Thursday, June 26, 2008

We Got California Drownin' Out The Windowsides


It was the summer of 1993.

C. and I had already been in Berkeley for awhile, living in a tiny white house off Gilman with an even tinier e.

And suddenly, one day this tape showed up in the lab up the hill overlooking the Bay where I was training to be a science geek at the time.

A demo of some kind.

That arrived in our midst because of an undergraduate named D.


D. was one of those kids you expect to find in Berkeley.

Smart as whip, and a thousand times hipper.

And she lived in this communal house off lower Durant with a cavalcade of housemates that came and went like the fog that rolled in under the bridge every day.

Apparently, at one time or another, two of those comers and goers were a couple of aspiring musicians named Adam and Dave.

Which may or may not have have been true but, in the end, that really doesn't matter.

Because a few of months later you couldn't go anywhere in the Bay Area, including our house, without hearing most of the songs that were on that demo.

And I sure as heckfire wish that I had made a copy of the thing, because the band that D.'s 'housemates' built is called 'The Counting Crows'.

And for now and ever after the sounds Dave Bryson's opening guitar line and Adam Duritz' swirling vocal that eventually rises out of it on the lead-in to 'Round Here will always be the sound of Berkeley (and maybe now the infamous Sproul Plaza too) to me.


Every two years or so we make the trip down the coast down the Bay Area to see old friends, most of whom were first C's, because she had a real job when we lived there. In contrast, most of my friends from those days, including D., have all moved on because that's what science geeks-in-training do when they get real jobs.

Anyway, when we go it's always fun to show our two kids where we lived and what we did back in the days when California pretty much drowned our window sides every single day.

And, of course, we also make sure we head down to Telegraph Avenue to replenish our Tie-Dye supply, one example of which you can see above, worn by the once tiny e. during our 2004 trip down the coast in the VW (notso)Microbus.

As for 2008?

Well, the story of that trip will just have to wait.....

Because we're on our way there right now.


You know, it's a funny thing.....Earlier in 1993, probably because I was more attuned to that sort of thing at the time, I knew all about a derivative little bubble-punk trio that I just knew would soon be busting out of this place right down the street from our house. But I must confess that, while I really dug their stuff, I never thought Bryson and Duritz would hit the bigtime because what they were doing just seemed too damned esoteric for those days of grunge and glory. Clearly, I was wrong, especially after 'Mr. Jones' hit.


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