My wife tells me I should write something about Garbage. No, not debris or detritus, the band.
Twenty years ago, I worked at a horrible conglomerate retail company and just so happened to be in the electronics department when Handleman Company brought in the cassettes and compact discs to stock for the week.
It was a Monday night, just before store closing when I noticed the Garbage cassette.
Normally when albums were stocked, I’d browse them before leaving for the night. This was no different. What was different was the pink cover with the big G on it and the sticker announcing that Butch Vig was in the band.
Normally stickers say “featuring THIS SONG, THAT SONG and ANOTHER SONG,” This one advertised the drummer over the songs and his previous accomplishments.
I was familiar with Butch’s name as he had produced Nirvana’s Nevermind and Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream. So I bought the cassette, popped it in my station wagon’s cassette player for the drive home and wow was it good.
I wouldn’t say the album was life altering. I would say though that the sound from the four members of the band was roaring and yet melodic. The Garbage cassette was so good that when people would visit electronics, I’d always point them in the direction of the album. I even had a coworker take a picture of me holding the album by the music racks at some point while I was still working there.
It was my favorite album of that year. That said, I wasn’t able to see Garbage on tour until their second album, Version 2.0. I was young and busy and school and work combined to make me not a concert goer yet when Garbage did their debut album run.
My first Garbage concert was May 27, 1998 at 9:30 Club. Talvin Singh opened and was pretty awful and generic.
The Garbage show was pretty amazing. The command and stage presence that Shirley and the boys brought to the stage combined with their songs was stellar.
Since then, my wife and I have gone on a journey with Garbage in our lives. Some of that is detailed in this blog. I wasn’t familiar with Garbage until their album debuted and was put on store shelves, but from that point forward, I’ve been a fan.
Thanks for 20 years of trash.
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Garbage's debut album was released 20 years ago today. I remember buying it, sticking it in my CD player, and then immediately thinking there was something wrong with it. This band has given me some of the greatest times of my life, and helped me through so many of the hardest. The friends I made through the trash-talk mailing list, and then went on to meet at shows, were a huge influence on shaping my demeanor and outlook. But as Shirley said in January: "F— your teenage heart. We want your ADULT one." We pause to celebrate this album's longevity, but I look forward to continuing to share a journey with them, older and wiser, for years to come. #20YearsQueer