.  But you will lose some of the charm of the original.  The 2009 vinyl used to be the way to go, with a beautiful full-colour booklet and Blue Oyster Cult cover “Take Me Away”.  But now you can get “Take Me Away” here on CD, albeit remixed.  Another bonus is exclusive to this CD — “Bones Lazy”, which segues out of “Defender of the Oleander” into the brilliant rocker “Low Desert Punk”.  And with the title “Bones Lazy”, you won’t be surprised that it is “Lazy Bones” backwards!  Like you’re watching Tenet.  Cool though.  Even though I knew what was likely coming, I felt like it fit right in.

Get a load of this, man.

Well I’m gettin’ up when the sun goes down,
And I shine ’em up and I hit the town.
Well I trim it clean and I roll it up,
And then I take it nice and slow…so what the fuck, man.

Jalamanta makes me feel that California sun way more than any Desert Sessions CD ever has.  You can taste it.  Let it sink into your lazy bones.   And as great as this new CD is sonically, it also makes me want to hear the original.  Nothing can truly upgrade a 20 years love affair with Jalamanta.  As a complimentary piece, I don’t regret owning or listening to it at all.  Hearing guitar parts that used to be beyond the fade is the kind of bait that we nerds line up for.  The 2009 vinyl, with the gorgeous embossed cover and all that delicious photography inside, will remain my preferred way to experience Jalamanta.  The 2019 remix will be the one to play when you want to examine it in more thorough detail.

(still) 5/5 stars


Original CD and vinyl releases seen below.


REVIEW: Brant Bjork – Keep Your Cool (2003)

Scan_20151226BRANT BJORK – Keep Your Cool (2003 Duna)

Been a while, cats, since I chilled to Keep Your Cool.  That’s what you do to this record.  Loaded with laid-back latino-influenced stoner rock jams, Keep Your Cool is designed with purpose.  In fact it’s all right there in the opening jam, “Hey, Monkey Boy”, loaded down with congas and one steamy groove.

“Hey, Monkey Boy!  Why you unemployed?” asks one character in the song, voiced by Bjork.

“‘Cause I’m jammin’!” answers Bjork, utilizing a different voice.

Mood now set, “Johnny Called” comes right from the garage: simple, laid back, but infectious.  Back in the Record Store, one of our store managers Joe “Big Nose” used to phone me up and sing it to me:  “Johnny called me up on the telephone, just to tell me I’m not alone!” he melodized.  “Huh?” I asked confused.  So “Big Nose” gave me the record — on LP.  Now we’re grooving.  The amusingly-titled “Rock-N-Rol’e” keeps it coming.  These are basic, sparsely adorned grooves with a nostalgic bent.  “Hey there Mr. DJ, won’t you play, some Rock-N-Rol’e!” sings Brant, in an ode to being a kid with a radio and some cheap wine.  In the blazing outro, you can hear Bjork begging for some ZZ Top or some AC/DC, because he wants his “chick” to hear some rock and roll!  The groove then changes to a stomp on “I Miss My Chick”, closing LP side one.  Brant explains what he misses about his “chick”, but this being a family site I won’t list them here!  This is a smoking jam.

Commencing with the instrumental title track “Keep Your Cool”, the second side begins with a laid-back Jalamanta vibe.  Then Brant’s “Gonna Make the Scene”, and he does this with another snakey, sparse but funky groove.  He takes a rare falsetto vocal on the chorus, recalling early Disco.  Dusky, quiet rolling bass dominates “Searchin'”, very different from prior Bjork songs.  This makes it a highlight of the album and perhaps even the Brant Bjork canon.  The relaxed mood maintains on the final song, “My Soul”, which is also the only long bomber on the record.  It descends into another quiet jam, concluding the record on a serene but appropriate note.

Great album — short, and to the point like a punk record.  Ultimately, not particular a standout given Bjork’s incredible solo discography.  Keep Your Cool is still not a purchase to regret.

4/5 stars

#433.9: Top 15 on the 15th (by Iron Tom Sharpe)

NOTE:  Because of the three Top 15 on the 15th posts today, there will be no posting for Wednesday.  A directory to all the Top 15 on the 15th posts can be found here.  Browse them all!

Getting More Tale #433.9 presents: A worldwide online event!
THE TOP 15 ON THE 15th – Guest shot by Iron Tom Sharpe

Latest to throw his hat into the Top 15 on the 15th ring is Iron Tom Sharpe, Meaford’s Greatest Athlete. One of the most knowledgeable rock fans in the country, Iron Tom is a national treasure. He is a former Record Store owner, and one of the Jedi masters who instructed me.

His message to me upon completion of his list: “Fuck that was tough…and I know I left off some big ones…I just know it…Ah fuck, The D! Max!”

There may be no Tenacious D, and there may be no Max Webster. But here is one kick-ass #Top15onthe15th.


WARP15. The Sword – Warp Riders

MASTER14. Metallica – Master of Puppets

PERFECT13. Deep Purple – Perfect Strangers

BONGO12. Frank Zappa – Bongo Fury

PHYSICAL11. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

SKY10. Kyuss – Sky Valley

FAIR9. Van Halen – Fair Warning

PHASES8. Willie Nelson – Phases and Stages

CLOSE7. Yes – Close to the Edge

POWERSLAVE6. Iron Maiden – Powerslave

ACTION'5. Fu Manchu – The Action Is Go

ALRIGHT4. Steve Earle – I Feel Alright

MISPLACED3. Marillion – Misplaced Childhood

II2. Queen – Queen II

MOVING1. Rush – Moving Pictures



Almost made it:

  • Orange Goblin – Time Traveling Blues
  • Crosby Stills & Nash – CSN
  • Pink Floyd – Animals
  • Motorhead – Another Perfect Day
  • Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell


And finally…an extra bonus.  Iron Tom’s Top 5 Live!

5. Iron Maiden – Live After Death

4. Jimi Hendrix – Band Of Gypsys

3. Supertramp – Paris

2. Dire Straits – Alchemy Live

1. Eric Clapton – Just One Night

REVIEW: Brant Bjork – Jalamanta (1999/2009 vinyl)


BRANT BJORK – Jalamanta (1999 / 180 gram vinyl 2009 reissue)

I still remember the circumstances surrounding me originally getting this on CD.  As recounted in an earlier Record Store Tale, Tom and I were at a party.  We were listening to some sHeavy, and Tom mentioned the Brant Bjork solo album as another must-have.  Being a fan of Brant Bjork’s drumming from Fu Manchu, I ordered it without hearing a single track.  Tom attempted to describe it by calling it “a cross between Fu Manchu and surf rock.”  Interesting.

10 years later, when Bjork reissued it on vinyl, he added the UFO-centric Blue Oyster Cult cover bonus track, “Take Me Away”.  Automatic re-buy.  It doesn’t really sound like the rest of the album, but who cares?  It’s Brant Bjork covering Blue Oyster Cult.  But that’s not the only reason to re-buy Jalamanta.

What a beautiful record! The first thing you’ll notice is the new cover.  All black with the Brant Bjork skull embossed.  Beautiful.  Open it up to get at the booklet with all new photos. The booklet truly is a work of art. Remember when you used to buy an LP, and you’d sit down in front of your stereo staring at the pictures, trying to make out every little detail until the record was done? Brant Bjork takes us back to that time.

The cover page is what appears to be an awesomely greasy Mexican meal, and then the final page is the empty plate — a satisfied customer. Just like with this LP.  You can really get stuffed on the grooves and tones contained herein.  There are plenty of low-key, incessantly grooving instruments.  The music is simple, repetitive, but effective.  It’s not heavy, but it feels weighty nonetheless.

The lyrics are included.  Here’s an example, from “Automatic Fantastic”:

The man shakes me down, that’s why I’m broke. Rich man’s got all the green but it ain’t the kind you smoke. So we turn up the rock, and we roll it slow. We’re always flying high, and the ride is always low.

Musically, if you haven’t heard this album before, I don’t really know how to describe the songs.  Bjork plays almost everything himself, and the vibe is laid back.  He sings on every song but “Toot” which is handled by Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson). He’s chosen to mix his vocals way back and emphasize the unadorned guitars and drums.  The mix is spare, quiet at times, loud at others, but always trippy. Imagine driving down a deserted highway on a hot summer night with the windows down. This is the soundtrack to that ride.

This is one of those album that sounds like it was just meant to be heard on 180 gram vinyl. There’s no sound like it in the world. I noticed a heck of a lot more bass, the bassline on “Lets Get Chinese Eyes” being particularly sublime. This album just sounds stunning now.

5/5 stars

  1. “Lazy Bones” – 1:29
  2. “Automatic Fantastic” – 6:59
  3. “Cobra Jab” – 3:18
  4. “Too Many Chiefs…Not Enough Indians” – 3:44
  5. “Sun Brother” – 4:45
  6. “Lets Get Chinese Eyes” – 4:45
  1. “Toot” – 5:58
  2. “Defender of the Oleander” – 7:53
  3. “The Low Desert Punk” – 5:20
  4. “Waiting for a Coconut to Drop” – 4:17
  5. “Her Brown Blood” – 4:16
  6. “Indio” – 4:15
  7. “Take Me Away” – 5:35 (Blue Öyster Cult cover) vinyl only bonus track

GUEST SHOT: 30 Albums that Uncle Meat Thinks You Should Visit (Or Re-Visit) Part 3

Meat is back for the final installment of his essential list:  30 Albums that Uncle Meat Thinks You Should Visit (Or Re-Visit).

Missed any?

Here’s Part 1.  

Part 2 is here.

And make no mistake, Meat wrote every word.  No messing around from me.  Enjoy!


When The Beatles released Rubber Soul in 1965, Brian Wilson heard something that inspired him to try and make his own masterpiece.  The result was Pet Sounds, which saw The Beach Boys discard their typical surf-inspired ditties and create an album that will always be a classic.  I remember when I first heard this album I was completely blown away that it was a 1966 album.  The overall sound of it is so full and rich, and it’s funny how everyone thinks The Beatles main influence for Sgt. Peppers was drug-related, and I am sure it was, but that classic would never have been without this classic album first.  Do yourself a favour and re-discover The Beach Boys by checking this out.



There are a lot of people that think that the QOTSA album Rated R, is the band’s first release.  In all reality it is their third release if you count the Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age EP. However, it is a shame that this album has been somewhat overlooked.  I think it is by far their best album.  To gauge just how much I got into this album could never be measured.  For years, I stated that this album was my favorite album ever with distortion.  Now trust me I realize the exaggeration in that statement (I have since relented) but it doesn’t take away how brilliant I believe this album truly is.   This is a true collection of groovy rock songs, so much so that QOTSA could have titled this album exactly that.  I have not been a fan of the last few QOTSA albums, and frankly I wish they could harness this approach once again.  Check out the included track “Avon”.  An absolute air-drumming seminar at its finest!!



One of the albums previously on this list, Joe Jackson’s Big World, was a live album containing new material.  Considering the content of this particular album, that format was never more impressive or more challenging than Zappa’s album Roxy & Elsewhere.   From beginning to end, it’s hard to believe the complexity of what was happening onstage during these recordings.  From the colourful vocals of Napoleon Murphy Brock, to the guitar-fueled madness of Zappa himself, this is my personal favorite of all of Zappa’s recordings.  Songs like “Pygmy Twilite” and “Village of the Sun” are absolute genius.  The concert film of these recordings is STILL in limbo for whatever reason.  Included is a clip of the song “Montana”, recorded during these sessions but not included on the album itself.




I simply couldn’t do a list like this without including Dream Theater.   I like heavy music and I like progressive music.  This band combines those two qualities perhaps better than any band ever has, and on this album its done to perfection.  This is your classic “concept album” and tells an interesting story that needs to be experienced.  But the true experience of this album is that it is a piece of song-writing and musical brilliance.  If you have seen Rush’s biopic Beyond The Lighted Stage,   you might recognize the now-familiar voice of long-time Rush producer Terry Brown (who also produced the vocals on this album).   The album sees John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy at their monster best and requires many listens to truly appreciate.  I am not a “Rolling Stone” magazine guy myself, but it does say something that in 2012 they named this album as the Number One all-time progressive album, beating out Rush’s 2112 and Yes’s  Close to The Edge.


This album starts off with a bang, it also ends with a bang and actually this album is just one big resounding rhythmic bang.  After a few good, but not great albums (in my opinion), new drummer Brant Bjork was brought into Fu Manchu.  This would result in one of the greatest “Stoner-Rock” albums of all time.  This is literally the perfect driving album.  Sometimes you find yourself emulating driving just sitting and listening to it.   You can hear a huge Sabbath influence on this album, at least in the sound of the instruments and the driving low end.  Sometimes the vocals can leave a bit to be desired, but it is not really singing in the first place.  Almost sounds like a dude talkin’ to himself, which adds to the coolness of this album.  One of my favorite albums of the 1990’s indeed.


Somewhere around early 1995, I walked into a Sunrise Records where Tom (Tom has been mentioned many times in Mike’s blogs) was working.  At this point Tom and I only really knew each other from local concerts we would run into each other at.  The second I walked in he begged me to check out this Kyuss album on the listening station.  I remember the look on his face when I didn’t instantly “get it”.  Years later I had to bow to him and thank him for trying to open my eyes earlier.  No one knows how to set a mood quite like Kyuss.  The last album listed was Brant Bjork’s first album with Fu Manchu.  This album is the last Kyuss album featuring Brant Bjork on drums.  No coincidence here.  This man knows how to wash songs with a subtle intensity.  Check out the song “Demon Cleaner” sometime, with Josh Homme singing and see how Queens of the Stone Age were born.  This album has been listed as a major influence for many of the heavy metal greats of the day.



The Rheostatics are definitely one of my favorite bands of all time, and the artist I have seen live the most in my life.  Any band that calls their first album Greatest Hits obviously has a good sense of humour.  There really is no album that quite captures “Canadiana” quite like Whale Music.  Not to be confused with the later-released official soundtrack of the same name, this album ranges from the sweet to the insane.  Take the song “Queer” for example.  “Well the screen door is still broken, since you kicked your Kodiaks through it” and “I scored a hat trick on the team that called you a fuckin’ queer”, are lyrics that paint a Canadian portrait of everyday life.  I love this album and frequently re-visit it only to find it gets better with age.  Notable appearances on this album are Neil Peart on a song called “Guns” and The Barenaked Ladies (credited as The Scarborough Naked Youth Choir).   Included here is the amazing opening track.  Check it out eh ….


Simply put, this is my favorite “Pop” album of all time.  I am not a Ween fan per se. I cannot say I have actually connected strongly with any of their other albums.  But when this album was introduced to me, it grabbed a hold of me and it will never let go.  First of all, the sound on this album is absolutely wonderful.  Second of all, the melodies on this album (with sprinkles of Ween weirdness of course) are something very reminiscent of The Beatles.  I have always tagged this album as their “Beatles tribute”, and it was pointed out to me by a friend that “The White Album? Sgt. Peppers?  White Pepper?”. Now I have not read that in fact that is what the name truly means, but I think that is a very good guess.  I have played this album for a few musician friends of mine and the result is pretty much the same across the board.  White Pepper  simply “hooks” you in, it is that simple. Check out the Trey Parker and Matt Stone directed video for “Even If You Don’t” included here.



I was working at the “Record Store Chain” Ladano blogs about when I was first introduced to this album.  It was instantly a revelation of what I do actually like about Country Music, and was the reason I became a fan of the older-style albums of the genre.   Not enough can be said about the genius of Rick Rubin.  The man who changed the careers of Slayer, The Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers got a hold of Johnny Cash and re-introduced him as the icon he always was.  Hiring Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers as the backing band for the second American Recordings Johnny Cash release was a stroke of brilliance.  The opening track “Rowboat” sees Cash cover a Beck song and make it his own.  “Sea of Heartbreak” is a melodic ass-kicker.  Everyone by now knows of the genius cover of Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage”,  so good in fact that for a long period of time Chris Cornell refused to play it live stating “It’s not our song anymore.  It’s Johnny’s now”.  No album of this genre has ever sounded bigger, if not any genre.  A must have album.

VS.  –  PEARL JAM (1993)

This album had to be included on this list.  I understand that everyone looks at Pearl Jam’s  first album as this massive crowning achievement, but frankly I didn’t get it then and I really still don’t.  Their second album I think is the best album of their career and probably my favorite “Grunge” album ever.  Every song on this album is a classic to me and it does seem weird to call an album that was a Number One album on Billboard for five weeks straight “underrated”.  But I truly do feel this album gets overlooked and that’s a shame.  I find Ten to be kind of boring and redundant to be honest.  This album is still fresh to me.   I hope when it’s all said and done that this album is what truly defines them.


Part 75: 2012 Sausagefest Report part two

Haven’t read part one yet?  Click here.

Since pictures speak a thousand words, I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking this time.

The countdown resumed Saturday afternoon.  “Love Gun” from Alive II was my pick.  We were inundated with Mammoth, more Tool, more Maiden, and awesomely enough, “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock, light years ahead of its time.  We also heard from old stanby’s such as Rush (“Between the Wheels”), and others like Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dire Straits, and Starship (?)(thanks Zach).

The #1 song on the countdown was Kyuss’ “Gardenia”.  Oh what a beauty.  Must get.

Meat’s going to post the whole countdown when he’s back online (see: last installment) which should be soon.   Thank God for warranties.

Speaking of warranties, my car deck had to be replaced.  Sausagefest’s rainstorm killed it, I guess.  It took with it the new Tenacious D disc.  But the unit was covered on warranty so all is well.

It’s always sad when Sausagefest is over, and we always look forward to the next one.  It reminds me of what it was like to be a kid.  At the end of summer holidays, sometimes you waved goodbye to friends and said, “See you next summer,” and you just can’t wait for next summer to come.  That’s what Sausagefest is like.  I’d do it again next week in a heartbeat!

Part 74: 2012 Sausagefest Report part one

What happens at Sausagefest stays at Sausagefest.  That’s been the rule since day one, 11 years ago.  Having said that, I can talk about some of my own experiences this year, the best Sausagefest I’ve experienced to date.

For more photos please go to GALLERY: Sausagefest 2012

Sausagefest 2012 has come and gone once again.  This year for me was full of new music, new flavours, and new faces.   There were still four alumni from my record store days.  Older, wiser, maybe a little fatter, definitely a little greyer.  All four of us sported white somewhere on our heads….

Meat and a few others has spent the previous night seeing Tenacious D.  I’m hoping I can get him to do a concert review because that’s a tale in itself.  Suffice to say, I can’t imagine a better preface to Sausagefest than a Tenacious D show.

Meat, myself and a first-timer named Chris made the trek in my vehicle (Dougie Carmore) rocking to the “D” and stopping only for beer and ice.  We arrived at our hallowed, sacred meeting place in record time and began setting up camp.

For me, that was pretty easy since I have chosen to sleep in my car most years.  The new PA system was set up and shortly thereafter, the rock began.

The countdown was different this year:  A top 75 instead of 100, culled from the 31 submitted lists.  In addition, 31 tribute songs, one for each submittee!  A total of 106 songs plus comedy sketches and about 10 “LeBrain” bits about the tunes, trying to do my best Jeff Woods impression.  The countdown took two evenings and I don’t know how many hours….

But it was solidly amazing all the way through.  That first night, we heard my tribute song which was my #1 this year:  “Strutter”.  We also heard plenty of Rush, tool, Sabbath, and everything else too.  And that was just the first night.  Saturday, we’d hear the top half…

The equipment was (mostly) put under a tarp, and we all went to our respective sleeping places.  I say “mostly” because not only did Meat leave all his clothes outside, but he also seemed to have soaked his laptop charger.  I awoke in the middle of a thunderstorm.  I think the storm lasted about three hours.

Then, I discovered that my car stereo was out.  Kaput.  How?  Must have been the storm.  But it wasn’t a fuse.  We went into town for an amazingly greasy good breakfast and hit up a car parts store for fuses.  It wasn’t a fuse.  At presstime it isn’t fixed yet.  So my car stereo is busted, and Meat still doesn’t have a charger for his laptap.  Would we trade the weekend in for anything else?

Of course not!

Check back later for part two.

GALLERY: Sausagefest 2012

It has come, and it has gone.  It was epic.  I will post more details later.  For now, enjoy the gallery.

For the record, the #1 song this year was “Gardenia” by Kyuss, and the mix tape features guest appearances from Jeff Woods, Craig Fee, and Stephen Hawking (although I’m pretty sure that last one was fake).

Part 14: Record Shows, Parties, and Quiet Riot

You do strange things when drinking

You do strange things when drinking

RECORD STORE TALES Part 14:   Record Shows, Parties, and Quiet Riot

Guys from record stores do know how to party.  The only true allnighters I ever pulled happened during the years at the record store.  Everything else I called an allnighter, I actually slept for a couple hours.

But trust me folks…guys from record stores play the best music when they party.  One night in London (Ontario) we stayed up for what seemed like forever, playing the dumbest fucking drinking games.  My drink was Captain Morgan’s (spiced) and Coke.  However we were playing this stupid fucking card game.  I think it was called Kings in the Corner or something?  Each card was a rule?  2 of anything meant you take two drinks, 3, meant you take 3 drinks, etc.  And then on some cards, like 6, you’d GIVE 6 drinks to someone else.  And a joker meant you took a shot of Wild Turkey.  Here’s the photo of my first shot of Wild Turkey from that very night.

r-l: Me, Tom, Meat

Like I said, we knew how to party.  From that night forward, when I got loaded, my nickname became “Jim”.  And as I took a shot, they’d say, “Here comes Jim!!” Anyway, who gives a crap about that?  There’s loads of people who partied harder.  We party better. 

The best stimulant imaginable is music, and I heard some of the best music ever at those parties. The first time I ever heard Kyuss was at the party at Tom’s place in London.  He didn’t start with Kyuss, though.  He started with some bootleg Black Sabbath video from 1970.  It was taped in some…well, it probably was a highschool cafeteria.  That’s what it looked like.  It was awesome.  It was easily in the top five times I ever truly had my mind blown.

During “Black Sabbath” itself, Ozzy got this crazed look in his eye!  You could see it!  Then he just started going mad on stage, thrashing about, that leather jacket of his flailing about him.  Ozzy’s said before he has another person inside him when he gets crazy, someone they call “Him”.  Maybe what they captured on tape that night was an appearance by “Him”?  Who knows?

The cool thing though is another of my top five mind-blows of all time happened that night too.  Kyuss. I made a nice bed on the floor out of pillows and blankets and stuff, and I passed out in front of the stereo.  I woke up a short time later, as some of the guys were heading out (walking) to catch last call at the local pop shop.  I just kind of laid there listening to the music…I was falling in and out of consciousness to this heavy, drony music.  It was awesome.  I didn’t know who it was.

I was told the following morning that it was Kyuss.  Tom told me he left the Kyuss / Queens of the Stone Age split EP in the player.  From that I pieced together that the song I must have heard was “Fatso Forgotso”.   I still remember how it rolled over me like a wave that night.

We had to be up fairly early the next morning, as we were hitting a record show in London.  If you don’t know what a record show is, I’ll take a moment to explain.  If you do, skip the next paragraph

A record show is usually held in a large room like a conference room in a hotel, for example.  Dozens of vendors gathered their best, their overpriced, their rare, and their shelf warmers for you to pick through and haggle over.  They are a record store dude’s dream, and his VISA card’s nightmare.

Just to give you a taste, here’s some of my best finds.

  • At the show in question, I actually found the first two Japanese Quiet Riot albums with Randy Rhoads.
  • Elsewhere, I found a great book about Alice Cooper called Billion Dollar Baby that we’ll talk about another time.  I later found out it was worth many times what I paid.
  • LP of Faith No More’s incredible Angel Dust album which came with an exclusive remix of “MidLife Crisis”.
  • Oh, this isn’t a find, but we did see Greg Goddovitz (Goddo) at one.  He was wearing socks and sandals.

We had a greasy breakfast (sausage, eggs, toast, OJ) and headed out.  I remember it was freezing.  Then you get to the hotel, pay your admission (usually somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 or so) and go in.  And then you’d be sweating your parka off in this crowded room full of long-hairs, skullets, and mohawks.  Guy to girl ratio:  About 4-1.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I found these two Quiet Riot albums with Randy Rhoads.  I want to post a more detailed blog about this later on, because I truthfully don’t know if I bought a bootleg or a promo.  As far as I know there has never been a CD release of these two albums.  Yet, that doesn’t exclude that Sony might have pressed some sample copies as a prototype before deciding not to proceed.  Or perhaps they were threatened to be sued, who knows?  Metal Health was released on Pasha/Columbia which later was absorbed by Sony.  My CDs are marked as Sony promos.  Everything about the CDs screams “official” except that I am certain they didn’t officially release a CD anywhere at any time.

Regardless, they sound great and I paid what was then a fair price for a bootleg, which would have been $30 for a new, mint bootleg.  I would have been willing to pay up to $35 for a good sounding bootleg and they would always let you sample it anyway.  So I consider this one of my best scores.  I’ve never run across any other copies, bootleg or otherwise, since then.  It was meant to be.

We drove back to Kitchener tired as hell but it was worth it.  I’m sure there are people out there who don’t understand how you could pay $30 for a bootleg CD when you can just download it for free.  And I’m sure someone else could explain it to you better than I can, because I don’t really have a good reason why it’s worth it.

Except I fucking love music, and when you fucking love music, especially when it’s one of the first bands you ever liked, that’s what you do.