Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Rebuying history

Way back in 1997 when I met Nick Hornby at a book reading in Seattle and told him about how High Fidelity possessed me to buy way too many CDs, I made a vow to re-buy all of the old albums from my youth that have stuck in the back of my head. See, I bought a lot of tapes back then instead of CDs, because my car had a tape player and cassettes were noticeably cheaper back in the day. But my car had rust holes in the floorpans, and lots of those tapes got loaned, ruined, melted, lost, or dropped through the carpet onto the pavement below. And now I’m always on a hunt to find those last few albums on disc.

Amazon and GEMM have found many ways for me to empty my wallet in pursuit of older music, as have ebay and google. I went on amazon a few months ago and put every Saxon album I used to have but couldn’t find on my wish list, and I got the album Innocence is No Excuse in the mail today as part of a belated birthday gift. Now, I remember this album in the stores back when I searched Super Sounds and Camelot for any sign of a metal record on Combat Records or with the drippy-blood or Old English font that might indicate heavy metal coolness. And I thought I had this particular 1985 release in my collection at some point, but after putting it in, I realized I’d never heard any of the tracks, except for one or two that made their way onto a live album a decade later. It had the same sound as some of their other old albums, but just different words and songs. So I’m looking forward to many listens of that in the future.

Saxon’s a strange band. I got into them initially because Vyvvyan, the red-haired punk with metal spikes in his forehead on the British cult classic show The Young Ones wore a Saxon shirt. He also wore Mot