And with that, 1995 drew to a close. An entire year, and we’d made a million plans, had a million conversations, and put out precisely one record.

By the end of 1995 I had been rejected by Michael Bull at Caroline Distribution and Corey Rusk at Touch and Go eight times each. I had been rejected by every major indie distributor, every major label, and every large indie that didn’t really distribute other labels. By the end of 1995 “alternative rock” was big business and I still had no idea what I was doing.

There isn’t as much reminiscing for me to do when it comes to 1995.  We simply didn’t do as much.

Footstone Distro Letter
This is the letter that I sent out to distributors, begging them to carry the Footstone CD Lippy. The letters to radio stations and VIPs and music reviewers were, for all practical purposes, the same.

By the time this came out, I was able to bank on distribution from Dutch East, TCI, Surefire, and Performance.  Thanks to the success of Flying Suit, we were able to secure orders from Cargo in the US and Canada, Semaphore for overseas, and Get Hip.  We had a lot of distributors, each ordering small quantities of CDs.

Flatus Record This is the Flatus seven-inch I was looking for when I found the Footstone Wobbles From Side To Side record at Flipside in Pompton Plains.  The kid at the counter raved about how great Footstone was, and I bought the seven inch so I wouldn’t blow my cover.  It was my buddies at Surefire Distributors that sold Flipside the record in the first place.

The Flatus record is excellent, by the way, and includes an awesome cover of my favorite Who song, “The Kids Are All Right.”

Speedway Here’s the artwork from a seven-inch by Shiva Speedway.  Speedway were a tremendous band from New England that we were beginning to talk with about doing a record at the end of 1995.  Since their breakup, their singer Heidi Saperstein recorded a couple of absolutely fantastic solo records for the Kimchee label, neither of which took off the way they should have.  I regret never having met her, because she was one of the best writers I’d encountered in indie rock.  She plays in a pop band now.

Unfortunately I lost track of Pam, about whom I remember little besides the fact that she was incredibly friendly and amazingly cool.  Hopefully, like others have, she’ll stumble upon this blog and make contact.

Zipper ad And here’s our stupid ad for the end of 1995.  It includes the Footstone record, and you’ll note that Nothing Smells Quite Like Elizabeth had sort of scrolled off the bottom.  We planned on writing off the remaining inventory on our 1995 taxes, and had ultimately given up on selling any more copies.  The final tally of CDs sold: 89.  A failure, even by Steve Albini’s standards.

You’ll also note that this silly ad contains no plugs for our friends’ labels.  In 1993 and 1994, we’d taken to plugging Ratfish Records in every ad, and had also plugged Carrot Top, Harriet, Pop Narcotic, Mag Wheel, Silver Girl and a few other labels in our ads.  I had kinda hoped that I’d do it quietly, the other labels would notice, and if they had any white space in their ads, they’d drop in a similar plug.  I thought it would be a cool way of building a community of labels and also extending each other’s advertising dollars.

Unfortunately, they either failed to notice or failed to care, as I never saw any of those labels plug any of the others.  So I stopped doing it in favor of including a picture of a giant zipper.  No harm, no foul.  I still loved them all.

~ by Al on October 7, 2009.

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