I can't exactly remember how or when we met Dale. It might have been in the summer of '94 while he was on tour with DALTONIC and we crossed paths in Iowa, both of us opening for AVAIL for a few days...but I can't really remember if the dude I'm thinking of was in fact Dale (footnote 1). It might have been in the spring of '95 at FAT DAY's house in Boston (Somerville, to be precise), meeting new friends on the strength of nothing more than a phone number on the insert of a record in a $1 bin (footnote 2). But I know that we hung out with Dale once and he was a total nerd in the most awesome way possible, just having a blast and not giving a shit about what was cool or how he was perceived and the absolute epitome of "down to earth." And then I know that we came to Massachusetts in 1996 (when we lived with FAT DAY for a full week, but that's a different story) and Dale was at the show in roller skates (true story) and that is likely where he gave us this tape. My point, though fuzzy at best, is that the dude was chill as fukk and super fun to hang out with and is a perfect example of the people you meet on tour, who make that tour better, and who then fade into memory. I have no idea where Dale is today, how Dale is today, or what Dale is doing today, but I thank him for being a friend to four dudes who needed one and didn't necessarily deserve it. I also thank him for this mix tape (footnote 3), more people should make mix tapes for bands on tour. If today's bands don't have cassette decks in their vans then that's their problem.
footnote 1: While I do not know if the dude in question was Dale (though I am pretty sure that it was), DALTONIC's other roadie was the singer from CONVERGE. Fast forward to sometime in the mid 2000s at Gilman (half a country away from where we had originally crossed paths), I was selling books at a matinee CONVERGE show and said hello to the guy selling merch (it was the singer). He hesitated only briefly and then remembered precisely where and how we had initially met (and when we initially met I was clean shaven, which should give anyone who knows me an indication of just how long ago it really was). My mind was blown, I can barely remember people I met last week. Also, AVAIL was not the slightest bit excited to have us in tow for those few shows.
footnote 2: The Live Poultry Fresh Killed EP is arguably the wisest dollar I have ever spent. And that phone number was OAK-SAGA, some things stick with you forever.
footnote 3: About the tape: A lot of exactly what you might expect from a young, enthusiastic DIY punk in the mid '90s. A lot of political hardcore and crust with a predictable predilection towards the East Coast. Lots of classics that you need to listen to more often (seriously, how long has it been since you blasted DEFORMED CONSCIENCE....? What?! Fuck that. Time to dive in, kid), but among mandatory bands from that era of US DIY punk and blasts from lesser known (but no less awesome) contemporaries, there are plenty of tastes from starter bands that you might expect a younger punk to pepper a mix with - and who is going to complain when SLAYER and DEAD KENNEDYS come barreling out of their speakers? Dummies, that's who. Bonus points for the VENTURES and CHEECH & CHONG tracks and the field recordings from the psychiatric rest home, this is a brilliantly crafted mix, streamlined for road listening. Recorded with purpose, delivered with kindness, this is the stuff that is important.