Jane’s Addiction – “Strays”

When: August 2003
Where: On board the Coast Starlight passing through rural Ventura County, CA
Who: My father
Weather: Foggy

My father has a weird habit of buying me something before I travel. Its as if he has some future vision, and knows I’m going to need something. This time, it was a discman.

Very suddenly, he came to me earlier that summer and asked if I wanted to go to San Francisco. I’d never been, and despite the fact that he would come with me I said yes. We ended up spending most of the trip in Sacramento, my time in SF consisted of a very cold, hazy night.

But for my discman I bought an album, the new Jane’s Addiction album Strays, some of which I’d been enjoying well enough on the radio. I put my headphones on as the train sped out into the countryside. The road fades away, the road is getting thinner. Ideal for the wild and the fog of our ponderous journey up the coast. For the first time, I had absorbed an album. Not even a very good one, but I had plenty of time to hear better things.

Next: The pleasures and pains of listening too closely.


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