It was the best of times, it was the best of times. A core of three friends and their music-obsessed cohorts trekking 3 hours in all directions of Binghamton, NY, to follow their passion and the bands they lived for. So many close calls with death and discomfort in a not-waving-drowning Chevy Monza and Ford Econoline, so many generic cigarettes, warm beers, Actifed, sleepless nights…so much friggin’ awesome talent we had the mind-blowing privilege to meet and hang with. Doubtless everyone I talked to has long forgotten me and us, but I remember every show, every interview, and still have every letter. A handful of these encounters left indelible marks that I can still trace today when my thoughts turn idle. It’s impossible for these people to know how much they changed me, improved me, touched everyone like me who barely glimpsed the depth of their talent and the breadth of their spirit. They matter. They make the world a better place. Except for that guy from Scruffy the Cow. What a jerk.