I’ve been totally amazed by the generosity and kindness of total strangers on the internet. Back when I started using it in the early to mid-90’s, I used to subscribe to a few email lists. One of the first for me was the Chalkhills Digest for XTC fans. From just a few postings, I acquired about 7 different cassettes of Andy Partridge’s demos, which have been recently released in the UK as Fuzzy Warbles volumes 1 to 6. Also, I have 3 video tapes of XTC live and video performances.
In 1998, I started communicating with my oldest internet friend, Barry Christian, through the Dubstar mailing list. It began through the exchange of Dubstar’s first album Disgraceful for Angelfish’s album (and single). We met in Sheffield in 2002 when I went to England, but he passed away at the end of 2003. It was really devastating to read it in an email from his daughter. In the time we knew each other, we exchanged numerous emails, many CD’s, tapes, videos, and LP’s. He was an irreplaceable friend who I will never forget.
Recently, I’ve discovered the joys of community through Xanga, MySpace, etc. It’s great to see dedicated music fans of all ages who really know and understand some of the music that is most important to me. Of course, I’d love to meet people in person with my interests, but I think it’s just a matter of time.