It is somewhere around 1997 or 1998. My sister and I are watching Pop Up Video at my grandparents house. A music video comes on and they’re on the Happy Days set and it’s funny. My sister buys both their albums and I sort of listen to them while she is playing them, but I’m also 11 years old.
It is 1999 and we have a CD burner for the first time and I put one of their songs on a mix CD I made. It’s the one from the Happy Days music video. My sister likes their other album where they say more swears and I just don’t know.
It’s 2001 and I hear a song on the radio, my sister swears it sounds like their second album she liked, and we both buy the new album on release day. It turns out it doesn’t sound anything like that second album but it’s still pretty good. I join a message board.
It’s still 2001 and I get my parents to buy me tickets to a concert on September 13th. And…it gets canceled, and rescheduled for November 23rd.
I take my best friend at the time and SPOILER ALERT we haven’t talked in years.
Unrelated to that fact.
Now it is 2002 and I am checking their website daily. They keep posting demos of a new album they’re working on. And when it comes out… I like it well enough but I feel like I’ve already heard it a lot. And alternate takes or songs that I liked more don’t end up on the track list. But it’s fine.
Later that year they release more demos, in a similar fashion, for their fifth album. I continue to visit daily because I have not learned my lesson. But that version of the fifth album is ultimately scrapped, and we don’t really hear new music until…
2005. An email goes out asking if I want to be in a new music video shoot at a secret location and they won’t say where it is. It turns out it is at the Playboy mansion and I wouldn’t have been allowed there due to my age anyway.
I tape the new song off the radio. I get Coachella tickets. My sister drops out and I end up going with my aunt?
I meet the new bassist and get him to sign my ticket stub.
It’s a great show and the album turns out to be better than people say it is.
It’s 2008 and I have seen the band several times by now and moved on to several different message boards. A new song comes out and it’s great fun. The band starts doing these ‘hootenanny’ shows where people bring instruments and play along. I get an email saying you can audition to be in a hootenanny show that is being recorded for the internet. I send in a video and make it. You can see me in one of the videos right behind the lead singer.
A few months later they are playing live and they say you can join a select few people that were at the hootenanny show on stage, and play live, with the band, like for real.
I did it. I got to go backstage and we all even rehearsed in a green room or something back there. And then we went out on stage.
I never thought about being famous until I felt the energy from the crowd.
It’s one of my favorite moments.
Now it is 2009 and I do a crime against the band.
The new single for their new album is set to release officially soon, and there is a preview for it on Walmart’s website. Some members of the current message board noticed that it looked like you could purchase the song way ahead of time. I gave it a shot and was the first person to post it on the board.
I’m not going to say it was directly my fault, I’m just going to say we were the first ones to see it and post it and then the band released the song early.
But it probably wasn’t (?) me.
It’s 2010 now and I get to go to an interview with the band that takes place at an old Hollywood hotel. It is really just an interview, a meet and greet with the band, and a free copy of the CD that I already purchased online.
Four years have passed and 2014 brings us a new album. I hear it’s a rock opera and my interest is piqued. It turns out it’s only slightly “hashtag conceptual” but it ends up being my third favorite of theirs.
I have the chance to buy concert tickets to a special album concert but I pass them onto my friend and coworker even though it would have been really fun.
2016 is here and I’m married now. The new album comes out and people are hailing it as their third favorite. And it’s my fourth! Times are good. I see good things happening for this band.
2017 is here and nobody cares about this album because it’s mostly abandoned songs from the album we thought was going to come out this year. I mean it’s fine but it’s not the dark follow up we were promised…
It is now 2019 and we get TWO albums! The first one is covers of old songs and is like, a novelty. Hope this doesn’t mean the cool dark follow up album is going to be bad!
It turns out, it’s not so bad, but people do not care about it either and just stick to the covers album. This is their legacy now.
I take my wife to their concert in the summer and it is a magical experience.
But they are still my favorite band here in 2020. How do I know? Well, two new songs have come out from their new album (which has been delayed because you know why) and they are pretty good. I get an email to submit a video to be in their new music video (and I am! A minute in!). Two new albums are on the horizon. The lead singer is doing concerts over Zoom and I’ve seen a few of them.
Strange, but good.