Friday, June 22, 2007

To My 3000th Visitor, The Internet, And New Friends

The 3000th visitor to "I, Splotchy" was only here briefly, only stopping for 0 (zero) seconds.

Here are the details regarding their location:

Continent: Europe
Country : United Kingdom
State/Region: Slough
City: Perivale
Lat/Long: 51.5333, -0.3167


Here's that location on Google Maps (click on the image to see something more humanly readable):




I could be wrong, but I believe Slough is the same Slough where the UK version of The Office was supposedly set. Another useless fact from me (someone who has zero concept of geography in England), you'll see "Hammersmith" near the bottom of the map, which is referenced in a song lyric I posted here.

The thing I found most interesting was where the user was hitting my site from:

A Head Full Of Wishes

A Head Full Of Wishes is a fansite for the bands Galaxie 500, Luna and their offshoots. It's run by a very nice guy in the UK, Andy Aldrige. Andy (or someone at his site) apparently found my description of a Luna show I saw in St. Louis. They posted a link to this posting of mine, and a few people have clicked through it to see what I have to say about Luna.

The strange thing is, that it was this very same website through which I first made an attempt to interact with people over the Internet whom I did not already know. In the mid-90's, I signed up for Andy's Galaxie 500 mailing list, and carried on the geeky kind of conversations one does when obsessed with a subject.

Tonight, I did a bit of research, and was able to dig up messages from me in the alt.music.galaxie-500 newsgroup from 1997, ten(!) years ago.

Some really positive things happened as a result of reaching out to these people. I was able to share in something that I cared about with others -- and it so happened that many of these people were pretty damned wonderful.

Andy was gracious, funny, and a fan I would imagine any band would kill for. He worked it out with Luna that he issued a vinyl single for the band, with money out of his own pocket. I think I bought 6 or 7 copies out of the 1000 copies he made, just to give him the support he richly deserved.

Andy's "Dear Paulina" single:


I don't doubt that if my wife and I made it out to London that Andy would play the gracious host. I could just sense his goodness and decency from reading his thoughts and observations, and reactions to my own observations.

Through Andy's Galaxie 500 list, I also met the drummer for Wild Carnation, the band of Brenda Sauter (ex-bass player for The Feelies). He was also a really sweet, good-hearted person. My wife and I went to New York City for the first time in the late 90's, and he and his wife met us and gave us a whirlwind tour of the city. They took us out to eat at a favorite Mexican restaurant of theirs in Greenwich Village. I still can't get over how it's possible to make a connection with people through webpages and email. It's pretty amazing. Humbling, even.

I sort of lost interest in Luna late in their career, and eventually unsubscribed from Andy's list, but I still remember the people I met there. It's so odd that now I am meeting a whole host of new people, whom I'm never met, but on occasion there is still some sort of profound connection when sharing my thoughts with them, and reading the thoughts they share with me.

And now it seems to have come full circle.

Crazy.

5 comments:

timdrussell said...

Cool, man. It's a small net after all. I was disappointed to be number 2,999 by the way, but no longer.

Johnny Yen said...

A woman I dated in the eighties was a huge Galaxie 500 fan, and dragged me to a number of their shows. I got to really like them too.

Dale said...

Yep, that's the Slough. I passed through there recently. The train stops on the way to uh oh, is it Windsor or Hampton Court Palace? Geography is not my strong point either.

Andy said...

I'm chuffed and blushing! Thanks so much!

Splotchy said...

Thank you, Andy!

You rock (literally)!