Monday, February 27, 2012

Wax Nostalgic #1: Green Day - 'Warning' 7''

11'' x 17'' poster

By Jason Duarte

Artist: Green Day
Title: Warning b/w "Scumbag"/"Outsider" (Ramones)
Inches: 7
Label: Adeline Records
Pressing: First?
Color: Gold
Release date: December 11, 2000

Since this is the first Wax Nostalgic entry, I thought I'd start with the first 7'' I ever ordered via mailorder.
I just started high school a few months prior to this release, and had been a Green Day fan since Dookie. One of the Green Day CDs I bought that year had a mailorder catalog for Adeline Records in the case. I remember lying on the floor of my bedroom in the basement of the house I just moved to five months prior. I remember examining everything on it and getting totally sucked in because it was stuff I'd never heard of, or Green Day stuff I knew I'd like and want, but had never seen in places like Best Buy or Tower Records or even Disc Replay.
At 14, I owned no vinyl or turntable - only a few cassettes, CDs and a big stack of mix tapes I made by recording songs I liked off the radio and affixing stickers to them with tiny handwriting to tell what was on them. I knew vinyl was an older format, and had always heard things at record stores or from older people who said things like, "music sounds better on vinyl." I brushed it off as mindless nostalgia crap - older people refusing to accept a new format, a better format; the digital format. Why read grooves pressed in plastic at 33 rpms when you can read it at 5,200 rpms and cut out all the scratching and fuzz? Plus it was way smaller and easier to buy.
I still wanted to know why, so even though I didn't own a turntable, I made it a mental goal to one day get one, and I'd invest in vinyl until I got one.
I think the Warning 7'' cost $4 ppd, and it came with an 11'' x 17'' Green Day poster, so I was sold. I knew it was risky to send cash in the mail, so I gave my mom the cash and asked her to write a check to Adeline Records for $4. I stuck the check and the order form in an envelope and ran out to the mailbox and flipped the flag up.
It seemed like weeks (it probably was) until I received that flat 7'' x 7'' brown cardboard package in the mail. "FRAGILE - DO NOT BEND." I carefully opened one side and pulled out the 7''. It smelled like fresh ink and plastic. There was no insert or liner notes or even dust sleeve - just the yellow/gold record in its cover and the poster. I unfolded the poster, admired it, then carefully folded it back up, trying not to get my oily fingerprints on it, and stuck it back in the cover with the record.
A year or two passed and my mom's husband said he had an old turntable in storage somewhere that I could use if I was careful. I dug for it through boxes in the room where the water heater, furnace and mice resided, and finally found it. I brought it to my room, attached the wires to my stereo and gave it a spin.
It was beautiful. I couldn't believe I was listening to a Green Day song I had on CD on this newly discovered format, with new songs (to my ears) on the other side. "What the fuck do these songs sound like?" I thought to myself since the day I cross-referenced all my CDs to see if they were on any of them. They weren't. A Ramones cover? "Scumbag?" I finally knew, and this turntable was the key to decoding these treasures I hung on to for what seemed like forever.
As soon as I flipped the record over from the song I'd already heard hundreds of times, I was trekking a new frontier. Why were these songs never on any of their albums? What could they have done to this Ramones song, and really, who the hell were The Ramones? I was so excited to hear what I only inferred was super ultra mega rare Green Day material. Keep in mind, this was before you could hop online, run a search and get instant gratification. I had to withstand time, my own excitement and patience for two years before I could unlock these treasures. Even if there was a way to hop online and get those songs, I didn't know how (that would soon change).
The rest of the world stopped when "Scumbag" started, and I remember lifting and dropping the needle repeatedly, playing side B over and over again. I don't think I ever flipped this 7'' back to side A. A whole new world was opened to me because of the Warning 7''. None of my friends sought out vinyl, and it seems this was several years before its big comeback. As a 14-year-old with and no record shop within walking or biking distance and no friends in my new town anyway, music evolved from being just a passion to becoming my new hobby. CDs were so easy to get, but this vinyl stuff was hard to find.
So began my quest and passion for vinyl.

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