Present Perfect


Picture Gallery
Present Perfect

15 years ago

Filed under: Music — Thomas @ 16:03


I was 16 years old. I had gotten a portable stereo with CD player with money I had saved up from birthdays (5999 BEF!), and took it with me to my grandmother's house, where I was staying for two weeks while doing a summer job at my family's fat processing company. (I was doing secretary work there, but I typed too fast so I got my work done too fast and got my uncles annoyed. I learnt the value of slowing down at work, and also learnt that I should look for a job where that value was 0.)

Anyway, along with the player I bought my first CD ever: Gorky's debut CD. I don't know how many times I've played that disc over the years, but it's scratched all over, so I guess a lot. Mia quickly made it to the number one spot on my all-time favourites list, and in the years thereafter, even though it never actually was released as a single, it made it to the top of several Flemish lists as well. I pretty much know every second of those 5:32 by heart, the text is simple yet tugs at the heart strings, the music is a warm prickly blanket, the whole thing is timeless. That opening guitar sound still blows me away, those subtle 3-5 drums are a simple but devastating touch to the song.The song was what I learnt to play the guitar for.

Maybe this version only came around by accident - I have a demo tape of one of their rehearsals where Mia is a straight-on rock song with mostly the same lyrics. (That tape also includes a hilarious "Monkey gone to heaven" cover sung with a trademark Gent accent.) Over the years, he's played it often, sometimes with annoying detachment or an intent on massacring the song. Here's a reasonably good performance of the song (if you're willing to listen past the violins and ignore his Wippelgem pimp phase).

Tonight, the band plays this album from start to finish, including some songs from that period they didn't record. I'm hoping for Ooit was ik een soldaat en Ik word oud, which they played at Boterhammen, and possibly Het einde is nabij. But really, even though the album also has a few bad songs, I just look forward to having the memories come back flooding at hearing these songs played live again. Here's hoping he takes it seriously this time.

In any case, I've been looking forward to this concert.


  1. I can’t remember whether it was Smash Hits 96 (featuring the techno X-Files theme, Peter Andre, Shaggy, etc), or Radiohead’s OK Computer.

    Comment by daniels — 2007-09-14 @ 18:46

  2. My first CD… it was either “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd or “Binaural” by Pearl Jam. I strongly suspect that I bought The Dark Side of the Moon a few week before Binaural but I should check the receipts to be sure.
    I was 19 year old (I know, I started listening to music very late).

    Comment by Giacomo — 2007-09-14 @ 23:15

  3. Hm, my first CD was AC/DC’s “The Razors Edge” album, which I bought in 1990 or 1991. And for some reason my dad didn’t really like it very much when I tested this on my parent’s new CD-equiped stereo system at volume 7… ;-)

    Comment by JanC — 2007-09-14 @ 23:43

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment