New best friend

Scott from Peachtree City, GA has a story to tell that–paging Richard Linklater!–takes place over nine years: 3/19/00 – I host a YLT rarities radio special on WREK in advance of their show in Atlanta the following week. As I announce a ticket giveaway all lines light up until I say, “passes to the first who can answer this: James McNew has a sticker of a well-known independent comic book series on his bass cabinet as seen live or in videos.  What is it?” at which point every caller immediately drops off.

3/25/00 – I attend said show and in advance compose a fan letter to James based on above story and other things that make me see him as a (more talented) kindred spirit.  Alas, I am a total naïf at communicating and as I rabidly wave my letter as the band hits the stage, a roadie grabs the message and runs away, presumably to destroy it with the local fire squad.

5/27/05 – YLT are in a Tokyo to do a Sounds of Science show.  By coincidence I am also in Tokyo.  My wife and I are shopping in Greatest Toy Store On Planet Earth Kiddy Land when James strolls in.  My wife ribs me but I’m too shy to say anything and stay away.  Later, we ride the tiny elevator in the store and James steps in as well.  My frustrated wife initiates conversation and I have so much I could say but instead say “oh, I love your band.”  A nice awkward end as the elevator door opens.

9/19/09 – YLT play an instore at Atlanta’s Criminal Records.  I am inadvertently shopping next to James.  I bite the bullet and say, “Do you remember shopping in the Harajuku Kiddy Land a few years back and getting sighted in the elevator?  That was me.”  He says, “oh yeah, I think so” (which is always the most polite way to say no).  I say “cool, looking forward to the set!” and walk away — a pretty mundane chat to most, but to initiates I knew I just found a new secret best friend.

Glad it had a happy ending!  I’ll just pipe up to say that Criminal was only one of three different record stores we’ve played on this day over the years.  Other September 19 memories are Karl Precoda sitting in on “Halloween” at the 9:30 in 1998, and loading out while an AC/DC cover band played the late show at Louisville’s notorious (now closed) Toy Tiger.


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