Staring Out The Backdoor

The view from the second floor rear door of my childhood home. Photo early 1990s, by me.


ith the passage of time and years of music that has passed my ears you forget about bands and songs. Some of them  you really enjoyed at the time, but like names of temporary acquaintances you forget them. Until one day their music pops up as a suggestion on YouTube, a music streaming service or maybe on the radio.

What I Am by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians went as high as number seven on the charts and was a constant on MTV in 1988. I was in high school at the time and this was the time I was in love with Tracy Chapman's megahit Fast Car. There was a folk/earthy sound emerging that was a niche in the rock landscape that was dominated by hair bands. This period was to be brief, but memorable.


Chapman had more hits but Edie Brickell & New Bohemians did not. The band never followed up What I Am with another hit song. It was not for a lack of talent, but maybe more that when their next album was released in 1990 the musical landscape was shifting to the Seattle sound. The tides of taste had swept in something else that did not leave much room for their sound.

After the next album (Ghost Of A Dog) flopped I managed to get a copy of it for free. I worked at the distribution center that supplied all the music for Turtles, Record Bar and Tracks. Remember those record stores? I worked for the parent company that was called Super Club Music Corporation.

When we had an oversupply of CDs and cassettes in the warehouse of albums that did not sell, we gave them to the staff as a way to clear shelf space. Sugar was another band that I had liked and got some of their music for free.

The title track from Ghost Of A Dog was my favorite from the 1990 album. It was a simple and short song, but it was the most memorable one for me with its story about a ghost dog.

Ghost Of A Dog was an album that reminds me of staring out the backdoor of my childhood home in the early 1990s, into the sun in the winter pines and being lost in my thoughts. I probably sat down and wrote a few lines of bad poetry immediately afterwards.

Life was simple for me then, not necessarily happy, but it was simple. Sometimes I hear the ghosts of the 90s barking like that dog.