52 IN 52

The 52 Albums that define my love for music

Week 37/Album 37

Who: Gameface - "Three to get ready"

When: Late 1995

Why:  The band I had joined practiced in Seven Hills, and with that came 2 new record stores that my band mates introduced me to. Quonset Hut, and to this day my all time favorite record shop, Perry's Rock Pile. I spent ALL of my money at Perrys. Every week he put out new music and I was there buying it all. My first trip into Perrys Rock Pile led me to this CD.  I'm still not sure why I was drawn to this, but something about the minimalism of the cover made me buy it without knowing a single thing about the band. I  thought to myself, "well, if this is their cover they probably care more about the songs, so I have to buy it".  I left Perry's with 2 CD's that day, and theyre probably my favorite CDs of all time. (the 2nd one is next week)

When: Finally saw Gameface after 17 years in 2012, but ill get back to that.

It all started with this first riff....

Buckle up, this will be a long one.

Caught between skate punk and hardcore, musically I had a very open idea of what I liked. I never wanted to define who I was by the music I listened to. I just wanted to like what I liked, and be who I was.. and there couldn't be a better soundtrack to that than this record. It fell right between everything I loved about music. It had fast songs, it had slow songs. It had smart words, and Jeff's voice is still one of the best voices in rock and roll. From the first riff of the first song on that record,  spoke volumes to me, and was completely random. Nobody told me about Gameface. Even Perry said "I don't know much about them except they're from California"  Looking back on this record, you can tell why so many bands have Gameface as an influence.  Its about as flawless of a pop-punk record as you can get.

Over the following years, Gameface put out 3 more records and a bunch of EPs. Every single one has different meaning to me, while at the same time still sounding very similar and great. They never really came through Cleveland which was always a bummer. Then, in 2003, they broke up. I never got to see them live.

Fast forward to 2010,  I reached out to Jeff to get some answers to some Gameface questions that I never got to get answers for, like "what is the significance of the fish (that I now have tattooed on my leg) and why did they choose that album cover". Jeff graciously responded and its led to many conversations over the years.  At the time though Jeff subtly mentioned there had been talks of getting the band back together and that I would be one of the first to know.

Then, in August 2012, my wife and I drove to Baltimore to see the band that had meant so much to me for the first time.  They were doing a couple one-off East coast shows and there was no way I was going to miss them this time through. We got to Baltimore and it was a blast. I finally got to see them live, and meet them all and they were the nicest guys.  I bought this album, at that show...from the band.  It is the first LP that I had ever bought, and it led me to buy more and start this project.

Plus, they played my favorite song (also the song that my wife and I walked down the aisle to after our nuptuals!) and this is the footage of that...

Its not too often that you get to meet one of your favorite bands, and then become friends with them. I am proud to call the guys of Gameface my friends now.  They're great men and great musicians.  I truly hope they continue to play together and keep making music.

Gameface is one of those bands that will always be criminally underrated, and it's a shame, but to me and my family, they are always on....

So thank you Jeff, Todd, Guy, Steve, Paul, Phil and Bob.