I have been working a lot of overnight shifts. In my profession that means a lot of time alone with no sleep. There isn’t a whole lot to do so you have to keep your mind occupied. When you just sit there and not do anything time just stops. There is nothing worse than a 12 hour shift that just feels as if it’s never going to end.

     I read a lot and this kills a lot of time and thanks to Candy Crush I am never bored. When doing a shift like this you have a lot of time to think or drink insane amounts of Java Monster. The cool thing about Java Monster is that when you piss it smells just like coffee. I love the smell of coffee and piss that smells like coffee is pretty fucking cool.

     Since I can’t watch television I read and download music. The past week I have thought a lot about Pennsylvania. I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio but my exwife had gotten a job in Johnstown of all places so we decided that it would be a good opportunity for us. We would only be a three hour car ride when we visited our family and it would also bring us closer as a husband and wife.

     Those six years were both the best and worst six years of my life. It taught me that when you remove yourself from everything that’s familiar there’s no telling what could happen. It’s a total leap of faith and there are only two options. Sink or swim. Both of our families were in Ohio so we were alone in a new state and a lot of people in that situation usually fall apart and run home. We were gone six years.

     What I loved most aside from the mountains and the people was a little store called Better Sound. For six years this place kept me balls deep in heavy metal. It was there that I found all the obscure shit by bands like Southgang and even House of Lords. These were mostly on cassette but dirt cheap. I would walk in there and come out with stuff that was either out of print or hard to find.

     The reason that I was missing Better Sound so much was because I have never been able to find a place like that here in Ohio. I’ve tried and just haven’t found it. It was my favorite place to go on Saturdays and no matter when I went I would always find something rare. As a fan of metal it was the holy grail of used music stores.

     Now that I have these ten and twelve hour shifts I have reconnected with a lot of music that I had lost. I will never embrace new music the way I embraced bands like Twisted Sister or Ratt. To me music just doesn’t have the same coolness that it once did. No one is trying to make a great album anymore and that sucks because once upon a time that’s what bands strived for.

     Music was something that people loved and saw it as more than entertainment. The bands I grew up listening to and still listen to wanted to put out records they could be proud of. Mötley Crüe released Shout At The Devil and it really messed with your head because you couldn’t really classify what thex were. Sure, they looked like a glam band but no one sounded like them.

     I miss those days and I stopped trying to keep up with the latest musical trends. It’s all bullshit anyway. There just aren’t any great albums being released. It’s all about the single. I miss Better Sound but now thanks to the interweb my favorite bands are just  a click away. I’m not embarrassed by the music I have on my phone and will always have a soft spot for kick ass metal.

     Better sound helped me reconnect with bands like Y&T and Keel and now have a place on my phone. I’m forty years old and grew up at a time when great music existed. I think I’ll stick with what I know and love. It just feels right. 


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