Saturday, May 28, 2011


This is the stuff. Certain albums will always take you back to a specific time and place. 1977 by Ash always takes me back to December 20th and 21st of 1996 (Hecks yeah I can be that specific). It was my little sister's birthday and I somehow talked my parents into letting me, my best friend, his little brother, and a few of his friends hop in a car and drive 4 hours to go see Weezer in concert at the Electric Ballroom in Tempe. It was the 1996 Pinkerton tour. Weezer was (and still is) my all time favorite band. We had no idea who would be opening that show nor did we care. All we knew was that Weezer would be there in the flesh.

Fast forward to a darkened stage where an unknown band was waiting in the wings. When the lights came up, the guitarist was standing in the power stance. He began to furiously play his guitar, climbing up the neck faster and faster, higher and higher. Just when you thought he couldn't possibly go any longer, the bass and drums kicked in and the house began to rock. I have never seen a crowd go so nuts for an opening act they had never heard of. They completely obliterated their set and I made a mental note to buy everything they'd ever done.

The next day we took a trip to Fiesta Mall in Mesa and I went across the street to Rockaway Records where I found the only copy of 1977 in the store. I happily handed over the cash for it and we listened to it all the way home, giggling at the hidden track where the band drunkenly wanders into the studio and begins to puke and laugh for a full 9 minutes. It really takes me back.

Anyway, 1997 is an unbelievable album. It starts with a tie fighter and ends with piles of puke slapping a studio floor and it has a whole lot of fantastic rock and roll in between. My appreciation for this album will always be seen through the lens of that incredible Weezer show. Nevertheless, I have turned many people onto Ash over the years, always beginning with this album. Without fail everyone has enjoyed it and has subsequently become Ash fans. So I guess they're a really good band and this is a really good album.

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