From the early years when I spread my trove of records across various and sundry friends' homes through the college years - when the impracticality of moving a bunch of filled crates each year was compounded with the inanity of doing so without having a record player - my record collection was in a continuous state of flux. Through the vagaries of their constant movement, there have been some casualties, and a few of those losses are particularly painful to me. Like any true RC, it hurts me more than it should when I look back at the ones that got away.
There's still a little hope that I may stumble across one of the lost EPs since my common storage technique for them in my youthful punk days was to tuck them inside a 12" record. One day I may have a pleasant surprise waiting for me when I reach for Pandemonium or some similar lesser-played 12" record and all will be well in the punk universe again.
Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes
-- Poison Idea, 1984
Yes, yes it's true. Be that as it may, here are some lost records that haunt me to this day:
Mainliner/Playpen 7", Social Distortion
I'm sickest about this one. Classic Social D, Mike Ness croonin' as only he can over a couple of great tracks, including a surprisingly dense sound on Playpen. Mike Ness could sing the phone book and I'd probably listen to it. The cover of the 7" was red and simple, not what's displayed next to the audio clip below.
Unsafe At Any Speed, Boston HC comp
This was the 7" compilation before the classic Boston Not LA full-length comp. I don't remember much of it besides it delivered about the same goods as Boston Not LA ("Fuck LA!"). With early Boston hardcore music, you pretty much knew what you were getting. I loved that sound so there you have it.
Guilty Face, The Freeze
Got this with Unsafe At Any Speed, don't remember where or how, might have been through my rare punk rock record connection and one-time band-mate Tony. There's a happy ending to this one, I eventually replaced it with a re-issued 10" version. That sounds a little dirty.
Death Piggy EP
Kind of a joke punk rock band that was funny but very unconventional punk, with gems like No Prob Dude ("this boy won't eat fondue!", classic) and We Love You Fat Man. Unlike anything you would ever hear, until Gwar of course, only looser and even less serious. I was relieved to find that I still had the EP from their labelmates Malefice (DSI #003) which I got at about the same time, maybe at the same show? Anyways the Malefice insert refers to the Death Piggy EP (DSI #002) and serves as a cold reminder that I managed to lose this puppy.
Land of the Lost, The Freeze
What is it about this band and me losing their records? You know I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the tuneful but urgent sound of The Freeze and the wicked lyrics and snotty vocals. I may have been their #1 fan outside of Boston. I was looking all over the place for this recently when I had one of those "ohhhhhhh yeahhhhh" moments in recognition that I had done the unimaginable with this one. I lost it in my grown-up punk years, and this being a big favorite of mine, went ahead and replaced it with the CD version!!?? It sounds so sterilized and clean on CD - never again.
No One Else Wanted to Play, SNFU
So I actually have a copy of this on vinyl, but its not the original edition that I once had in my possession, with the cool cover of the kid with the grenade that they stopped using because of some kind of copyright violation around the picture. Which coincidentally enough was also used on a No Pigs EP I have from the Netherlands that came out around the same time (highly underrated band and EP but I digress). Instead I have the edition with the bland cover. Guess it left a bit of an impression on me because it's always the first thing I think of when I pull out the record.
[editor's note: the keen observer will have noticed in the photo at the top that the No Pigs EP cover was professionally PhotoShop'd onto the bland SNFU cover - that was done so you can get a sense for what the original looked like.]
Another impression I can't shake about this record is that SNFU had set such an impossibly high standard with their perfect Womanizer track on the BYO Something to Believe In compilation, that even though this is a pretty killer record in its own right, unfairly or not, that was the bar and so it seemed to fall just short (holds up thumb and index finger pinched together) of that bar in my mind when it came out.
Murder in a Foreign Place, MIA
Yes I see the irony here.
This was a mighty fine record and I think I even traded some other record for it that I'm struggling to recall, though I can picture the cover. In any event, my strongest recollection of MIA is that they were a last-minute fill-in for Social D for a show at the WUST. I believe it was rumored that Mike Ness was getting checked in for rehab or some such sordid business. MIA put on a great show, and I think the singer wore a beret which felt very Social D, but... still in all I had really wanted to see Social D.
And with that, we've come full-circle back to Social D.
For the record (yes that was intended), there's a part of me that believes at some point I had the afore-quoted Poison Idea RCs Are Pretentious Assholes record safely in my mitts. I can't remember if I traded it or lost it or imagined it.