Sunday, September 28, 2008

My morning paper has the scores, the human interest stories, and the obituaries, oh yeah

Bad Religion's 'Stranger Than Fiction' is the most important album in my life.

6 May 1995.

When we got too old to have birthday parties, my folks would take us to dinner and whatever we wanted (always a movie). I can't remember where we ate, but I am betting it was Ruby River. I didn't want to see any movies, so we somehow ended up at Media Play. I went of searching while my parents were looking for whatever.

My friend Wes had lent me Stranger Than Fiction a few weeks earlier (somebody put it on a blank tape for him) and I listened to it all weekend while I was finishing a school report (that took all weekend, except the two Jazz-Rockets playoff games that I went to) while my sisters watched and re-watched a what seemed to be a real dumb movie with Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta ('Corina Corina' or something) in the same room.

I thought it was a real cool album, and when I saw it at Media Play, I asked my parents if I could get it. Now, this was risky. First, they used to never just get something for no reason. When I was a few years younger, I convinced my mom to get my the new U2 album for no reason. The old man found out, and hid it away until Christmas (I got it in July) because he couldn't think of a reason for me to earn it. Second, once my pop and I went and bought me an album with money I saved. I bought Primus' Pork Soda, because I thought 'My Name is Mud' was the coolest song around. On the way home from getting Pork Soda, my dad made me stick the tape in the player and he disected every work of the song.
"Kiss him upside the cranium with an aluminum baseball bat?"
"Put him in the ground before he starts to smell?"
It ruined Pork Soda for me. I couldn't listen to it hardly at all and was so mad at myself for not getting Violent Femmes like I was considering ('Blister in the Sun' was as cool as 'My Name Is Mud').

My dad took a look at Stranger Than Fiction and saw the song titles. "Infected? What's that about?" "Nothing bad," I truthfully said. Maybe it was because of my impending birthday, but they let me get it. Thankfully, we didn't get a car with a CD player for three more years, so this album couldn't be ruined.

When we got back home that night, my sister came out and told us that my grandpa had called and said that my great grandpa had died. It was actually kind of good news. The funeral was on my birthday and it was a great birthday because I missed school and it was a cool funeral.

Two weeks later, we went to California, and that it is when I really figured out how great Stranger Than Fiction was. I had been listening to the second Stone Temple Pilots album a lot before that trip, but after the trip, I no longer had use for it.

On that trip, while up late one night, I also saw this:

(gratitudes to Bryton for the video)


marshall p said...

I love Ruby River!

nathaniel said...

this is a GREAT post.

Lee said...

Thanks, Nathaniel.

Gatsby said...

I love the story about your dad scrutinising the album. I have a few very similar stories with my mom.

Parents just don't understand.

Slim Charles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee said...

They don't and I don't think they ever will.