Hey Dear KMA Readers, welcome to a short (two-day) series I’ll call The Weekend Of Reading (for lack of a wittier or more creative title). It’s Saturday, and, against my current brevity attempts, today’s missive is a fairly long excursion. I know for sure it’s worthwhile, though, so grab a coffee and get comfortable. Enjoy!


Like many of us, I have several items on my Grail List (see link at top of page for the Master Grail List). That’s the whole point of the list. We put the things we dearly want and have never found in the wild onto that list, and then we can all access this list and help each other out wherever we are in the world! This system has already yielded great results, with people finding things for others in their own local shoppes that have never appeared in other places. Community!

One item on my list has always been the main attraction. It has always been the only item on anybody’s Grail List in red text, to highlight its glory, priority, and importance to me.

Copies of this item exist, sure, and given unlimited funds I would already have had a M/M copy ages ago. But typically, lesser-rated copies list at $100-$200 (CAD), and some appear for more yet. Quality and ratings vary widely within that range, too. I’d have a hard time paying that for an LP set, no matter what it was. And that’s prices without shipping added on yet!

Part of the problem is that this album was only ever released on LP in the UK and Europe, so here in Canada it’s an import. The price goes up. It’s also a 2LP gatefold set. The price goes up again. It’s also from 1993, a time when LPs were being shoved aside in favour of 1537’s least favourite format, the shiny silver discs, so that means there were (comparitively) fewer copies out there. The price goes up again.

I’ve had this LP set on my Discogs Want List for a looong time. It may have even been my first-ever item added to my list. And not a week goes by that I don’t get a new notification from them saying ‘hey! we have a newly-added copy! It’s only £95!’ Well, that’s a lot more to me, with currency conversion considered, so how about no.

And then. AND THEN.  Finally, after all these years, I recently clicked on one of these notification emails (as I always do) expecting it to be another wildly expensive copy, and it wasn’t. It was reasonable. And rated VG+/VG+. I didn’t even think about it and, recognizing my chance, I hit Order.

The seller was super-fast, receiving the order and processing the payment that same day. They shipped the next day. That kind of turnaround is crazy. It came from the UK, so it took a while for the boys in the canoes to get it here, but arrive it did.

Can I tell you how happy I was? I even messaged the seller to thank them, and they were happy it made me happy. Wa-hooo!

Now, you wonder why this album. What’s the big deal?

Waaaaay back in the autumn of 1998, my lovely wife and I started dating. On our second date, she visited me in my town, and we made dinner together in my little apartment. We shared a bottle of chianti my Nana had brought back from Italy. And this was the album that I threw into the player that evening. That was the CD copy I still have today! On reflection, I don’t recall any real calculation to choosing that particular album, I must’ve just reflexively figured it would go well. It did. And it became ‘our’ album. We’re sentimental fools.

So, finding this on LP has always been a goal of mine, just for the beauty of hearing it on the Rega, and for having the 2LP gatefold gloriousness in our house.

Even better, this year was our 20th Valentines Day together, now married 15 years, with two beautiful children, and loving life. We’ve come a long way and covered a lot of kilometers (in three provinces) from that date at my place, but then again, we’ve been friends for 40 years, so we just call it a lifetime of awesome, all is as it should be. And this set made an excellent gift for both of us on this 20th Valentines!

And now, if you’ve gotten this far, you must be wondering what the hell album it was, that I was so careful not to tell you about all through this big long text, eh? Well here ya go:

Yessir, it was Van Morrison’s ‘Too Long In Exile.’


If you’ve read this far, you’re a true KMA Reader, and for that I thank you. Happy weekend, everyone, and as it is also Family Day weekend here in Canada, Happy Family Day as well!

24 thoughts on “ULTIMATE GRAIL ITEM FIND!!!

  1. J. says:

    Great stuff, Aaron. This grail find is no doubt that bit sweeter than any other given the significance and attachment of the album. Brilliant stuff!


  2. BuriedOnMars says:

    OK, so I read this over Sarah’s shoulder this morning. I come onto my account the afternoon to comment and find out that I’m no longer following KMA…. WTF? The last post I read was back in November! I go to add KMA and the site will not show up in my search. I had to type out the site address and add it manually. Sorry for all the cussing but.. Piss me off! I’m even missing posts about AC/DC covers…. REALLY piss me off! What is wordpress doing???

    Anyway… this was a great read! I loved the story about you and the connection this has with your wife. Sarah and I have a few albums like that too. And Van Morrison too! I must admit how I have never listen to this one, but I’ll have to give it a spin while catching up on the KMA post I missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Aw man, sorry that happened to you. No worries about cussing (you can’t hurt these ears!) WP has been fixing things that weren’t broken for a good while now, and these unnecessary forced changes can lead to things like this. I’m glad you’ve got it sorted!

      This album is an all-timer for us, a long history. I like that you guys have Van in your must-have too – great minds, and all that! If you like Van you’ll dig this one. And I get how you missed it, the man seems to fart new albums about four times a year.


  3. deKE says:

    Congrats about finding your Holy Grail item!
    The best part about this post is not only the albums score but the story building up to it!
    These are the best posts I like as I love how albums resonate with people whether it be Metal/Country/Funk/Rock …
    Best stuff and great read!
    Well done Mr Books!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks heaps, Deke! I gotta say, it felt GREAT to be able to delete that item from the Grail List. It was probably the first one I ever put on there.

      There’s definitely a history and a story to that album for us, so resonate is a perfect word for it.

      I’ll have to try to come up with more story posts for ya, Deke!


  4. 2loud2oldmusic says:

    So glad you got a grail item, you deserved it as you sent me one of my grail items and as a result of reading this I have pulled it out to spin it yet again!!! Community!!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks very much! This was THE Grail Item of grail items for me. The biggest, the most sought after and desired. It feels really great to have found it (understatement).

      I am all about Community! I’m glad you’re giving another spin! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 2loud2oldmusic says:

        I will need to print out that Grail list, I am heading to Paris in a couple months and I plan on doing some digging while I am there. I am hoping for some cool stuff I can’t find here in the States.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. keepsmealive says:

          Great idea, we all thank you! I keep a copy of the list as a text file in my phone so I always (or, at least, usually) have it with me.

          Ah, Paris in the springtime. You’re lucky!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      I’ll bet! I can remember one time in the Black Duck pub in Saskatoon, we were sitting there and I was fondling a newly-bought Van Morrison CD (it was a later one) and my lovely wife and I were discussing it and how great it’d be to hear the new songs. The bartender asked what we had there and, when I told him, he immediately asked if he could throw it in the pub CD player. So he did, and then the whole place got to listen to it!

      Liked by 2 people

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