I think it was sometime in the beginning of 1989 that I was at the height of my record club addiction. Joining BMG and Columbia House many times with different groups of friends to feed my addiction wasn’t uncommon. If joining once is awesome then joining 17 times would be AWESOME! (to the 17th power).

Rolling Stone magazine, thought to be the source for music news, was becoming more political and caused me to lean more on Spin Magazine for music news and reviews. Thumbing through an issue, I found a 2-page spread making me salivate at the thought of joining another record club. This one was different, I thought, “The people at MTV would never leave me astray.” Note: I found out later that the MTV record club was a front that was run by the BMG Music Club.

I remember the fee to join was under $20 and they had the whole “Buy One, Get One Free” deal that the other clubs offered. The one thing that set the MTV Record Club apart from the rest was the “MTV To Go” magazine that offered to get me “closer to my favorite artists than any other magazine in existence” and “exclusive deals on MTV merchandise.”

I sent my money in and waited…and waited. I forgot about the whole thing and was disappointed thinking that, “MTV couldn’t be that much of a dick.” While I was sulking about the latest relationship that I had sunk an Andrew Jackson into, I became a little older… a little wiser. I rounded up all of the memberships to the other record clubs and either cancelled them on the spot or I made the purchase to fulfill my obligations. It was expensive for a teen to do that with no income, but I pooled my birthday, Christmas and report card money to get rid of that monkey off my back.

Then the first issue of MTV To Go came in the mail with a CD. This was an opportunity to relapse, so I didn’t open the package for a while, weeks even. Back then, you had a certain amount of time to say, “Yes! I want this!” or “Hell no, take it back!” I must’ve thrown it under my bed or tossed it in a closet to not deal with it with any sense of urgency. For about a month later, I stumbled upon the package and decided to open it.

Not sure what I was expecting, but the magazine was just like everything else on the newsstands. Only difference is that they had an interview with Martha Quinn and a CD from a band called Junkyard. I was expecting something better, maybe, a band that more than 37 people had heard of. Then I remembered the ad, back at a time when artists like The Dead Milkmen would take out full page ads to promote Beelzebub, said that there was no corporate bureaucrats picking the music. So I thought, there’s a “reason” MTV wanted me to have this CD. I paid the $20 (shipping wasn’t cheap) to keep the disc and promptly cancelled my subscription.

The album itself isn’t bad. It’s got some good tunes on there like “Blooze”, “Hollywood” and “Hands Off”.  It helped a New Jersey teen get through the humidity of summer. It sounded like a really good Southern Rock wedding band that was on the verge of making it big before their record label dropped them.

Hot Rod2:44
Simple Man4:23
Shot In The Dark3:33
Life Sentence3:09
Long Way Home4:44
Can't Hold Back4:02
Hands Off5:25