Wipers box set

Greg Sage, mastermind of the WipersBargain of the century

I thought it had to be a joke. CDNow listed a Wipers Box Set for $7.49!

I ordered it, of course, and am just blown away. It’s not one of those lame “greatest hits” things at all. It’s their first three albums, complete and in order, plus bonus tracks.

The Wipers have long been one of the best kept secrets around, known only to musicians mostly. They were the vangard of what later was called “grunge.”

It’s not quite punk. It’s not quite rock. But it is perhaps the best definition of what I call intense.

Three CDs of suicidal angst, what more could a person want?

The original albums were all short, around 30 minutes, so the addition of the bonus tracks makes it three CDs of pure genius that clock out at close to an hour each. $7.49? Sold!

I remember a visit to a record store in Mesa, Arizona, where a guy was just amazed that I asked about Greg Sage. “He lives a few blocks away. I call him the ‘mad scientist’ cause he always comes in in a white lab coat. He’s got a studio in his house, and he seldom leaves.” I drove past the house a few times, and thought about the strange experiments that must go on inside.

I met him a few months later, when he opened for Nirvana. He wasn’t playing live much then. He cut a hypnotic circle on the left side of the stage, drilling the most amazing chords into the floor. That’s where my jaw probably still is. One of these days I’ll have to go back to get it.