You're cruisin' the boulevard in your shiny street rod, pumping the classics on the FM. Some fantastic, unforgettable song of your youth has just ended. You're feeling pretty damn good. Boy, that sure did take you back. All that's coming over the airwaves now is the sound of rain and thunder. Hmmm, what could it be? The Doors doing "Riders on the Storm," or maybe it's Black Sabbath doing their signature song! Your spine is all a-tingle as you reflect on makin' out with Mary-Sue while Morrison serenades you. Then you flash-back to the time you and Teddy were reefin' on Acapulco Gold in Mike's bedroom trippin' out to the Sab. You're full of anticipation. Which song is it? You hear a simple three-note bass line. It's unfamiliar, but not too bad, kinda catchy. Out of nowhere, this whistling noise jumps in followed by drums. Then you hear this guy grunting and screaming, "Ooh, aahhh, Sex Bomb Baby, YEAAAAH!"

"What the hell is this shit?" reaching for the tuning knob, you get shocked. "Damn, what's going on here?"

As the song ends, my soothing voice drips out of your radio. "That's Flipper doing another classic blast-from-the-past on Classic 102.5."

"Classic? I've never heard that pile of shit before in my life! What the hell..."

"Okay dork, I've taken over your Classic Rock Radio and I'm playing MY classics, songs that really mean something (well at least to me). And since you didn't get 'Sex Bomb,' I've decided to give you a lesson in Flipper. For the next 56 minutes, you're gonna be alone with Flipper and me. The next song is the first Flipper song I ever heard and still a personal favorite: 'Love Canal.' Listen up Jack, you might learn something."

Wouldn't that be nice. Yeah, and it would also have been nice if Flipper played up here in Seattle back when Will Shatter was still alive. They were supposed to come up here at least six times, and Mr. Epp (my band at the time) was told each time that we could play with them. Playing with them would have been an honor. Seeing them was my dream.

Mr. Epp's two biggest influences were Minor Threat and Flipper. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense. Those bands were pretty much polar opposites: Minor Threat - all tight, fast, straight-edge; Flipper - unusually slow, sloppy and messed up. Somehow we made sense of it and tried to balance the two. I'm not sure if it ever worked.

Enough about me, Flipper is the reason you're holding this in your grubby little hands. A better collection of "classic" Flipper material is hard to imagine. You've got the first three singles and all of their early compilation tracks. The earliest being a nifty little tune called "Earthworm" (their first release form '79), and the best being the chilling and grinding "Sacrifice" (the Melvins do a great version of this). And you don't have to sift through a mountain of generic hardcore to hear these aural treats.

So turn up the volume. Open a beer. Sit back and relax. Let the classic strains of Flipper wash all over you. And let those wonderful early eighties memories come flooding in!

Mark Arm

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