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  • Writer's pictureMichael Lenzi

(Re)Collection: My Bloody Valentine

I vividly recall lying on a bare mattress on the floor in an unheated room in Reading, England. It was Number One Cup's first European tour. It was the middle of winter, February 1996. We slept in our tour manager Paul's row house and commuted back and forth all over England for many of our UK dates. Drive across England, play a show, load gear back into the unheated cargo van drunk and drive back to Reading in the wee hours. It was a little rough but I enjoyed it. Most of the nights on that tour I shared that very drafty and cold upstairs room with John, our bass player. He had been drafted back into service after two previous bass players had quit or were fired. (John had played on our first 7" as well as on Possum Trot Plan). Great bass player, friend and solid roommate. We had many funny, drunken conversations on that little porch.

I would curl up under some shabby blankets, put on my headphones, pop Loveless into my Sony Discman and drift off to sleep. It was an all-consuming record. Only Shallow opens with those 4 isolated snare drum hits. Then the seasick guitars kick in with a wobbly wail. It is savage, disorienting and soothing all at once. Like being caught in a wave and spun around so much and so violently that when the churning stops it is hard to tell in which direction the surface is. Before the first song was over, I was usually fast asleep. (Being drunk also helps.)

I first found Loveless in 1991 through DJing at WHPK, the U of C radio station. It got me through a very rough patch. I was failing out of grad school. I just stopped going to class. Every day I would curl up on my futon couch/bed in my tiny room and try my hardest to sleep the daylight away. To disappear into that record for a little while.

I am grateful that I found this massive consolation prize. Thank you Kevin, Colm, Bilinda and Debbie for settling me down with your unsettling, turbulent music and allowing me to sleep. Another debt of gratitude is owed.

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