Two emails today made me 17 again. One was via Classmates, from the person who's apparently in charge of running my 20th high school reunion which is.. uh... next year. (Better get cracking on making that first million dollars. Time's a-wastin.) So yeah, it was twenty years ago and all that.
The other was from an improv acquaintance, regarding a bulletin board post I'd made about the band O-Positive. So I went digging for my old O-Positive CDs.
I *loved* that band. That band nicely bookended my high school years, from the first time I ever saw them (on the short-lived V-66, Boston's own video music station, where those of us who were doing public access TV could see that the VJ's were actually operating the switcher themselves while on-camera...) Ah, the good old days. What I recall was a video being shown, then a cut to a live remote at some mall (I want to say it was Shoppers' World in Framingham but don't quote me) And there at the mall were the lead singer and (I think) the guitarist, looking like they had no idea how they'd been roped into spending the afternoon at a mall waiting to be on camera.
V-66 flipped to a home shopping network one day without warning. Shame, because there were so many local band I only knew because of seeing them on V-66. But the one that stuck was O-Positive. Around the time their one major label album came out (toyboatToyBoatTOYBOAT on Epic) I was working in the records/tapes/CD department of Lechmere in Cambridge, Mass. This was just after they 'new' store opened as one of the anchor stores of the Cambridgeside Galleria, the rest of which was still under construction. Best Buy and Borders now split up the three floors that Lechmere had in the Galleria.
We were allowed to open one copy of a CD to play in-store if we thought it would sell. Or if we just wanted to, maybe; I don't remember there being hard and fast rules about it. For instance, there was no CDs we had to play; you could tell who was working & had gotten control of the CD player by listening to what music was on. If it was Madonna, you knew Lisa was working. And so on. (On one particular big-sale day, the store manager insisted on playing the video of New Kids On The Block's Step By Step over and over again until finally the cashiers went to their manager and threatened bloody insurrection and murder unless it was shut the hell off.) I had opened that O-Positive CD and another Boston area's major label debut, Slam by Big Dipper.
Then, not sure what happened, but Epic dropped O-Positive. I saw a couple of local live shows when I could, bought Home Sweet Head when it came out (which is also a great album), picked up the Only You/Cloud Factory CD, even bought Problem, the post-O+ project by "Toyboat" which if I recall correctly is three fifths of the O-Positive lineup.
When they had their final live 'farewell' shows at the Hard Rock Cafe, I had to go. I dragged my girlfriend even though she wasn't a huge fan, but it was a touchstone moment for me. O+ was band I'd really grown up with, from awkward borderline obese teen watchng V-66 to a guy living with his hot brunette girlfriend (now hot brunette wife) who was with me despite having known me since I'd been an awkward borderline obese teen, but that's another story for another time.
I'm listening to Home Sweet Head now. I'm glad I'm not 17 anymore, that's for damn sure. But I'm glad I have the souvenirs to listen to once and then.