music

#620: The Retired Jedi Master (of Rock)

I call this picture “Flying Elbow Drop and a Schnauzer”

GETTING MORE TALE #620: The Retired Jedi Master (of Rock)

It is always sad when one of my old Jedi Masters of Rock loses their passion for it.

I think for Bob, that began when he entered college. While Bob taught me the ins and outs of Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, and Motley Crue, he was drifting away from heavy metal. There is nothing wrong with diversifying, but his passion for the heavier side of things was waning.

I remember in the summer of ’91 when Motley Crue released their awesome new groove-laden single, “Primal Scream”. I asked Bob if he liked it, and his response was that the new Motley was “too heavy”. My heart broke in two pieces that day. I was so excited about that track. Motley were doing exactly what I wanted them to do: turning it up and giving no fucks. Bob just wasn’t into that.

His tastes were changing. I think a big part of it was that the girls he liked at college weren’t into heavy metal. Bob was checking out more commercial sounds and ballads. One of his favourite groups was Frozen Ghost.  I also remember he was very much into Bad Company’s Holy Water. Meanwhile I was digging into the roots of metal and the bands of the future as well: from Deep Purple to I Mother Earth.  Our paths diverged.  I couldn’t be less interested in new Bad Company, but I was intent on collecting the entire Black Sabbath back catalogue.  It made me a little sad, but I’m not regretful about where my explorations took me over the years.

I think it can be summed up as below:

1. The girls we liked didn’t listen to metal.
2. Bob’s tastes diversified while he outgrew metal.
3. I doubled down on metal, going all in. The girls might not like metal, but maybe they’d appreciate my don’t-give-a-fuck attitude?

Bob’s method got him dates. My method did not! But my musical journey took me far and wide.  From the deep neon coloured oceans of Frank Zappa, to the craggy peaks of Mount Marillion, and back to the Valley of Judas Priest. As real life took over – job, wife, kids – Bob was no longer the music head that I was. He has always been a hard worker, and a family guy. My passion only grew deeper. The longer, heavier and more complex the tunes, the more interested I was in the band. I loved musicianship. Ballads were starting to sound the same to me, and there were some cool new sounds coming out of the woodwork.

Life took Bob and I in different directions. He met a lovely lady named Trish and now has four kids. I have none.  If I had four kids, would I still have time to invest in my passion, music? Bob’s kids keep him very busy, believe me!

Bob sold off his collection many years ago. He had some amazing Iron Maiden 12” singles and picture discs. I bought a few of his singles, but there was one tie-dyed bootleg picture disc EP that I would have loved to get my hands on. I couldn’t tell you anything about it today, except that it was Iron Maiden. He had to do what he had to do. It’s gone now and he has little recollection at all about it.  That information is sadly lost to me now.

Not every Jedi Master of Rock stays in the trenches forever. Some do, and end up writing about it on the internet. Bob may have retired his rock and roll shoes, but his influence lives on right here in these pages.  Thank you for your wisdom and friendship.

 

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#619: State of the Rock — FYC!

I didn’t plan on writing anything on this subject until next year, but here goes.

First of all:  Thank you.

Thank you for reading and following for the last 5 ½ years.  Thank you for your comments, your emails, and in some cases your valued friendship!

Thank you for joining me as we talked about music and all sorts of miscellaneous tangents.  Thanks for sharing your points of view!  Thank you for being interested enough to read about my life at the Record Store, and after.

This is where we get serious.

A few weeks ago, my wife the incredible Mrs. LeBrain was diagnosed with cancer.  This is on top of her major, decade long struggle with epilepsy.  It feels like another kick in the shins.  We made some major progress on the epileptic seizures this year, but now we have this new setback.

I’m not going to get into the details, except to say that right now, we are told the prognosis is good.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t fear, or pain.  Pain exists daily for her, and fear is probably right there with it.  She has a fighting attitude.  We both do.  In my role as supporter, it’s my job to keep her going.  It’s a role I wouldn’t trade with anyone else.  We are all dealt different cards in life.  I’ve been a supporter for a long time now.  It’s not an easy job, but I have a gift for it, I guess.

Being a supporter might not be as difficult as being the one with cancer, but it does require time, and lots of energy.  I talked about having writer’s block a few weeks back.  I expect that there will be times in the weeks to come where I won’t have any energy to write.

I know you understand that.  I know there’s no pressure to write every day, except the pressure I put on myself.  And Jen has put no pressure on me to cut back or do less writing.

I continue to write because I feel good doing it.  I have been a creative personality for as long as I can remember.  Writing about what I love – music – brings me great happiness.  It helps me forget, for a short while, the real struggle of our lives.  Reading your comments is its own form of joy.  After all, writing is only half of the equation if nobody is there to read it.

Again – thank you for reading.  You probably didn’t know that it pumps me up, like fuel injection.  The first thing I do every morning is read the comments.

Because even the supporter needs to take care of themselves, I continue to do what I do.  I must do what makes me happy.  I don’t plan on stopping for this.  As much as I love to write for you, I do it mostly for me.

There are going to be times when I’m too tired physically, mentally or emotionally to work.  There may be some days with no new content.  I’ve been having trouble dedicating time to finishing the KISS Re-Review Series.  Now you know why.

This is not going to stop us.  We have the best medical team, and family to support us.  We have friends who have offered to be there with us in this fight.  I’m confident we are going to beat this.  I’m looking forward to getting it all behind us.

We have a busy schedule in the coming weeks.  Lots of appointments and tests and travel.  If I miss a day, or two, or three, don’t worry.  It’s just us taking on a bigger challenge, together as a team like always.  But when we beat it, and I’m sure it’s “when”, I know you’ll still be here.

Thank you for your support.  When I feel we have something to update, I’ll let you know how it’s going.  Until then, stay safe and healthy this season.  We have the upcoming Christmas bounty, and all the year end lists to look forward to.  Please continue to join me as we rock and roll all nite (and part of every day).

Fuck you, cancer!

Mike (LeBrain)

 

#617: Now! 2

Welcome to…
…Hosted by Vinyl Connection

GETTING MORE TALE #617: Now! 2

“Have you had a lot of people returning this CD?” asked the irritated mom standing at the front counter.

“Not that I know of,” I answered, truthfully.  Unless one copy counts as “a lot”.

“Well this is the second copy I got from your store!  And it won’t play!”

The steaming woman handed me her copy of Now! 2.  This was a Canadian spinoff from the popular Now That’s What I Call Music series.  All pop hits.  And the CD was a mess.  A totally destroyed disc.  Instead of a nice, clean surface, it was a series of tight concentric circles.  You could feel them.  It looked like somebody tried to carve LP grooves onto a CD.  Even the plastic case was already a skating rink.

I’d seen this kind of damage before.  Car CD players were notorious for that kind of scratching.  The technology of the 1990s didn’t make for very good portable CD players.  I saw plenty of discs with the circular damage.  A CD player’s laser can’t hope to read a disc looking like that.  And they didn’t come out of the case that way.  Yes, CDs can be damaged with you buy them.  Usually that’s from the packaging process and results in a few cracks or large scratches.  But patterns of concentric circles didn’t come out of the box.  That was caused by a CD player – period.  It used to blow customers minds when I’d ask if they owned a car or portable CD player just by looking at their damaged discs.  I was never wrong.

Additionally, even though I told her otherwise, I’d seen that kind of damage once before on a Now! 2 disc…returned by the same woman a few days before!  Same story then too, only I wasn’t working that day.  The lady claimed to have bought the CD like that, so our helpful staff exchanged the disc for her.  Now she was returning the replacement copy too.  Two copies, utterly and carelessly destroyed.

I’m sure the lady couldn’t fathom that it was her kids who wrecked the CD with their portable players.  Little Timmy or little Suzie wouldn’t lie about such things.

Because we had a “no questions asked” exchange policy, I had to do the exchange.  But I made sure it was the last one.

I grabbed another new copy of Now! 2.

“I’m going to open this CD right now,” I explained, “so you can see its condition right out of the package.”  I cut off the shrink wrap.

I carefully removed the CD from the case and showed it to her.  “As you can see this one is clean and brand new.”  She nodded yes.

“This is the way they should always look coming out of the wrapper,” I explained.  “Since you’ve seen this one for yourself, we know it’s in good shape.  I’m going to write that on your receipt.”

She said “OK”.  I took her receipt and wrote, “CD was opened for customer in perfect condition – NO EXCHANGES.”  I signed it and handed it to her with her third and final brand new copy of Now! 2.

We didn’t have any more problems with the lady and her destructive kids after that.  Fortunately our distributor let us return both wrecked copies of Now! 2.  They didn’t have to.

“Now” that’s what I call CD abuse!


1. “Wannabe” Spice Girls 2:52
2. “That Girl” Maxi Priest featuring Shaggy 4:00
3. “Mouth” Merril Bainbridge 3:21
4. “Your Woman” White Town 4:18
5. “You Were Meant for Me” (Unreleased radio version) Jewel 3:13
6. “I Love You Always Forever” Donna Lewis 3:59
7. “Spiderwebs” No Doubt 4:28
8. “No Diggity” Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre 5:03
9. “Da’ Dip” Freak Nasty 3:52
10. “Jerk” Kim Stockwood 4:12
11. “Fastlove” (Summer Mix) George Michael 4:40
12. “Wrong” (Todd Terry Remix Edit) Everything but the Girl 3:55
13. “On & On” Erykah Badu 3:45
14. “Twisted” Keith Sweat 4:11
15. “I’m Still in Love with You” New Edition 4:39
16. “I Don’t Want to Think About It” Wild Strawberries 3:45
17. “Barely Breathing” Duncan Sheik 4:14

 

 

#615: “Shhhh! Be quiet, we’re recording!”

A prequel to Getting More Tale #344:  Childhood Recording Sessions.

 

GETTING MORE TALE #615:  “Shhhh, be quiet, we’re recording!”

 

Kids today have it easy!  Want a song?  Just copy and paste a file.  There’s no skill in it.  Not like we had to do it when we were really young.

My old Sanyo tape deck didn’t have audio in and audio out jacks.  It didn’t have a dual tape deck.  It had a headphone plug and that was it.  You couldn’t record anything except with the built-in microphone.

Like kids of the 80s always would, we improvised and did the best with the equipment we had.  Recording back then required planning and discipline for pretty shoddy results.

How did we do it?  In the most primitive way imaginable.

Step one:  Phone a friend who also had a tape deck.

No dual tape deck?  No problem, all you needed was a friend who also had something to play music on.  Come on over!

Step two:  Shhhhhh!  Be quiet!

We’d find a space in the house without a lot of commotion.  In our house, that was the basement.  We’d set up two tape decks, facing each other, about three or four feet apart.  One for playing, one for recording.

We’d tell all parents and younger siblings to “be quiet” and “stay out”!  Once this message was received we could begin recording.  Press “record” on one tape deck and “play” on the other.  Then, very very quietly, step out of the room let the tapes run until the whole side was recorded, open air style, in glorious mono.

The end product was usually awful, but as pre-teens we didn’t know any better.  You could usually hear us whispering at the start or stop.

This is how I first got Styx’s song “Mr. Roboto”.  It’s how I made copies of my Quiet Riot Metal Health tape for my friends.  I sold them for $1 per copy.  I thought I was some kind of entrepreneur!  I even recorded the audio of Star Wars off the TV so I could listen to it, before we had a VCR.

Hard to imagine this was the best we could do, but for years we made it work!

 

#613: Writer’s Block

GETTING MORE TALE #613: Writer’s Block

Writer’s block?  I’ve got it.  Can’t tell?  That’s because I have built up a backlog of posts ready to fill the gap when needed.  It’s called planning ahead.  Being prepared for the inevitable.  Writer’s block strikes when it wants to.

Staring at giant piles of CDs…over 3000 of them aching to be listened to, reviewed, discussed, and appreciated.

“I can’t find anything I wanna listen to.”

Collecting music for over 30 years.  Selling it to the public for 12.  Managing a Record Store for 10.

“I can’t think of any good stories to talk about.”

Fuck you, writer’s block!  Can’t be inspired to write about anything?  Then I’ll write about you, writer’s block!  Take that, you asshole.

There are ways around just about anything – especially when the only thing stopping you is you.

It’s absolutely incredible that I can be sitting here with over 3000 of my favourite pieces of music and can’t be arsed to put two thoughts together.  What’s the deal?  Well, I’m distracted.  Distracted by real life, by loved ones who are more important than words, and by sheer exhaustion.

Take a break?  I am on a break!  See above note about backlog and try to keep up!

Writing is one of my great joys.  Music is another.  Combine the two together and I have the most enjoyable, rewarding creative endeavour.  It’s work, but it doesn’t pay very well, so in reality it’s pleasure.

It’s a pain in the ass when my brain refuses to be inspired.  That’s life.  It could get worse before it gets better.  Sometimes, the heart lies elsewhere.  Family comes first, as it should.  Life happens whether you like it or not.

I love putting an article or review together.  The process of polishing and finishing one is actually even more enjoyable than the writing.  Coming up with accompanying photos, replacing old tired words with better ones – it’s all fun and invigorating.  Seeing the finished published product and reading the comments are all things that bring me great happiness.

Even though I currently “can’t find anything to listen to,” I have no intention of stopping.  I’ve slowed down in the past – 2016 had fewer posts than 2017 – but this is far too much fun.

Fuck you, writer’s block.  Writing about music isn’t a chore, it’s just the opposite.  I won’t let you stop me.

 


Bon Jovi wrote “While My Guitar Lies Bleeding in My Arms” about writer’s block

#610: 25 Years Ago – Digital Compact Cassettes

GETTING MORE TALE #610:  25 Years Ago – Digital Compact Cassettes

Every once in a while, you stumble upon some old obsolete media format that you never knew existed in the first place.  25 years ago, the Digital Compact Cassette was announced by Philips and Matsushita.  Philips and Sony launched the CD together, but this time Philips sought a new partner for its Digital Compact Cassettes.  It was designed to replace the standard audio cassette in a way that CD hadn’t yet:  it was recordable.  It was a direct rival to the Minidisc and DAT tape, neither of which caught traction.

The 1992 Digital Compact Cassette player had one benefit that the other formats lacked.  Players were backwards compatible.  You could play all your old tapes on them as well as the new DCC tapes.  The tapes themselves looked much like cassettes but with spool holes on one side only.  An added feature was a sliding metal guard, similar to those on floppy discs, to protect the tape inside.  Different players were marketed, including components for your home system, portable Walkman-like devices, and car tape decks.  Signalling the shape of things to come, there was even one player that could connect to a desktop PC.

Another benefit to the new format was that players used fixed magneto-resistive heads, which didn’t require any demagnetizing.  They were more resistant to wear and tear.  Cleaning was something you still needed to do with these players, and more frequently.  Unfortunately for DCC, there was already a lot of competition on the market, and the Sony Minidisc appeared to be winning.

The new Digital Compact Cassettes were not a huge technological step ahead.  The cassettes ran at the exact same speed as a standard audio tape, and were the same width.  The tape used was the same grade as VHS tapes.  They could hold a maximum of 120 minutes, about the same as the max for an audio cassette tape, though no 120 minute DCC tapes were ever made.  By comparison, a DAT tape could hold three hours, and a Minidisc 80 minutes (same as an audio CD).

Each DCC tape had 18 tracks, or nine per side.  The main eight tracks held the audio information, while the ninth could be encoded with the metadata:  track names, numbers, lengths and so on.  This allowed the player to be able to find any spot on the tape that you wish.  There was even copy protection available.  If a tape was encoded as a “protected original”, in theory you couldn’t make a copy.

Ultimately, the desire for a digital but recordable audio format was fulfilled by CD itself.  A DCC player could range from $600 to $1700, and with so many people still buying CD players, that wasn’t a viable price.  Recordable CDs fit the bill, once they came down in price in the late 1990s (formerly about $200 per single CD-R).  The cassette format died its well-deserved death.  Digital Compact Cassettes are barely a footnote, but the magneto-resistive heads have since become a crucial component of PC hard disc drives.  Even rejected tech can often lead to another.

There’s one final footnote to the story of the Digital Compact Cassette.  The film covering of those new innovative tape heads found usage in an unlikely place:  brewery filters.  The microscopic holes in the material turned out to be perfect for nice clean and clear beer.  And you have old obsolete cassette tech to thank!

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Show Must Go On – The Life of Freddie Mercury by Rick Sky (1992)

Old review from the archives (revised).  This book has long been ejected from the collection.

RICK SKY – The Show Must Go On – The Life of Freddie Mercury (1992 Fontana)

This book is shallow to the extreme. If you ever wanted to know how much money Freddie Mercury spent on lavish parties, then this is for you. If you want to learn anything at all about Queen and their music, you will have to look elsewhere.

While the book dwells far to long on Freddie’s fabulous friends and fantastic parties, I did find the closing chapters regarding his death very sad and heartfelt. It puts you in the moment. There were also some interesting bits about his childhood and youth. Not enough to redeem this book, which just isn’t up to snuff for any fan, serious or casual.

1/5 stars

#605: “Hey, you got a message, use Western Union!” 

GETTING MORE TALE #605: “Hey, you got a message, use Western Union!”

Featuring guest essay by John Hubner

“A lot of bands mature, which means they get square; they start delivering messages. Hey, you got a message, use Western Union.” – David Lee Roth

When David Lee Roth made that legendary statement, he was talking about rock and roll bands who take things too seriously.  Might as well jump?  This is course is a matter of taste.  I enjoy Van Halen and ZZ Top, but I also enjoy the more cerebral works of Marillion and Dream Theater.  In music there truly is room for all tastes and styles.  Few genres are as diverse as rock and roll, even lyrically.  If a writer is a strong enough to embed personal messages in their words that might go undetected by the listener, then this kind of lyric should be celebrated.  On the other hand, fans are sometimes turned off when the messages are too overt.  U2 have faced some backlash over this.

So, rock bands:  by all means, feel free to tell us all about climate change, globalism, big pharma and Wall Street.  If you do it well, the fans won’t mind.  On the other hand, there is no shame in rock and rolling all nite and partying every day.  As Paul Stanley once said in one of his many stage raps, “We all came here tonight to escape from the world! Tomorrow morning when we get up it’ll be just as screwed up as it is today. We might as well have a little fun!” And that is certainly one very valid reason to rock.

Even here, in these very virtual pages, I’ve taken a few liberties where I’ve veered slightly off course.  I’ve preached a little bit about the plight of the Indigenous Canadian.  Other tangents included mental health, stigma, religion, tolerance, and even the rights of service dog owners, with music as the common thread.  I hope I haven’t offended anyone with these fairly benign notions.  I try to be careful.  As a writer, I founded myself with two projects:  my reviews, and Record Store Tales.  Most of you got here because of the music, and so that’s what I deliver.  I don’t need to bore you with social justice or environmental ideals.  I don’t want to bore myself, either.

Speaking of Record Store Tales, one of its many focuses was to relay lessons I learned from a decade of retail management.  Any time I walk into any record store, I could make mental lists of things they are doing great and others for Continual Improvement.  That goes for a lot of retail in general too.  Back to the subject at hand…and this should be patently obvious to most sensible people…leave your personal politics out of your customer service job.

Mrs. LeBrain and I were up at the cottage a couple years ago, and we stopped at Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up some bathroom essentials and some candy.  There was only one cashier on duty and she was a chatty one.  There was a problem with the person in front of us; something wasn’t scanning right.  It took forever to fix, and this cashier would not stop talking.  I had a feeling we’d be in for some chatting when she finally got to us.

I was right, and it didn’t start well with a “How are you today darlin’?”  Fine…thanks.  “Would you like a bag for this?”  I glanced at Mrs. LeBrain who nodded yes and said, “Yeah a couple bags.”  Her response threw me for a loop.

“Well have you seen the landfill?” she asked me in a condescending tone.

“Ummm…no?” I answered, very puzzled.

“Well,” she began, “There’s no room left in the landfill and the birds are choking on plastic from garbage bags…”

I politely let her finish, and then explained, “OK, but we have dogs here at the cottage, and these bags will be used for them.”  There were in fact three poop factories (Schnauzers) at the cottage that weekend.*  Stoop and scoop, people.  Stoop and scoop.

It’s none of her business why I wanted those bags, I didn’t need to explain myself and I certainly didn’t need to be lectured about reusing and recycling.  I went through highschool at the start of the green revolution.  I do my best to be a responsible inhabitant of Mother Earth.  Rest assured, I am not some littering jackass who doesn’t give a shit.  Sometimes you just need a couple plastic bags, goddammit!

I thought about being “that customer” and complaining about the talky cashier, but decided to live and let live, and instead save it for this story.  Consider my wisdom, young padawans.  You don’t know your customers as well as you think you might.  Say too much, and you just might lose your customer, or find them complaining about you to your boss, as happened to me once when I made a snarky comment about Radiohead!**

So ends today’s lesson, friends.  Do you agree with this experience and advice?

We asked Schnauzer expert John Hubner for a “message” about how awesome Schnauzers are.  He sent us the following treatise:


Klaus. Dieter. Helmut. Otto.

No, these are not the names of former members of Kraftwerk. Nor are they the names off the guest list to Angela Merkel’s surprise birthday party. Those four names are the miniature schnauzers that have had a profound effect on my life. “Miniature schnauzers? What?” Yes, those sometimes salt and pepper, sometimes gray, sometimes black, and occasionally blonde yippy terriers that bark bloody murder at you every time you pass by their house(the bark is usually followed up with a crazed “KNOCK IT OFF!” from the same house.) Those dogs with the short stature, manly beard, and a nub for a tail. They have personality for miles and loyalty till the end. They’re the go-to pooch for old ladies and your great aunt that doesn’t like men all that much.
How did I end up miniature schnauzer poster boy? I was a sick kid who suffered from allergies. When I asked my mom why we couldn’t get a Boxer she said it was because of my allergies. But not long after that a book on miniature schnauzers showed up at our house and I was told if we ever got a dog it would be a schnauzer. When I asked why my mom said “Well, schnauzers have hair like your dad’s hair, while a Boxer has hair like your uncle Chuck.” “We never see uncle Chuck” I said. “Exactly, because we’re allergic to him” my mom replied.
Regardless of that bizarre exchange, a miniature schnauzer ended up at our house when I was 8 years old and the rest is history. Growing up with a mini schnauzer I grew to love their loyalty but need for personal space. They weren’t goofy and sloppy like bigger breeds; but they weren’t standoffish like poodles and cats. What I came to realize is that miniature schnauzers are a lot like me. They can laugh and joke and rub elbows for awhile, but eventually they need to retreat from the crowds and the chit chat. Every mini schnauzer I’ve ever known mingle for a bit, then they say “See ya” and head for the comfort of their favorite spot on the couch. I love that about ’em. I respect that.
Miniature schnauzers are better than your dog. Sorry, it’s true. They’re like grumpy little people that don’t take crap from nobody and they’ve got an awesome beard to prove it. They’re loyal, temperamental, prone to anxiety, and do NOT like people knocking on the front door. They like to nap and will tell you what they want when you’re in the kitchen. They howl when left alone in the house and they keep the couch from floating away for a greater part of the day.
I think I’m part schnauzer.

** Freed of the shackles of the Record Store, I can say I like Radiohead enough to own a couple CDs, but still find them so very pretentious. 

Sunday Chuckle: Meat vs. Loaf

 

#588: Broken Hearts are for A**holes

GETTING MORE TALE #588: Broken Hearts are for Assholes

What music do you seek out most when your soul needs soothing?

I remember my first “real” breakup in 1994.  Upset and confused, I sought solace in music.  I had just ordered a new release from Columbia House.  The Alice in Chains Jar of Flies EP hit me right where it hurt.  Why music resonates the way it does with certain feelings in specific people, nobody knows for sure.  If they did, there would be a perfect formula for writing perfect songs, but there is not.

It wasn’t the lyrics on Jar of Flies that affected me.  I didn’t consider “Hey ah na na, innocence is over, over,” to be particularly revelatory.  It was the music that got me.  While soft, Jar of Flies was also very dark and soaked with emotions.  Perhaps a lot of this had to do with new bassist Mike Inez.  Jar of Flies was one of the first things they wrote with Inez.  According to guitarist Jerry Cantrell, “He plays the nastiest, darkest shit but he’s got the sweetest heart in the world.” Both the weird darkness and the heart can be heard on Jar of Flies.  That EP stuck to me like glue.  Play it once, flip it over, play it again.

We got back together and broke up again a couple months later.  This time it was final.  I remember trying music again to feel better.  I put on “Love Song” by Tesla.  This time, this music only made me feel worse.  The line “Love will find the way,” didn’t seem real to me anymore.  So I put on something angrier.  In 1994, I was very much into Motley Crue.  I put on “Primal Scream”.  I felt the tension; I felt the frustration, and the seething.

Broke dick dog,
My head slung low,
Tail knocked in the dirt.
Time and time,
Of being told,
Trash is all I’m worth.
When I was just a young boy,
Had to take a little grief,
Now that I’m much older,
Don’t put that shit on me.

This had nothing to do with the breakup, but digging into my anger brought with it a lot of baggage from being bullied as a kid at school.  “Primal Scream” helped bring that to the fore.  It was the beginning of a long period of self-discovery and realizing that trauma as a kid can carry forward.

Breakup #3 happened in November of 1995.  Different girl this time.  I didn’t want to get angry anymore.  I decided to try to re-ground myself and get back to who I was before this.  I started hanging out with my family more.  I was listening to more old music like the Beatles.  The Anthology had just come out.  Via the Beatles (and co-worker T-Rev) I discovered Oasis (see: Getting More Tale #561: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?).  These new bands like Oasis weren’t that much different from the old ones.

What really clicked with me this time were bands from the extensive Deep Purple family tree.  (See:  Record Store Tales Part 141: When We Rock, We Rock and When We Roll, We Roll). I was playing British bands with a blues base.  Whitesnake, Purple, Rainbow and so on.  Why these bands resonated with me during this breakup, I don’t know.  Maybe it was the male posturing and testosterone.  Whatever the reason was, for a little while Deep Purple and Whitesnake really helped me put the pain out of mind.  I felt more or less normal and I think the tunes had a lot to do with it.  This kicked off a huge Purple obsession with me.

It’s strange but every breakup had its own music.  There was a girl named Jasmine in the year 2000, and the music for her breakup was Marillion.  “So here I am once more, in the playground of the broken hearts.”  Both Fish (first singer) and Steve Hogarth (second singer) are real poets.  With Marillion, both the music and lyrics seemed to fit.  I was becoming a little bit of a broken-hearted douche bag, but I had to do what I had to do to get by.

Perhaps what I really needed was some Frank Zappa.

 

Some of you might not agree,
‘Cause you probably likes a lot of misery,
But think a while and you will see…
Broken hearts are for assholes,
Broken hearts are for assholes.