Around these parts, February 14 is known as International Weezer Day. On this date, twenty years ago, Weezer practiced together for the first time.
On 2/14/92 Rivers, Pat, Jason (on acoustic guitar, which he would retain untill late fall 1992), and Matt (newly arrived from Berkeley, CA), got together at T.K. rehearsal studios, in West LA, and rehearsed for either 3 or 4 days straight. On the 3rd day, somebody rolled tape for a while…
Note that weezer wasnt actually named yet. On the original tape the following band names were all crammed on the label, a joke on how no one could decide on the name for the band yet. Some were old names, such as “Fuzz”, but there was also such notables as “Meathead”, “Outhouse”, and “Hummingbird”, and I know some other names being kicked around were “the Big Jones” and “This Niblet”.
Unlike a lot of other bands, Weezer didn’t toil in obscurity for a long time before making it big. They signed their first record contract 15 months after their first practice. The band’s lineup changed (for the first time) during the recording of the Blue Album in 1994, when guitarist Jason Cropper left and was replaced by Brian Bell. Original bassist Matt Sharp left in 1998 and was replaced by Mikey Welsh and later Scott Shriner.
I first heard Weezer a few days after my 17th birthday in 1994 and got the Blue Album for Christmas that year. And I’ve been listening to them ever since. Last week, a poster on the All Things Weezer message board asked why us fans listened to Weezer. I left a long and rambling, but inconclusive response.
Even though their first album came out 17 years ago, it still sounds fresh and new to me. I’ve always liked the way they’ve sounded as a band. Also, their music meant something to me. Nine (or eight, depending on who you talk to) albums later, I can still say the same thing. They’ve experimented with song styles and structure, but their stuff still sounds like Weezer.
I’ve been to 11 Weezer shows (even meeting the band after one of them). I’ve been a part of many online fan communities. I’ve kept up with the band during hiatuses that seemed like they would last forever. It’s been a fun 17 years for me, and I hope 20 years for the guys in the band.
It seems cliche to with them another great 20 (or more) years. But I would like to see them rocking for as long as it keeps them happy.
Happy 20th birthday, Weezer.
And happy International Weezer Day to all of you out there.