Few things can trigger a long lost memory like music. It can happen anywhere. For me it usually happens in the car. The other day, I was driving to work and flipping channels on the satellite radio. I stopped on Lithium the 90’s alt-rock channel. They were playing a cool old song from the early 90’s that I had forgotten all about, Luscious Jackson’s “Deep Shag”.
I was quickly taken back to Fall 1994. I was driving around smoking Camel Lights and listening to Nine Inch Nails when I decided to stop off at a friends house for a bit. I pulled up to the house and noticed hanging out front was the same group of dopy 15 year old skateboarders I saw every time I stopped there. They always asked me for some smokes. I always answered back (usually with one dangling from my lip) “No, that shit will kill you”. They would grumble something back and that was the extent of our relationship. My vehicle had an alarm system but for some reason I didn’t turn it on. I must have thought my little buddies out front would keep an eye on things.
So I went into my friend’s place and we hung out for a couple of hours. When it was time to go I hopped in my car and drove off sensing something was amiss. Nine Inch Nails “Head Like a Hole” was still playing and I decided to change CDs in my super high tech Discman. On the floor of my car I had a small 10 CD case in which I kept my go-to music of the week. I reached for it and to my surprise there was no case! My heart skipped several beats. Back then the thing I valued the most in life was my music collection. I was 19 and had a crappy part time job. Replacing 10 CD’s would be next to impossible.
In a panic, I pulled over to calm down and search my vehicle. Easy Todd, maybe you just misplaced the CDs. Maybe you left them at home. After a quick search, I realized they were definitely gone. I had been burgled. This was a travesty! Who would do such a thing to me? I reached in the console between the seats for a delicious and calming Camel Light, but hey were gone too! Who would take my CDs and my smokes?………….Those little fuckers! Now I was more pissed knowing that I had been burned by that group of prepubescent criminals. I was sure they were laughing it up. Listening to my music and smoking my smokes. Bastards.
I drove back to see if I could find the little bastards but it was late and no one was around anymore. The next few times I went back over to my friend’s place I tried to find the culprits but I never saw them again and I didn’t have much proof even if I had found them.
The real problem came after the fact. What do I do about replacing these CDs? As already referenced, I had a crappy part time gig and couldn’t afford to replace them all right away. There was also new music coming out all the time that needed purchasing. So I had to prioritize. I organized the lost CDs into tiers of importance.
Tier 1: You Fucking Assholes. I Love That CD and I Must Sell Blood, Semen or Organs to Get the Money to Replace It.
Songs of note: Well, all of them, but “Bury Me” may be my favorite today.
Replacement Status: Repurchased 1 week after incident at full price. I have purchased this album in every available audio format over the years. Cassette, CD (twice) and digital download.
Song of note: “Sometimes Always”
Replacement Status: Repurchased 2 weeks after incident at full price.
Songs of note: “Sure Shot”, “Root Down”
Replacement Status: Repurchased one month after incident at full price.
Tier 2: Awe man, that sucks. I’ll have to get that back when I get the chance.
Song of note: “Deep Shag”
Replacement Status: Not replaced yet. Will be scouring the inter-webs for a suitable torrent as soon as I am done with this post.
Songs of note: “Say it Ain’t So”, “Undone – The Sweater Song”
Replacement Status: Not replaced yet. Napster-ized a few of the key singles on this release but have not as of yet replaced.
Songs of note: “Gold”, “Hit”.
Replacement Status: Repurchased summer of 1997 for $1 at CD Xchange. What a bargain!
Tier 3: You can have it. I won’t be buying that one twice.
Song of note: “Milquetoast”
Replacement Status: A friend recommended it. Never liked it. Never considered replacing it.
Songs of note: “The Pink” ”She Knows Everything”
Replacement Status: Liked the record but never really considered replacing it. Also had other releases by Medicine to help fill the gap. Medicine is a bit different. I wish I could have seen the look on those little assholes faces when they first heard this one.
Songs of note: Counting Crows, “Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)” Nirvana, “Pay to Play”
Status: I Napstered the crap out of the Counting Crows song but the rest was of little interest to me. Never considered replacing.
I can’t believe it’s been nearly 20 years now since that Luscious Jackson CD was taken. I also can’t believe I had forgotten all about it until they played it on the radio. Is there a moral here? Probably not. I did learn that you can’t trust a pack a 15 year old skateboarders unless you give them cigarettes upfront. And hey, things could have been worse. They could have found the 3 cases of Milwaukee’s Best in the back seat.