Gray Flannel Dwarf

9/22/2006

The circle is complete… kind of.

During the summer of 1993, prior to starting my senior year of high school, I went to Nobody Beats the Wiz and, in a fit of what I considered luck, found a copy of Barenaked Ladies’ Gordon on cassette tape.

I had been introduced to what this band was about, several weeks prior, by some Canadians I’d met at the summer excursion to the Outer Banks. Chatting with them, I’d asked if they’d heard of They Might Be Giants. They hadn’t, but after reciting a few of the more familar TMBG lyrics, the oldest of the three noted that it sounded something like this great Canadian band called “Barenaked Ladies”… and thus, several weeks later at the music store, I tracked down a tape and bought it, having pretty much not heard anything from them except the few strains of “If I Had $1000000″ hummed by the three Canucks.

Fast forward through the years… I really started to dig the band, follow them, and through the next couple of years, I introduced a number of college classmates to the band. These people in turn introduced friends of theirs. I was probably responsible for introducing most of east Tennessee to the band, quite literally, because they didn’t really hit it big in the US until around 1997-98, and by then most of these people I knew from school, their friends, and friends of friends, had seen BNL in concert.

And that’s the funny part… of all these people who’ve been BNL fans over the years, I think I’m the only one who’s never seen them live. I had one or two chances, but for whatever reason, one inconvenience or another trumped the opportunity. I think the closest I say I’d ever come would be the time I performed “$1000000″ with two other guys in the college coffeehouse. Later on, I guess I haven’t been as interested in the band as I was initially — or maybe not a fan of their newer stuff. I still don’t own anything older than BOAPS, and don’t generally even listen to that.

So, that long-winded background leads up to this — perhaps it’s that same “stupid pride that makes me feel like I have to follow through” — as my CD collection grew over the years, I wanted to get Gordon on CD. There was only one glitch: BNL had since re-released Gordon with new artwork. Feeling like some sort of purist (or perhaps smug wannabe trendsetter), I didn’t want to buy it. I wanted the original CD, the original cover — the same album that I’d heard back in 1993. Searches through used CD stores were fruitless over the years.

And then, on a whim, I looked on eBay. I didn’t actually expect to find it — and while I didn’t think it would be considered more “rare” or “collectible”, I also wasn’t going to pay a big premium for it.

Thus, the other day, when I found a used copy for $4.50 + 2.50 s/h, I was pretty happy. It came in the mail today, and I gotta admit, I do have some weird sort of satisfaction because of it.

Bonus: As it turns out, it’s actually a Canadian, not US, release.


Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 10:02 pm