In the 1990’s I still listened to new music pretty regularly, and one of the bands I always made time for was Black 47. Black 47 took its name from the worst year of the starvation attack on the Irish, “those dark and deadly days.” Black 47 is people music, not very patient with the powerful. They also make hero songs, and rollicking party songs.
In the later part of the 1990’s, Black 47 took fans on a trip to Ireland. This sounded good, so I ponied up some bucks, and made a pal pony up some bucks, and he and I rode the Amtrak from Chicago to Dublin, or so.
This isn’t a post to detail that trip, but one night, after the big show in the big venue in the big city, I was walking back to the hotel along with most of the other people booked on the guided tour. There were a tourbus-load of us, all told, and walking back in the dark of night, we wound up a knotted string of rock-n-roll fans, two or three fans per knot. And soon enough the knot I was in was just me and another bookseller, and she and I were out of sight of the knots on either side of us, talking mid-1990’s book industry stuff.
I was from a mid-size indie with a relationship to Borders, and she had worked her way into corporate responsibility at Barnes & Nobel. So we had plenty to chat about, me a special orders guy, and she, the east coast sex buyer.