Sunday, June 30, 2013


June 30, 1998. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school, and I ended up working for my mom's boss, painting the exterior of their building. It was my first taste of "full-time" work, as I worked Monday through Friday. Can't remember if it was eight hours a day, I think it just might have been. I do recall, however, that I had to be there at 9am, which completely sucked. I mean, after all, this was summer break. Who wants to get up that early during summer? As I quickly found out, those carefree summer days we all loved were over.

On this particular day fifteen years ago, a Tuesday to be exact, I woke up extra early to make a slight detour before work. Much to my anticipation, the new Rancid record, Life Won't Wait, was coming out, and I had to be the first one to buy it (not to mention I wanted to listen to it all day at work). Now, when there was a new record coming out that I excited about, I used to go to the Exclusive Co. about thirty minutes before they opened, to ensure I was the person there to buy it. That is, of course, if Sam Warnke didn't beat me to it. Actually, my work was only a few blocks away from Exclusive, so it wasn't as much a detour as it was a brief stop. 

Just a few weeks prior, I caught the world premiere of the music video for "Bloodclot" on MTV's 120 Minutes (which I used to sit up and watch until 2am every Sunday night during the summer). As if I wasn't pumped enough, that video pushed me over the edge. Lucky for me, I taped it when it aired, and basically watched it daily until the release of the record. On top of that, just a few weeks later, I'd be catching Rancid live for the first time at Warped Tour. In other words, the first half of summer was all about Rancid.

The opening line of the intro wasn't lying when it said, "The phenomena you are about the witness could well revolutionize your way of thinking... Prepare yourself for the evidence that will follow." Something I was unaware about was what I got myself into when I made my purchase that morning. Not only is Life Won't Wait my favorite Rancid record, but it's one of my all-time favorite records period. With …And Out Come The Wolves, the band started to explore elements of their influence, dabbling into ska and reggae. With Life Won't Wait, they took it to a whole new level. Not only were they busting out tracks of all styles, they were executing them perfectly. It seems that this direction steered a fair amount of fans away. I still find myself in conversations where people shoot Life Won't Wait down. That's fine, to each their own, but for me, it doesn't get much better than this.