So here’s a record thing that’s out of alphabetical order, but whatever.
Yesterday I had the random urge to listen to Yes’ Fragile, so I pulled it out of the record bin. I had completely forgotten that there was a bunch of stuff stored inside the jacket along with the record itself!
The entire reason I bought this particular record was that it included the weird little Roger Dean-illustrated booklet that came with early pressings of the album. I mean, the booklet’s not weird, but that cover sure is.
It also includes a BBQ menu. This is not as random as it sounds! One year when I was in college — maybe 1994? — I happened to be back at home visiting my family in Lubbock, TX with a trip that coincided with a live performance by Yes guitarist Steve Howe. Naturally, I went! The weird thing, though, was that it took place at a barbecue restaurant called Stubbs. Nothing could be more Texas than that, I suppose, but Howe (like most of the rest of Yes) was a pretty adamant vegetarian. Seemed kind of, I dunno, inappropriate.
It was a good show, though! An acoustic set covering the span of his career to that point, including an excerpt of “The Ancient” from Tales from Topographic Ocean — clearly, nothing was off-limits. He played for a small audience, maybe 50 people, and afterwards did a brief signing for fans.
So, I had him sign his page in the Fragile booklet. At one point I thought it would be cool to have the whole Fragile-era band sign, but I never ended up having the chance… and with the recent passing of Chris Squire, I clearly never will. Still, it’s a great curio. I don’t collect autographs, but this one has a pleasant personal memory attached, so I’ll keep it around.
I wish I could say I’ll listen to the record a lot, too, but… nah. I bought the record for the extras, and good thing — now that I’ve sat down to play it, this is the shabbiest record I own. There’s an insane level of surface noise, like the previous owner rubbed steel wool over it or something. There are two locked grooves and a few skips…
…but at least it comes with a bonus autograph. Move over, Steve Howe.