Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day's gone by

It recently occurred to me that it's 2007 (well, I did know that already). But this is a significant year for me in a few regards. 20 years ago, as a 10 year old, I would buy my first ever music album, "Hysteria" by Def Leppard, a band I still love today. Also 20 years ago, I had my first encounter with what would become my major comics obsession - The Silver Surfer (there may be an overwhelming Firestorm theme to this blog, but the Surfer is #1 in my book).

My father used to work in radio. Every week he'd bring home the latest singles (on 7" vinyl record), for my sister, brother, and I to pour through. It was a classical music station, but they still got sent everything, so they were freely available for staff (since they'd get zero air play) and he'd grab what he could. Man, I discovered so many cool bands that way (and months before anyone else). Skid Row, Faith No More, Def Leppard, Leatherwolf, it's a big list. In 1987 though, a couple of singles caught my eye.

In 1987, guitar god Joe Satriani released his landmark album, "Surfing With The Alien". It had a cool shot of the Surfer by John Byrne.

There were 2 singles released, each with half of that cover as the picture, so you could join them up (though I can only find one of them, grrr).

I was not yet a guitar player, didn't know the Silver Surfer from a bar of soap, and had never heard of Joe Satriani, but something made me pull these singles out and keep them. I'm pretty sure I never even listened to them (it would take another 3 years before I 'discovered' Satriani). But the cool picture was enough for me.

Finally in 1990, I found my 'in' to the Silver Surfer. There was this little bookshop tucked away in a near-by city, and it had all sorts of exotic-sounding comics that I had never seen anywhere else (Booster Gold for example, who the hell was that?). There was one guy I recognised- the Surfer. Having been dying to find out more about him since my initial discovery, I bought it. It was #40.

Just looking at it, I paid $2.95 for it. Oh the days of cheap comics (if it came out today, it would be atleast $6.95). It was awesome, though I didn't particularly understand it. Eventually some of the other stores closer to me caught up with the times, and I was able to start collecting the title from #50 onwards.

Now, 20 years from first exposure, I have over 400 Silver Surfer comics and related appearances. And a bunch of Joe Satriani albums.

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