Red light. I guess we’re rolling. Funny how a red light means stop to most people. For those recording, it means you’re live. For those who have recorded long enough, it is a stark reminder of the passage of time, your time, your life. For me, recording gradually transformed from hobby to compulsion.
From 1992 to 2010, I made bootleg recordings of every show I attended. After painstakingly going over the stacks of boxes filled to the brim with the CDs I had burned from the tapes I had made, I determined the exact number of shows to be 1,516. Bear in mind, this doesn’t include the shows I saw before 1992 that I didn’t record, my years recording professionally at the Maritime Hall from 1996 to 2000, or the shows I’ve seen since I stopped recording. Going over the chronological and alphabetical lists I made, I feel paradoxically overwhelmed by the scope of it, while underwhelmed by seemingly meager number of times I actually saw some bands.
Ask any person who has seen as many shows and they’ll tell you, despite ones best efforts, there’s no way to see them all and there will always be somebody who has seen more than you. It is a thirst that can never be quenched, indeed a diuretic like alcohol that will only make you thirstier. Be that as it may, I can’t bring myself to regret the time and effort I put into this endeavor, nor can I criticize the friends I made doing this that are still seeing shows night in and night out.