Christmas In October
I know you were probably all expecting a Led Zeppelin III review for today, since I did write-ups of Led Zeppelin I and II, the past two days. Honestly, it’ll likely come Monday or Tuesday (I need to play III some more, first). Instead, today, I give you what happened tonight (last night, as you read this).
I need to talk to you about Craig.
He’s a generous, generous man.
Craig’s a friend of ours, has been a long while. He’s the one with whom I went to see Mastodon both times (last time was with Gojira, back in the spring). Craig makes money, seemingly a lot of it. It’s cool. We hung out even when he didn’t. But every time we go over there, he’s got lots of new toys. Well, once in a while, he gives me things. Always stuff he’s done with, or doesn’t need anymore and feels is taking up space. I never ask for a thing, yet here ya go. It’s pretty crazy. So we were over at his place tonight, and he gave me seriously crazy stuff. I’ll tell you about it.
And he shared a brilliant meal he’d cooked himself (he’s quite the chef). And copious wine too (plus we drank what we brought with us), and he shared some really ridiculously expensive Scotch he’d brought back from Europe. I’m kinda drunk as I type this because of all this. The Scotches were Octomore and Ardbeg? Scotch drinkers will know. The Octomore was the last bottle to be had in Germany, and the Ardbeg was a sampler bottle he had in anticipation of an actual bottle he has coming but it’s still held in customs. Craig deals in ridiculously expensive stuff – this isn’t ever stuff you get off the shelf at the LCBO, it hovers on a level well above that, usually. His Scotch cabinet (yes, it has its own whole cabinet) could probably pay off several months of our mortgage. All I know is I’m a lucky guy ‘cos it’s friggin’ gorgeous to drink. Seriously. I would never buy any of this stuff, but Craig’s a Scotch guy, and every time we go over there he has some sort of stupid-expensive bottle of something and he shares a small taste and it’s always amazing, a whole world in a glass. I live vicariously through Craig’s Scotch addiction, and I’m getting quite an education besides.
And he gave me stuff. Holy fuck.
Do you remember way back over a year ago (I told these stories in these pages) when Craig had bought all these boxes of vinyls off a buddy and after he had picked through and took what he really wanted, I got to go through and buy a bunch of them too? And then for Christmas he let me go through them again and take what I wanted? Well, those boxes were still sitting in his basement tonight and he said he couldn’t give them away. He posted them on Kijiji as free and people were asking all these questions about what was there and what shape they were in and he said THEY ARE FREE and COME GET THEM and STOP FUCKING AROUND and even then, no takers. I said you know what I would do with those? I would listen to them. Seriously, if I was you, man, I would listen to each and every one of them. He said he never would, did I want them? Um. I said sure, how much? He said let me help you load them into your car. No cost. Fuuuck.
No kidding, there were 5 frickin’ boxes of vinyls. I have no idea even what all’s in there, yet. They’ve been picked through a bunch of times, by him (several times ) and myself (twice) and who knows who else. I don’t know what shape they’re in, just that they came from some guy’s private collection. But these are the leftovers and they’re all mine. Free of charge. Like I said, Craig’s a generous guy.
I would have been well and truly done there, as we all would. But that’s not all. We were talking and I don’t even know how the topic came up but I had said just in passing (not even complaining) that my record player is as old as I am. Hell, I got the whole stereo system for $150 years ago. I mean, the record player still works, who’s complaining? But at some point, yeah, I would replace it. It’s not in the budget anyway, so whatever. If it dies, that bumps it up in priorty, but until then, so what? Craig says well, I have a Rega RP1 downstairs you can have. He’d replaced it with a new one of some other fancy-pants kind, this Rega was gonna sit in his basement for years did I want it? Haha what. I mean, really? Why not sell it? Because shipping it would be too hard to ensure it didn’t break in transit (he hadn’t kept the packaging for it). This is becoming seriously crazy, I know.
At this point, I was drunk on the wine and the Scotch, it was late and we had to go home, to get the kids to bed, and then he comes out of the back room with a vinyl and says here, take this too. It’s the 2LP of Mastodon’s first album, Remission. On pink vinyls. I said I can’t, it’s too much. He says no, I have four copies of this, and this is the least limited edition of all the limited editions I have here (he showed me the others, they’re crazy gorgeous – you guys would up and die to see his vinyl collection it’s endless and almost all of it is crazy special editions and it’s all fucking sick and awesome). Take it, he says. Um, jeez. Dude. Seriously? Yes. So. Here it is.
I say, what do you want for all of this stuff? Really. C’mon. Something. He says buy me a nice bottle of wine sometime. Ha OK. Sure, that seems fair. A pile of vinyls, a Rega turntable, and Mastodon’s first LP? Yeah, a bottle of wine will cover all of that, easy. Uh huh. And monkeys will fly outta my butt.
Craig. He’s a generous, generous man. And I feel like I won the friggin’ lottery. Feels like I should contact him tomorrow and remind him of what happened (we were deep in our cups tonight) and offer to give the stuff back. Except I know he won’t take it. I can’t even begin to thank the guy. Not even close.