Eventually, the original writer of my Jersey Beat column The Quiet Corner got back in touch with Jim Testa, and wanted to take back his column.  That was fine with me; I had grown tired of writing about folk music, and I simply didn’t do the column as well as the original writer, Robert, did.

For a while, Jim let me do a column about whatever I wanted.  We called it Sunny Side Up, although I’m not sure why.  I was sort of grouchy and cynical.  Jim would send me a bunch of music to review, and I’d add in reviews of records that I’d bought on my own.  After one or two issues of that, I eventually had a big pile of records and a deadline, and I stayed up until all hours, writing the column so that I didn’t make Jim wait – and then the issue never came out.

I dropped Jim a few notes about it, and he gave me some pleasant, friendly responses, but it became pretty clear to me that somehow, I no longer wrote a column for Jersey Beat.  I’m not even sure if that last issue ever came out, or if Jim just moved the publication to the web.

No hard feelings, of course – I just figured Jim had continued to evolve, and my column wasn’t particularly good, nor did it add much value to the publication.

My Magnet advertiser subscription had disappeared a few years prior.  When we moved to the country I actually had the nerve to fill out a change of address form, even though I wasn’t actually paying for the subscription and hadn’t advertised in years.  They actually processed the change of address and continued to send me copies for a while, but then they abruptly stopped coming.

Before it stopped coming, though, an issue came out, and I didn’t know anybody inside it.  Not a single band.

I mean, I knew who the bands were, but I did not actually know any of the people in any of the bands.  And that had always been sort of a barometer for me.  I had always said that as long as I still had some sort of connection to indie rock, that it would be possible for me to revive Dromedary, or do something similar.  But as soon as an issue of Magnet came out and everyone in it was unknown to me, I was too far removed to ever get back involved.

When that issue of Magnet finally came, I amended my rule a bit, because I still wasn’t ready to officially hang ’em up.  So I said that as long as I was writing for Jersey Beat, I still had some sort of marginal connection to the scene.

So when it occurred to me that I was no longer writing for Jersey Beat, I realized I was no longer involved with indie rock, in any capacity, and I no longer knew anyone who was involved, either.

It was sort of a weird realization for me, to be that far removed from it.  I’d been involved with indie rock in one way or another since my first year of college in 1987 – as a DJ, an internet “sysop,” a record label intern, a radio station music director, a record reviewer, a label owner, and a music “journalist” – and suddenly, after nearly twenty years, it was no longer a part of my life.  It was almost sobering, to realize that something that had been such a large part of my life was no longer a part of my life at all.

~ by Al on December 20, 2009.

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