“And I Wonder…When I Sing Along With You…”

“it’s better to burn out than to fade away,”

“They would’ve broken up eventually,” Angela says. Of the co-workers, Angela is the one I like most. It’s always been that way with me. I prefer the company of girls/women to the company of boys/men. At the moment, though, I can’t help but think she’s dead wrong.

“They’re music would’ve become corporate,” I say.

“He wouldn’t have allowed it to happen,” she states, and I wonder how much of it is true. Most likely all of it, but still, the band was already riding the torrential tsunami wave towards the mainstream. Had he not died when did, the whole concept of the band would’ve drowned with it.

“Without his death, though,” I say, throwing caution to the wind, “we would never have had the Foo Fighters.”

“Sure we would,” she says. “We just wouldn’t have the entire collection of awesome Foo Fighters songs.”


Angela lent me Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield, and I can’t help but to shed a tear. Not because of the book’s subject. I’m sorry Rob Sheffield, I truly am, but my empathy level is low with strangers, no matter how beautifully they write. No, my tears come from the realization that Shaun will never receive or make a mixtape.

He will never hear Sublime’s “Santeria” following the melancholy cords of Pearl Jam‘s “Black.” Never hear Stabbing Westward jump over to Tears for Fears. Never have the opportunity to listen to Guided by Voices song play with The Donnas – classic The Donnas, anyway.

The mixtape was essential in my adolescence. I don’t think I would have survived high school without it. Hell, I don’t think I would have any friends. When cassette tapes were being replaced with the more convenient CD, I stood my ground until my cassette tape deck died. Mixtape on CDs just weren’t the same. CDs allowed you to jump around. All the hard work and efforts put into the mixtape were erased. When MP3 replaced CDs, well the concept was dead and gone. Sort of.

I don’t see eye to eye with Sheffield’s outlook on the technology. An iPod can hold so much potential for the idea of mixtapes, but it’s not the same. The closest thing these days is having a Pandora One account. Even then, you’re given permission to skip songs – six per hour, per radio.

My lunch buddy – a co-worker from another department – Rosie and I talked about this earlier today.

So now, I’ll make a vow. I will make Shaun a mixtape. I haven’t figured out how. And I sure as hell don’t know what he’ll listen to it on, but it’s going to happen. Mark my word.


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