Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Six to eight weeks

In 1988 I moved from the Washington D.C suburbs to Appalachia, specifically Athens, Ohio. The area's honeysuckle air, verdant, surrounding hills and hollers, and winding rural roads were a world away from the bustling region I'd left. Let's just say that the recoil was awesome, though it didn't take too long—a couple of months—for me to adjust, and ultimately to fall in love with the town, now one of my favorite places on earth. Yet it had its drawbacks in the beginning, among them a certain pre-Internet cultural isolation that left me feeling very alone, positioned far from the kinds of places—rock and roll clubs and record and used book stores, in particular—that I'd taken for granted in Maryland and D.C. Athens had a couple of good used record stores (which later became very good) and Columbus, Ohio and its cache of terrific stores and clubs, not to mention the 'hood surrounding the Ohio State University (this Bobcat won't capitalize "the") was an hour and a half away, but my car was a piece of unreliable junk that I didn't much trust.

So I turned to mail order, and introduced myself to such outfits as Estrus, Get Hip, BOMP, and Norton Records (whose wonderful co-honcho Miriam Linna was crushed to learn, after I'd put in my first order, that, no, sorry, I wasn't related to that Joe Bonomo). Suffice to say that those early orders, which were few and far between given my pitiful graduate student bank account, were the start of a long relationship; I still get a buzz from putting in the occasional record order through those and similar-minded vinyl-junkie outlets. And in this current quarantine and subsequent shuttering of so many record and book stores, mail order business is more vital than ever. Consider putting in an order. Many labels and stores are offering some sweet deals.

Which is to say that I have, and always will have, immoderate affection for this little tune by a band I knew nothing about, but whose name and song title caught my eye as I leafed through the grainy pulp pages of a catalogue. (The now-defunct My Old Kind Of KicK blog subsequently filled me in on the band's history, which was far more lively than I was aware at the time.) I can't now rank the single up there with the best of the best in my collection, but when it arrived at our house in the wilds of tucked-away little Athens, the horizon expanded and brightened a bit: I knew now that I could order tough-sounding rock and roll via the mail, and six to eight weeks later I'd be spinning discs. This single kept me a rockin' boy. Thanks, Clint Clinton, wherever you are.

No comments: