Hello friends of A Different Drum! It has been a while since I’ve written an update. It’s been even longer since I sent another installment of A Different Drum’s history, which some of you seem to be enjoying. I’m sorry about the long silence. Life sometimes gets very busy…especially around the holidays. I’m sometimes surprised at how much time has flown by when I finally get a couple hours to sit down and try to catch up.
First of all, here is a new release that has come into A Different Drum’s independent synthpop store:
Kaos! “Scream in Silence” $10 — This is the first full-length album from a Swedish synthpop duo that has been around for a few years. They play a light, retro sound with female lead vocals. You can watch a couple of live clips on Youtube, and I’ve embedded one of those onto the listing. You can watch a video and order the CD here:
Also, as an update for the VIP subscribers, I got about half-way through mailing the last two releases before I ran out of shipping envelopes (oops!). So, if you haven’t received your package with the new Inter-Connect and Saudade CD’s, don’t worry! I’ll get them out as quickly as possible, once my new shippers arrive. Then, shortly after those are shipped, I’ll begin shipping the new package with the new albums from Wave In Head and Sad January.
TRIBUTE to Randy Webb…
I’ve mentioned before that one of the joys of my experience with A Different Drum is that I’ve been able to get to know a lot of great people through the years. Not only has it been fun to meet a lot of the artists who contribute to our small scene, but I’ve also been able to meet the people who really make it all come together– the fans!
One of those fans who I have known for a lot of years is Randy Webb. I don’t even remember exactly when I first talked to Randy, but it has been many years now that I’ve known him and helped to provide the music he dearly loved. He wasn’t very good with computers and basically knew how to do one thing with them– type in searches on Google for synthpop and spacesynth music. He would search the internet for new bands and call me whenever he found anything new, even if it wasn’t yet released on CD. He didn’t know how to download (legally, of course, since he would never dream of taking somebody’s music without paying), so if it was a download he’d found, he’d call me and ask if I could buy it for him, burn it onto disc, and send it to him. He’d pay me back quickly and was always very grateful that there was somebody to help him add the music that he loved to his collection.
I met Randy in person at each of the A Different Drum festivals in Salt Lake City. He always participated enthusiastically, like it was one of the biggest events of his life to actually meet some of band members and to look through the piles of CD’s I’d bring to sell. He brought his son along, and I remember that it was a big deal for Randy to take a photo of his boy with the members of Intuition.
Even after I disconnected A Different Drum’s official business phone number because of my change in full-time employment, Randy still had my cell phone number. I knew that cutting off that link with him would mean that his source for music was gone. He didn’t know how to get music any other way, other than to have me get it for him. He often called me and complained about the fact that these bands were so wonderful, but couldn’t be found in any music store. He couldn’t understand why they weren’t famous, and why everybody didn’t know about synthpop and spacesynth music. Why did so many of the CD’s that he loved have to come from places like Sweden, Poland, and Russia? Why couldn’t he go into Walmart and buy his CD’s? Yes…it was a genuine mystery to him, and no matter how much I tried to explain the music industry in simple terms, he just couldn’t accept that his music was so unknown to the world. He’d say things to me again and again, like, “Todd, I know I’m not a very smart man, but this music makes me happy. So why doesn’t the rest of the world love it too?”
Randy Webb passed away a couple of days after Christmas, much to my surprise and the surprise of his wife and son. Nobody knows why he died…and if the family has since found out, I haven’t heard. It was a shocker. A couple of days before Christmas, he’d left a message on my cell phone, asking if I could download the newest Spacesynth Christmas mix for him because it would make his holiday’s brighter. I didn’t get back to him, because I was in the middle of the crazy retail season where I work, and when I finally got time off on Christmas day, I spent it with my family. I figured I could get to the download after the holidays, and he’d still love it. Then, I got another message on my cell phone from his wife, saying that Randy had passed away, and she wanted me to know, since she was aware that he’d been waiting for something from me. I felt horrible and didn’t believe it at first. I called back, but nobody answered, so I left a message, asking if I’d heard her words correctly. Guilt set in because I hadn’t returned Randy’s call, and I hadn’t downloaded his music request. I couldn’t help but think that somehow, one of the last things on his mind was, “What is taking Todd so long? I want to hear that new music!” How many times in the past had he called me to check-up and see if I was able to get a CD from some foreign land, or if I’d had a chance to download a request for him? He had always been too excited to wait very long. Now, his final music request from me would never be fulfilled, and I felt badly about it.
I’ll miss Randy, and I feel for his wife and son who have to make some adjustments in the coming weeks, months, and years. I don’t know what any of you believe, but as for myself, I am a religious person with a great faith that this life is not a random, meaningless even. This life is a part of a journey. Despite any of our joys, sorrows, successes, or hardships, what ultimately matters is what we choose to do with what we’re given. That’s the test. Randy was a good man, and I believe that even though I didn’t get that last order shipped to him, he’s continuing his journey, and wherever he is now, I’m betting he’s finding some great music. Heck…maybe he’s relieved not to have to use the dang, computer contraption to search, and he doesn’t need to call some guy’s cell phone to get it for him. Maybe it’s all right there for him, and for every other music lover to enjoy at any moment? It gives me relief to think of Randy in a wonderful place with wonderful music, because he deserves it. Anyway, I wanted to share a little bit about Randy Webb, a true synthpop fan who is no longer with us. Thanks Randy!
Have a great weekend everybody, and please know that I appreciate you.