Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lolita Nation, Where Art Thou?

Yesterday I was reminded that today is the 20th anniversary of the release of Game Theory's critically acclaimed album Lolita Nation. Thanks to Steve for consistently carrying the GT/LF torch! He wrote a very sweet blog in remembrance of this event here:

Wow, feelings rush all over me watching that wonderful slide show! Not a bad live performance, either. But a nagging question gets stuck in my head whenever I think about that time, those people, that album: Where in the hell is it?

That was rhetorical of course, because most fans and myself know exactly where it is. It is in the hands of an ex-manager's of Scott Miller/Game Theory, probably lost underneath a stack of other stuff in a basement in some town where-ever this guy lives. Apparently he owns the master tapes, and has been contacted more than once by other record labels large and small. I believe Scott had even tried to discuss this with him, but to no avail.

I have no earthly idea as to why he is being unresponsive to the queries. Could it be that he's holding out to maximize his monetary take on this? Is he super busy and just cannot find the time to deal with it? Has he lost them? Maybe he just doesn't give a shit. But that sad thing is, many people do and the longer he waits, the fewer will care.

If he's holding out for more dough, he needs to consider this; about 10 years ago, this impossible to find CD was going for as much as $200 on e-bay. Last week, Stacey told me that Amoeba Records sold one for $80. Not exactly appreciation.

Face it, no one is going to get rich on a reissue of this CD. I would not be surprised if a bit of money might be lost in releasing it, but that's not why it should be released. It should be released because it would make a relatively small group of people very happy. That's it. That is enough.

As a performer on that record, I would be thrilled to hear it remastered. The whole band worked very hard to get Scott's epic on tape. It's a crazy record! None of us had ever attempted this kind of experimental stuff before. Scott had a wonderfully unique and unfaltering vision and looking back, I thank my lucky stars that I was able to be part of it (even though at the time I made my voice known that I thought a more concise single LP would be a much better follow up to The Big Shot Chronicles!).

I also think this record is a fan favorite and I believe it was our best seller. The follow-up tour was very successful (even though we made no money!) and probably contained our best performances as a band. I was startled to drive into a town and see fans lined up to gain entrance to the club we were going to play! I found it odd that people would recognize me and ask for an autograph! This record meant a lot to many people, and I think it still does, but the further we get away from it, what shiny sparkle that still shines will soon dissipate as memories, relevance, and interest slowly drift away.

That's the damn shame about all of this. It could all just...go away. Mr. Ex-manager, please make a few folks happy and do what needs to be done to re-release Lolita Nation. The longer you wait, the fewer will care. It's not about money. Good Lord, Game Theory was never about money. It's about a masterpiece that flowed out of Scott Miller in 1987, and that, my friend, was a very good year.



125records said...

Bravo, Gil. FYI the ex-manager apparently doesn't have the master tapes, they're somewhere deep in the bowels of Capitol. I picture it as a room that looks something like the cavernous space at the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

BTW, Mitch Easter has agreed to be involved in a remaster, if it ever happens...

Gil said...

Oh! Thanks for the update, Sue...Hmmm, Guess I should revise my post!

Tris said...

in my opinion, it's the best alt-rock album ever recorded. and i've heard them all.

Chris H. said...

First cool to be back in the presence of some folks I knew from the Loudfans days...

In any event, a buddy of mine who was working for V2 back when that label was capitalized with a ton of cash from Mr. Branson (think 1993-ish?) tells the story that that label--and even a few majors, one of which rhymes with "pony"--heard PLANTS & BIRDS and were interested in finding a way to buy out the band from Alias. In every case, one of the contingencies those labels placed on any such deal was the rights to re-release the Game Theory back catalogue at some future point in time, and in every case the lack of LOLITA NATION masters was what precluded anything beyond casual inquiry from happening.

Be nice to get the Alias reissues back in print, too; love to be able to gift those CD's to those young whippersnappers listening to their devil's music....

Unknown Eric said...

THE "great lost album" of all time. I ripped it to mp3 from my well-worn vinyl copy and have been listening to it non-stop for three weeks now. "Dripping With Looks" may be the best piece of music ever made.

SeƱior Seamhead said...

DAMN!!! Lolita Nation is one of my favorite albums of all time. That really sucks that Capitol is sitting on it.

I remember many a night sitting in the dark in a beanbag chair with headphones on listening to it on vinyl.

I stumbled on this blog attempting to find out what album "Erica's Word" was originally on. I love that song.