Category Archives: Music

@n9records #9dayvinylchallenge DAY 5

Red, Green, and Blue coloured vinyl

Coloured record or picture disc.

I’ve got a whole bunch of these 7″ coloured vinyl from 90’s surf bands and non-surf bands alike. This is where I am actually a collector. All the LP’s I have are for listening. Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to these things as well, but these are the ones that I search for, the ones that I will never get rid of, the ones that make my pile of records a “collection”.

Pictured are;
Thee Phantom 5ive – Jump Start! (Green)
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet – Music For Pets (Red)
The Volcanos – Krakatoa / Side-Swipe (Blue)

@n9records #9dayvinylchallenge DAY 3 – A Record From The Year Of Your Birth

When I was a teenager, our family had this place we would go for the summers. There were other kids there to hang out with, but not a lot.

There were these brothers, Rich and Steve, and they were… not nice. Like marching in Charleston not nice. I would hang out with them because there wasn’t really anyone else to kill time with and it was better than hanging around home. They had a copy of this record, and that was my introduction to John Prine.

I remember listening to songs like Grandpa Was A Carpenter and wondering how in the hell these two asshole brothers identified with him? They did not get what this guy was all about. I’m glad I did.

John Prine – Prime Prine – The Best of John Prine

@n9records #9dayvinylchallenge – DAY 2 – Your First Record

When I was 3 or 4 my sister had a record that I was totally enthralled with. On the cover, what looked to be Demon Aliens danced on top of a mountain, with the backdrop of a burned-out and destroyed desert village behind them. It definitely took me someplace else.

One day my mom decided to have a yard sale, and this record ended up out on a table. Once I saw it there little me was not having any of that. I grabbed it and told my mom that this record was MY record.

Listening to Detroit Rock City was the first time music told me a story. The mood of the song changed my mood. I would lay on the floor and listen to this music all afternoon, staring at the cover, reading the insert, and wondering what the hell the KISS ARMY was and if they were anything like the demon aliens on the cover… Good times.

KISS – Destroyer

@n9records #9dayvinylchallenge – DAY 1 – A Record Store Day or Limited Run Release

I am usually loathe to participate in such a thing, but I can not say no to @n9records (@uncle_keems) and his #9dayvinylchallenge.

Here’s my copy of the “Test Pressing” version of Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks, from RSD 2019.

Only available previously as a bootleg, this version saw its first official release in 2019, no doubt stemming from the popularity of 2018’s More Blood, More Tracks. This was the first version of the album that Bob had all finished up and ready to go until his brother talked him out of it over Christmas dinner and ol’ Mr. Zimmerman decided to re-record a bunch of the tracks in Minneapolis to create the version that came to be one of the best albums ever… To me anyway.

Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks Test Pressing

Easter and the Great House of Guitars

I was born and raised in Southern Ontario just east of Toronto. Before cable TV was around, we could only rely on the big antenna for entertainment.

We lived near the shores of Lake Ontario, with the American city of Rochester only 50 miles across the water from us. We fared pretty well. There were five or six stations, and they all came in clear enough for us to get the great shows of the day.

The most memorable part was the local commercials. Places like Wegman’s, Charvel Ice Cream, Irondequoit Dodge, and Hill TV all seemed like they were from another world.

There was one place however, that seemed to be from another planet. That place was the House Of Guitars. Starring the owners of the store, brothers Armand and Bruce Schaubroeck, their commercials were like no others. Irreverent, outlandish, fun, and everything your parents hated. Imagine a scene of Dallas ending, only to have some crazy Rocker telling you to “Get Mom and Dad outta the room, I wanna talk to you about buying something expensive for Easter.”

Great House of Guitars
The store that ate my brain – May 2018

Every time someone mentions the Easter Bunny, I picture Armand’s voice in his Upstate New York accent saying “hop hop” as he is hopping up and down wearing makeshift bunny ears on his head.

Later as a teenager I began playing guitar. The commercials became an information session. As a result, I learned the names of the brands and models of my favourite guitars. I learned about how much they cost because of the killer deals there were at the House of Guitars.

House of Guitars is still around, and I had the chance to make the pilgrimage there a couple of years ago. In any event, you could not find a more welcoming place.

Eight-year-old me loved every minute of it.

John Prine 1946-2020

There’s a video out there where Bill Murray is talking about how he was a real bummer to be around at one point in his life. Real down. Depressed. Of course, he was hanging around Hunter S Thompson at the time and Hunter suggested to Bill that he rely on John Prine for his sense of humour. So, Bill decides to go down the rabbit hole, and by about the 20th song he gets to “Linda Goes To Mars”.

John Prine

“I heard that song, and I went ‘humph’. And that was the beginning of the return. It just happened, and that was a great day”.

In 2008/9 John Prine’s songs were the beginning of a return for me. John was the beginning of a return for a lot of us. He’s the only person of whom I can say that I would not be who I am if he hadn’t of been around.

Aw, heck.
I’m so sad.
I’m so happy we had him.

There’s a video that I’ve watched a lot through the years. Austin City Limits, 2005. My definitive JP experience.

John Prine

It’s funny because he played the whole new album Fair & Square and only does 2 of the hits (Flag Decal to open, and Angel From Montgomery to close) but it is total classic John Prine.

I don’t know how, but I managed to find an unedited version. Complete with jokes, banter, false starts, and fuckups. That was the part of it that told me I could do this too. I’ll say it again, and I’ll never stop saying it – thank you so much John, so much. You changed my life.