Like a lot of people in the pre-cell phone era, I used to keep the ticket stubs from all the shows I went to. They were flimsy yet genuinely priceless souvenirs, and for me, were as precious as any of the pictures of Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding day in the family photo album (sad, but true). I kept them stored in an old Doc Martens shoebox which is so on the nose ’90s, that even I am cringing right now as I write this.
I recently rumbled through my stub collection, still located in the Doc box. And I was disturbed at the number of shows I had no recollection of attending. As in no memory of whatsoever. Zero.
I worked at record stores through the ’90s and 2000’s and we got a fair amount of free tickets to stuff ( awesome perk for tiny-paychecked nerds). And I do remember certain shows vividly. There was crazy shiz like Jeff Buckley opening for Juliana Hatfield and Radiohead opening for Belly. There were lots of wondrous Britpop shows (Pulp, Elastica, Oasis etc.). A score of mind-blowing Sinead O’Connor performances. There was a Lemonheads show in ’94 where Courtney Love came out and played “Doll Parts” and then tried to quell the rumor that she and Evan Dando were having an affair by shouting into the mike “Evan was Kurt’s friend!” ( this was only 3 months after Kurt Cobain had died). I remember that stuff…But apparently I also saw Henry Rollins Band in ’94. And Morrissey in 2000. And Coldplay in 2002 all the way out at freakin’ Jones Beach which beggars belief. And The Fray at Hammerstein Ballroom in 2006 (?). And Fastball (??). And a production of A Chorus Line in Queens in 1997 (???). And Glasvegas. And Suzanne Vega. And freakin’ Sheryl Crow…TWICE. I do not remember a single moment from any of these shows yet the physical evidence indicates that I was there. And this is just a partial list of forgotten shows; there were literally dozens more.
It’s different nowadays of course. We live in an era where literally every breath a band takes is documented for eternity. Forgetting is no longer an option. Know what though, I don’t feel too bad about my lack of recall. I figure it was down to a now technologically obsolete but clever mental cleansing system located in my brain’s server room. One that actively evaporated the less meaningful shows from my mind to save room for details about the important ones. And I’ve gotta say, it was pretty on point as far as what it chose to keep and what it decided to shred. Sinead wailing “Troy” does destroy Coldplay yellowing and clocking. Courtney Love being Courtney Love definitely crushes A Chorus Line. And so here’s to you Hippocampus, you clearly had better taste than physical me; thanks for the(best)memories.
And now it is time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the most wondrous songs that we’ve met over the last seven days. This week’s playlist is 87.5% gentle,12.5% booming stadium epic, and all beautiful. You can listen below on Soundcloud (or Spotify for now). Go on then…
Listen on Soundcloud
Listen on Spotify