I came to Soul Coughing at almost the same time I came to Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Underworld, and jazz that went beyond Kind of Blue.
See, this is why the loss of Tower Records is going to seriously hurt a generation of young artists, because it was in a Tower Records that I found all of these things. Sure, it's great to have the convenience of buying and instantly downloading records and stuff, but the damn kids today who will grow up without ever setting foot in a record store or talking to a hardcore music geek who works there just don't know what they're missing.
And they're missing a lot.
It was one of the most inspiring and eye-opening times of my life, and whenever I listen to Ruby Vroom (which I'm doing right now) I'm reminded of that time. I can feel it in my brain and in my bones. I remember staying out all night with my friend Dave just because we could, not really doing anything more than listening to music and being "artists" -- whatever that meant.
We had no real responsibility other than getting home alive, and it was when I really started writing. I filled up tons of thick spiral-bound notebooks with my efforts to figure out who and why I was. When I read them now, they just make me sad.
It was a great time. I miss it sometimes. Okay, I miss it often.
I miss it right now.