I feel a little bit like Ace of Base right now. You remember those guys, right? Jenny, Joker, Linn, and Buddha? The Swedish Beatles, as I'm sure someone at some point called them. You may remember their hit songs, The Sign, Don't Turn Around, and All That She Wants. Well let me tell you a very brief behind the music story about this band. Full disclosure: I'm in a folk-rock Ace of Base tribute band. I love those guys.
As weird as it sounds, the story of Ace of Base is the classic American Rock Story. So those three songs I just listed are all from 1993's ubiquitous album The Sign (or Happy Nation, as the album was called in every other country on earth, America is weird sometimes). But let's start at the beginning. Ace of Base was formed by a group of high school friends back in 1987. It was a rag tag group of buddies doing what they loved best: playing weird techno songs. Here's how rag tag the group was: one of the original members left in 1989 because he wanted to go to a Rolling Stones concert on the night of one of their gigs. This was no corporate manufactured pop band. These were real, honest-to-god, friends that liked playing catchy techno-pop songs. So, as the classic Swedish Techno Band Story goes, the group of friends keeps playing gigs, gets bigger and bigger, the right song (for the record that song is All That She Wants) gets in the right person's hands, and finally the band bootstraps themselves up into mainstream success. Ace of Base becomes a huge international success. Let's enjoy them for a second.
At this point I just want to reemphasize that the members of Ace of Base actually wrote all of the songs that appear on The Sign. A bunch of Swedish high school friends wrote one of the most successful albums of the the 1990s and one of the greatest albums of all time. So as what happens when young people gain international success, they got burnt out. They'd been touring together, non-stop, for several years, playing the same songs, night in, night out. Not only that, but after writing the greatest masterpiece of the last 2,000 years, they were just tapped out. So what does of Ace of Base do? They say, you know what, it's been a great ride, but we'd all like to go our separate ways. The record company responds, the hell you will. See, the thing is, they signed like a six record deal or something ungodly like that. The Record Company said march right down to the practice room, attention and fame a career, a career. Ace of Base froze. They had nothing left. In addition to the exhaustion of world-wide tour, the pressure of recording a follow up album crippled them. They left song-writing duties to others and then gradually faded out into obscurity. Tragic, tragic stuff.
All of this is to say, I'm nervous about the crushing pressure that comes with being a newly famous international beer writer. That's not true in the slightest. Here's what this comes down to. I was thinking, "Hey, I have a few new followers now after my epic showdown with Beer and Whiskey Bros. I hope I don't succumb to the pressure much like Ace of Base did in the wake of their awesome album The Sign." So that's why I tell you this story. That and I love that story. Ace of Base was just a gang of friends that happened to become famous and then got taken down by The Man. Damn The Man.
So I'm trying to avoid being taken down by the man. It's been a pretty wild week here at My 1000 Beer Year. First, my interview with Drink With The Wench drops. Then the Bethlehem Brew Works people get in contact with me for something that is yet to be determined but will surely be amazing (if it involves me going to the Brew Works for any reason what so ever, it will be awesome). But yeah, they have my full name and real e-mail address and everything so there's that! If you're in the Bethlehem area, go check them out and tell them My 1000 Beer Year sent you. And then, as if those two things aren't enough, I find myself in the middle of a blood feud that's reverberated across the internet. For real though, big ups to the Beer and Whiskey Bros. for responding to criticisms in a rational, coherent manner, and convincing manner, unlike, say, uh, James from BrewDog. Sensible and cordial disagreement. If only craft beer drinkers occupied the other two branches of government. Anyway, crazy week.
Fortunately, I love drinking beer and no amount of pressure can keep me from that. Unfortunately, the Phoenix Suns series will be dropping in October, in the lead up to the start of the season. Robin Lopez entry is done and I've started the Jared Dudley entry, but I figured I'd write them all and the post them in a series at a time that made sense instead of willy-nilly throughout the off season. So for now, beer drinking! Last night I drank three Southamptons (the usual run) on the couch while watching the worst movie I've seen in my life. You can all make guesses at to what that was in the comments. Tonight's pretty slow drinking wise (updates tomorrow) but tomorrow I'm going to my first ever Mets game, and I hear a certain Brooklyn Brewery runs that Citi Field, so I'm psyched. Till then, keep Living In Danger.
Total Beers: 597
Where I Should Be: 572.602