spice girls

#520: Musical Firsts

GETTING MORE TALE #520: Musical Firsts

What are your “musical firsts”?  Here are mine!  Let’s start with concerts.

  • First concert: Johnny Cash (1983)
  • First highschool concert:  Free Fare (1986)
  • First rock concert:  Helix (1987)

Who remembers Free Fare?  They billed themselves as “the band from Florida” (there was only one?) and toured highschools all over the US and Canada.  They played Grand River Collegiate in my grade nine year, performing popular covers and giving away Free Fare bandanas.



How about your first musical instruments?

  • First instrument played – bass guitar
  • First instrument bought – electric guitar
  • First instrument smashed – the same electric guitar, smashed by my sister


Finally I’m sure you all remember your first albums.  Here are mine:


Leave a comment with some of your memorable musical firsts!


Part 314: The Musical Crimes of Mrs. LeBrain

Apologies in advance to my lovely wife.  She really is awesome for letting me do this.

RECORD STORE TALES Part 314: The Musical Crimes of Mrs. LeBrain

As we wind down the Record Store Tales, we get to the point that I met Jen in September 2005.  The funny thing about love is the rose-coloured glasses.  I don’t remember Jen having such bad taste in music.  However, the photographic proof is here.  She recently dug up her old Linkin Park CD wallet (!!!) , inside which are many dirty and scratched CDs.  Yes, Jen never took proper care of her discs either before we met, it’s true.  I can’t even identify some of the filth on her Marilyn Manson CD.  Could be coffee.

So here I am, a single Record Store Guy in the fall of ’05, meeting the love of his life…and these are the CDs in her collection.  Thankfully we shared a love of bands such as The Beatles and The Darkness too.  Even more thankfully, Jen doesn’t listen to Limp Bizkit anymore.  (I mean seriously, look at these!  She even owns the Limp Bizkit CD without Wes Borland!)

In her defense, I found no Nickelback. What I did find may upset you.

Part 62: Creepy Danny (Spice up your life!)

Nobody shall ever forget Creepy Danny. So named, because some of the girls at the store were really creeped out by him. Me, I think he was harmless albeit annoying as hell. Sometimes, I wonder how people like Creepy Danny managed to function (feed, clothe themselves) on a daily basis.

Creepy Danny was this short little guy who somewhat resembled a human troll. He seemed…not right in the head. He had a high, whispery voice with a lisp and stutter, and tended to repeat the same question over and over again in the same breath. And he liked Spice Girls, a lot.

“D-d-d-do you have Spice Girls? Do you have Spice Girls?”

Once you’d show him Spice Girls, the next inevitable questions were (not necessarily in this order):

“D-d-d-do you like Spice Girls? I like Geri. Do you like Spice Girls? Do you like Geri? I like Geri best. Then Scary, Baby, Posh and Sporty. Do you like Spice Girls?  Have you seen the v-v-v-video for ‘Spice Up Your Life’?  P-p-people of the world! Spice up your life!”

There was no stopping Creepy Danny when he was on about Spice Girl.

“I heard th-th-th-that Geri quit Spice Girls. Is that true, is that true?”

He was indeed crushed when I told him that Ginger was no longer a Spice Girl.

However, it wasn’t many months before he started asking the next, inevitable question:

“D-d-d-do you have the new CD by G-G-G-Geri Halliwell? D-d-do you have Geri Halliwell?”

I think I sold about 3 copies of that album in total by the way.

But he was harmless. He just took a lot of babysitting, and time out of your day, and two Advil.

The phone would ring. I’d hear that high stuttering voice. “D-d-d-do you have Backstreet Boys?” Sometimes, I would hand the phone over to someone else. “Brad, it’s for you.” And then hand him off to Creepy Danny.

I have a theory about Creepy Danny.

He was simply too bizarre to have been a real persona. In all my years at the store, I have never met anyone as purely strange yet functional as Creepy Danny. I believe that Creepy Danny was actually a University Sociology masters student, and it was a persona he adopted in public as some sort of elaborate social experiment, to see how people treat those who are different.

I imagined a scenario where I might catch Creepy Danny out of character. I imagined that one night, I would be out for a nice expensive dinner at Charcoal Steakhouse. I would be there with a girl, and at the next candlelit table, there is Danny, with a knock-out babe. He pours the wine. He catches a glimpse of me. A glimmer of recognition. Suddenly, he reverts back to character! “D-d-d-do you like Spice Girls?”

That’s the way I imagined it unfolding. My theory was never proven, nor disproven. But in my mind, a character as weird as Danny was simply had to be cooked up by a student. There’s no other way!