C-Level: Fan Boy, XEB
Cary Conrad

In 1999 I was extremely busy. I had just started a company, my second, in the Network Security field which was new and unknown. Sales were slow, hacking was deep, deep inside campuses like Stanford and MIT and was considered sport. I was getting traction with banks and was in SF for a meeting. I remember walking down Mission past a guitar shop and hearing this song, guitar was hitting the tonic breaking into cool background riffs, a little vocal falsetto opening then breaking into verse…..broken and then back…..WTF. Reminiscent of a Cello piece I know……..inspired….. I stopped dead in my tracks - stunned. Who are these guys!?!

I was walking with a tech guy, a financial guy and a professional services exec, each were oblivious to the music; so I said, let's go in here. WHAT? The song continues, gets more interesting with each beat…Asked the kid at the counter what he was playing….he told me, we left though I dawdled at the door hanging on ever note. Sing it: 'losing a whole year…'!

That night on the peninsula I bought the CD, did not have a player in the hotel, sat in the car, listening over and over…..'losing a whole year'. I gave the CD to a friend who was a pretty good guitar player, not sure if he ever got to listen to it. I should send him a note…..'losing a whole year'.

I cannot explain why I lost track of these guys, I am always looking into the corners for something to read, a new scientific theory, a tasty guitar riff - tear it back is there anything more there? Too often the answer is no….one-hit-wonder.

In 1970 Duane Allman heard a guitarist and his band play in northern Florida, told the president of Capricorn records, Alan Walden, to sign them. At the time Dwayne had just played with Eric Clapton and George Harrison….of course you do what Duane asks and the result was a Band called Captain Beyond. The Third Eye Blind Debut is put together in the same manner. Nothing is wasted, perfectly crafted. Pure art.

YEARS roll by ('losing a whole year' one at a time for 20) from time to time I hear something new, dig into it…..sigh, not much there. Fate during March found me in a coffee shop, I heard something amazing within the music they were playing and asked the Barista to check her playlist (Pandora) for the title……Third Eye Blind. So, I went home punched into Spotify the band and was absorbed by the playing. Every cut put together with precision, care and inventiveness. And my old favorite; losing a whole year.

Google showed me the players, hyperbole as to band breakups, etc. But then the great Salazar and Cadogan together again? A mile from my house in Somerville MA? I am SO there! So with my darling bride of 25 years, no kids in tow we go to the show, I set my expectations low, this is very complex music, after 20 years could a bass player still fly over the frets? Key and tuning changes are all over the place could the guitarist come close? Their opening of the tour in Somerville (just outside Boston) was amazing. I could tell you about the show, bass amp blew up - no Problem new one was found (great techs at the club - they had a spare!).

My mother is 84, patron of the arts - all of the arts - and is excited about the 9th of June. We will be at the XEB show in Hermosa. She will be the oldest person there and she will be screaming the lyrics…..'losing a whole year…..'

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