Thursday, October 29, 2009

W / X: Web

10-29-09 W / X: Web

I don’t remember how I got started on Web – probably from an old music friend of mine named Jim Hresko. Jim & I met in the early 70’s, after I placed a postcard saying I wanted to talk to people about Van Der Graaf Generator in a local record store.

Web “I, Spider” (Polydor UK 2383 024, 1970). I do not remember if he had a copy of it, when we started talking about it. I definitely did not. In fact, it took me a few years to find someone with a copy for sale. This was all so long ago, pre-internet. It may have been something I bought in a brokered manner – i.e. someone knew someone who had a copy etc. – so several sets if mark-up got tacked on to my purchase of it. If memory serves, I paid US$50 for it in mid-to-late 70’s money.

Who knows why it was so obscure? Relatively few copies of it ever made it to the US, I would guess. Perhaps in early 1970, there were not such decent lines of communication set up, even in the music import / export business. And there is a first non-Dave Lawson Web album called “Fully Interlocking”, which isn’t very good – but is on the attractive Deram UK label.

Keyboard player / vocalist Dave Lawson went on to Samurai and Greenslade. In fact, the Samurai album even sounds a lot like “I, Spider”. I have the debut Greenslade album on CD, but…I never really liked them all that much, and I didn’t keep any of the other Greenslade albums, thought I’d probably cheap CD’s or inexpensive British originals, if I found them in 2009. I would love to find a British original LP for “Samurai”, but I think that’s up in the stratosphere these days, too. I used to have one, but…it was worth too much money back in the late 80’s, and my copy went to Japan to live. Still have my “I, Spider” LP, however.

You know those little metal medallion coins that you could pay 25 cents and stamp whatever you wanted onto it? I once made one for Jim Hresko while I was at Disneyland. I believe I was having trouble finding a copy of “I, Spider” (or maybe I had just found a copy for $50?) and I was going to make him one of those little medallions that said “The price for I Spider is Death!”…but, I was young and it was at Disneyland – and I hurriedly accidentally mis-stamped it, reading “I, Soider” instead of “I, Spider” – hence amusing both Jim Hresko and myself for 35+ years now. Jim’s progressive rock nick-name has always been “Soider”, between him & I. Nothing like a little exclusive language to shore things up!

If you want to hear this 1970 British progressive jazz/rock rarity, thankfully it has been re-issued on CD recently – Esoteric / Eclectic in England. Good luck on finding an LP of it for sale! In 2009, the price for “I, Spider” (on original LP) is still death. I’ve also had a Japanese CD of it for ages, on the Edison label – it’s probably a needle-drop, but the sound is still good.

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