Nostalgia Stream – Full Video

That was intense!  What follows is two hours of stories, friendship, music, hardship, music, childhood, Record Store Tales, music, and emotion.  I don’t think I’ll be able to do a show like this one again.  But I’m glad I did it and thank you for watching.

This episode may not be for everyone and I will warn you right from the start that there are some serious heavy, raw emotions about to outpour.  This is your trigger warning.  There is very little in this live stream that I have not written about in the past so if you have been reading Record Store Tales and Getting More Tale, then you’re all caught up anyway.

Nostalgia Stream Friday

It has been a heck of a week here at LeBrain HQ and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  This week’s theme was suggested by Superdekes (I hope he doesn’t start sending me bills for all his ideas).  I’m calling this one the Nostalgia Stream because, once again, we’re talking about the 80s.  Music will be heavily involved, but what does that have to do with events of this week?  You’ll find out tonight at 7:00 PM E.S.T.

There will be no lists, no notes.  I’ll be freestyling it like I did the first couple shows, but all within the framework of this week’s theme.  I’m really excited about this one.  Expect the usual fun and frivolity, and hopefully lots of interaction.  It’s the usual time and place at Facebook:  Michael Ladano.

#480: Where Are We Now?

GETTING MORE TALE #480: Where Are We Now?

It’s been over 10 years since leaving the old Record Store.  Feeling nostalgic, my thoughts go back to the folks I once worked with.  The early days there were such an incredible time.  I called it the dream job, and for a music-mad guy in his 20’s, it was!  It was an experience I will always cherish forever, and that’s one of many reasons that Record Store Tales exist.  Even so, I don’t think I have really captured the joy of those early years, especially 1994-1996.  It truly is joy when you voluntarily came in early every day just to check out new inventory, which I used to do regularly.  Since that time, quite a few of my old compatriots have moved on.  Where are we now?

LeBrain:  Here I am!  I’ve been working a desk job in the manufacturing industry for the last seven years.  The lovely thing about my job is that I get to listen to the radio all day, every day.  I have found 107.5 DaveRocks to be very conducive to getting work done, and being rocked while doing it.  The encouragement from various folks at the station inspired me to get my Record Store Tales finished and published, and that’s why you’re reading this now!

T-Rev:  Now living in Sarnia Ontario with his beautiful wife and three kids.  Still rocking and rolling, still addicted to that rush and still collecting tunes.  Still texting me with rare finds (last was a rare Judas Priest 12” picture disc) and on the hunt for rarities.  Trips across the border into the US have yielded him many finds over the years.  Just a few weeks ago, T-Rev texted me for help.  “Can you help Colin go through five or six boxes of records and let him know if there’s anything good in there?”  Colin lives in Kitchener so it was far easier for him to show the LPs to me than T-Rev.  In all, I found about 50 that he should hang on to…and my mother in law bought a half-dozen for herself!  I also snagged an insert from Alice Cooper’s Muscle of Love LP, which my copy was missing.  Thanks for hooking that up, T-Rev!

Iron Tom Sharpe:  Tom, co-founder of the legendary Sausagefest, sold his Record Store location and became a teacher.  He has brought the rock to a whole new generation of fans.  They have now formed rock groups and even their own Jr. Sausagefest parties.  Of everyone involved with the Record Store back then, it is Tom who today does the most to bring good music to the kids.  What a legend!  He has managed to do what I strive to do myself, which is pass on the glorious rock and roll to the next generation.

Joe Big Nose:  Recently left the Record Store chain for a better opportunity.  No longer stinking up its washrooms with giant aromatic shits.  Big Nose had a long stay there – surely one of the longest.  There are probably stains with his name on them.

Uncle Meat:  Wandering the universe, playing baseball and Space Truckin’.  (Seriously, I know he is hard at work tabulating the votes for Sausagefest 2016’s official countdown.)

EDIT/update:  Uncle Meat has finished the 2016 countdown!  It is, in his words, “truly a kaleidoscope of finesse, filth and fury.”  Looking forward to it.

Wiseman:  Location and status unknown.  Last seen very very wasted at Sausagefest XII.

And finally, the Owner:  Still there, 25 years this August!  Talk about givin’ ‘er!  Never give up, never surrender!  You have to admire the tenacity and sacrifices made.  I would like to celebrate and say cheers with him.  Rock on!

Part 0: A Few Words for Days Gone By…

I decided to do something special for Part 250…by not doing Part 250 at all.

This isn’t one of those bullshit prequels, like when George Lucas says, “Oh, Episode I, I had that written for decades,” when it was pretty obvious he was making it up as he went along!  Nope, this isn’t like that.  I started writing the Record Store Tales over 10 years ago, and what you see below is the original first chapter.  It existed solely for the purpose of background and context, but I excised it in favour of starting things faster with the second chapter, “Run To The Hills”.  Since that became Part 1, it makes sense that this earlier introduction should be Part 0.  With hindight, I kind of wished I’d kept it in, so here it is!  And don’t forget to check out my new complete Table of Contents, should you wish to read  more!

KATHRYN GEOFF MIKEYeah…don’t ask. That’s me on the right.

A Few Words for Days Gone By…

What is childhood made of? In my mind, when you’re a kid, life consists of two things:

1. School
2. Summer Holidays

That was the cycle.  To break it down to the core, to an 11 year old life was 10 months of school followed by two months of glorious, warm sunny freedom.  Sure, you’d get to go home at the end of the day, but you were never truly free until the end of June. No more pencils, no more books, all that stuff.  It was way better than Christmas holidays.  The Canadian winters offered such fun treats as shoveling, besides snow pants, parka, boots (laced up too tight), and mittens which prevented you from using your fingers.

Our summers were boisterous. My sister Kathryn and I were like peas in a pod. We would play some kind of game every day, usually under my leadership. I would declare that today, we were going to play Star Wars. Other possible declarations included building fleets of Lego ships and cars, and having a giant war. Or inventing a new ball game.  Once GI Joe came along, we’d dig trenches in the yard, as well as forts and garages of twigs and leaves, and have an entire day (or week) dedicated to Cobra Commander’s new secret weapon. Aside from an occasional rebellion from my sister, our summers were mostly uninterrupted merriment.


My sister and I both clearly remember one such rebellion, where she wanted to do things her way.  It involved our Star Wars figures.  We were already mid-battle.  I was setting up a perfect counter-offensive. The Millenium Falcon would sneak attack Vader’s base, take out his Tie Fighter early in the melee, while Luke would take out Boba Fett. Leia and Lando had to distract Jabba The Hutt, so that he couldn’t stop Luke when he eventually confronted the Emperor. Game over! The plan was perfect. Now I just needed my sister to coordinate the battle with me, under my command of course.

Much to my disappointment, she had moved around some of the figures and now had them seated.  Luke and Vader were next to each other. “Why are Luke and Vader sitting there? Luke is about to attack and Vader should be getting into his ship.”

My sister continued playing with the figures, and without looking up, replied, “Luke and Vader want to be friends now. They’re having tea.”

It didn’t matter that half the figures were hers, if she didn’t know how to play Star Wars right. So I’d yell a bit, act like a big brother usually does, and eventually she’d go along with the plan, or cry and leave.  The evil Empire would be defeated once and for all, thanks to my brilliant leadership and strategy.  We were definitely pals, growing up.

For years, this was the way of the summer holidays. We’d be doing something awesome at home, or at the cottage, but it would always be something cool. It didn’t matter where we were: games continued wherever we went.  We’d make a game out of anything.   You give us a pile of junk and we’ll make a game out of it.

STYX FRONTAll things do come to an end. The Star Wars trilogy ended in 1983 and something needed to fill the vacuum. While GI Joe and later Transformers would temporarily take its place, I was getting older.  My attention was drifting.  I was looking for something cool, new, and exciting.  Video games didn’t hold my attention and neither did sports.

Starting in 1983, several things happened in a short time frame.  Styx released a single called “Mr. Roboto” that some of my friends at school were obsessed with.   Then I heard a song called “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC, and it was pretty cool too.  Then, a newer band called Quiet Riot came out with an album called Metal Health that would go on to sell three million copies.  This was my first rock cassette purchase when I was in the 6th grade.  Something connected…

AC/DC.  Van Halen.  Ozzy Osbourne.  Black Sabbath.  Def Leppard.  Motley Crue.  Iron Maiden.  Who were these people? I had a lot to find out.

Continued in Record Store Tales Part 1:  Run to the Hills