Slaying the Cyklopx on the road to Nirvana

Posted: September 20, 2013 by The Social Retard in Music


Since Georgette just posted a foreign bootleg, I figured I’d serve up one of my own.

In 1991, when I first heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, I remember thinking: “What is this shit?” Obviously, I was very stupid as a twelve year-old. As the months went by and the singles kept churning out, Nirvana grew on me. By the time “In Bloom” and its Ed Sullivan-esque video hit heavy rotation on the once mighty MTV, I was hooked. As it turned out, I still don’t care for “Teen Spirit” all that much but “Bloom”, “Come As You Are”, and “Lithium” are among my favorite songs of all time. The non-single, “Drain You”, may even eclipse all of those for my taste.

When Kurt Cobain killed himself, that was the first time I really had to deal with the death of something to meant something to me. I know it sounds cliché but it really did feel like some of those songs spoke for me in a way that I couldn’t, granted in a more surreal fashion. Mostly, it was the songs of In Utero that I related too. “Serve the Servants” echoed my own relationship with my father at a time when I wished I would have had him around. It was nice to know that this rock mega star felt the same way. “Milk It”, well, I just liked the guitar part to that and played along with my own guitar, trying to mimic to distorted, sludgy tone.

A few years later, my friend Joe was going through his closet and found the cassette of Anthrax’s State Of Euphoria and the import CD of Nirvana’s Hormoaning, a collection of b-sides and covers. I had already heard (and loved) the Vaselines re-dos of “Molly’s Lips” and “Son Of a Gun” as well as the cover of Devo’s “Turnaround” on the Incesticide compilation along with the incredible “Aneurysm”. I also owned the CD singles collection boxed set that contained, among others, the song “Curmudgeon”. But I had yet to hear “D-7”. I hadn’t even heard of Greg Sage or the Wipers. I still had so much to learn.

“D-7” pretty good but not nearly “Aneurysm” of “Molly” good. Even still, I wanted this badly to complete my collection. Joe wouldn’t sell it to me. I’m sure he would now if I asked. Come to think of it, had I even asked him then? Can’t remember. I found that it was out-of-print and, back then, that actually meant something. Now, pretty much anything is attainable if you’re willing to pay for it. That sounds a bit seedy, no? Sounds like the plot to a Bruce Willis sci-fi abortion.

Sometimes, when you want a particular piece, no matter what you collect, you have to bide your time. This isn’t always how to go about it but sometimes there is no other option. I never did get Hormoaning on CD but by 2011, I had moved on (or backwards) to vinyl. On April 16 of that year, my wait was over.

Record Store Day is a pretty great, and I think only, music collector’s holiday. When Hector and I had our online record store, we participated and we would usually sell out of all of the exclusive RSD items in a matter of hours and sometimes faster. We had the advantage of posting things at midnight on eBay whereas most brick and mortar stores wouldn’t open for eight more hours. I know, I generally stand against that type of thinking, but we weren’t price gouging. We sold for retail price, we just wanted a faster return on our investment. Besides, going to the stores can be a crapshoot. Not every store gets the same amount or selection. We didn’t have access to every label’s releases.

From what we did carry in our store, I procured the “Whirring” single by The Joy Formidable, Deerhunter’s “Memory Boy” single, The New Pornographers’ “Moves” 45, and the 7″ of Fucked Up’s Daytrotter Session. That piece was cool because they had a myriad of different covers, each with photos of actual indie record stores. I chose the one that had Denver’s Wax Trax Records on it. I even got Duran Duran’s “Girl Panic” vinyl single for Georgette. You’re welcome, G.

But as I said, we didn’t have everything. I still needed the reissue of the first Bad Brains release, the “Pay To Cum” 7″ (lot of quote marks there). For that, and the rest of my wishlist, I went back to Cyklopx in Forest Park. Fucking hell, I miss that place. In addition to BB, I snatched up OFF!’s Live At Generation Records 7″, Sennen’s Age Of Denial (only 250 in existence), and the Superchunk/Coliseum split where they each performed Misfits covers.

Keeping it to just Nirvana, I picked up the reissue of the Kill Rock Stars compilation featuring Nirvana’s “Beeswax” and tracks from Courtney Love, Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, and the Melvins. But numero fucking uno on the wishlist was one of the 6000 brown marbled vinyl editions of Hormoaning. I’m a tad embarrassed to say that I sent $25 on those 6 songs. I could have used that toward the special edition  double LP version of Nevermind that ended up getting released toward the end of that year. Those songs, and a bunch more, would have been on it. That being said, I had already bought Nevermind on vinyl (with a damned Groupon!) at Val’s Halla in Oak Park. Val’s is a cool little store with a great history but a bit of a lackluster selection. Anyhow, Nevermind only set me back $10. Can’t beat that with a stick, and you’d better fucking not.

  1. I really wasn’t a huge fan of Nirvana at first. “Teen Spirit” annoyed me to no end. However, I grew to love the rest of that album. Then In Utero came out, and I discovered Incesticide because my brother owned it. I used to sneak into his CD binder in his room and listen to it while he was working. Bleach really wasn’t on my radar at first, but I have grown to appreciate it as well. The discovery of Kurt’s body was the same that my first ex Biceps for Jesus went into the Army, so I will always remember that day in an awful way. Kurt touched a lot of people (NOT that way) and many still feel his loss years later. At least he was able to make some incredible music in the short time he was with us on this Earth.

  2. PS I have never taken advantage of this infamous Record Store Day. I feel bereft after reading how awesome it is.

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