A “semi-charmed” fan

Am I the right person to write a Third Eye Blind column, touting their show at Anderson Arena this weekend?

I have a lengthy love-hate relationship with the band, which is probably the same relationship the general public has had with the San Francisco group – except for me, the hate came first.

The summer of 1997 when “Semi-Charmed Life” came out and was all over the radio I couldn’t hate the band more. At best, the song seemed very average to me. It wasn’t about much except for a guy having a sexual act performed on him and referencing (though it was bleeped out) crystal meth. Sure, the idea that the slacker generation thing was in full force and we were all living semi-charmed kind-of-lives seemed to register a little bit. Still, overall this was a song with a modest hook that somehow took radio by storm.

I wrote an entertainment column for The BG News the fall of 1997 in which I listed the “Top Ten Overplayed Songs of the Fall” and “Life” was No.1. Heck, I re-did the column for the spring and it still earned a spot in the Top Ten, along with its follow-up snoozer “How’s It Going to Be?”

I was flabbergasted at how this band seemed to be churning out hit after hit.

A few months went by and I began to hear some other Third Eye Blind songs. “Graduate” resonated with me because I was, uh, graduating. “Losing a Whole Year,” about a lover turning into a zombie after going on Prozac, was pretty interesting and catchy. So, when I signed up for yet another subscription to BMG records (before iTunes, people used to buy 12 CDs for a penny after paying $20 for a first CD), I decided to get the album.

Lo and behold, I not only got to hear “Graduate” and “Year” all the time, I discovered “Narcolepsy,” “God of Wine” and the topper “Motorcycle Drive-By.”

All right, there were now five good Third Eye Blind songs. “Life” was growing on me because my friend’s band played it all the time.

But let me go back to “Motorcycle Drive-By” – I have heard a lot of music in my life, and this is one of my Top 20 all-time favorite songs. It is easily the best on the band’s debut album. I really don’t know why it wasn’t released as a single; it sure beat “How’s it Going to Be?”

Friends, readers, fellow students, do yourself a favor, even if you don’t go to the concert this weekend, download this song. You will love it. It has an amazing acoustic lead-in, then blows up big and keeps the momentum going until the end with great lyrics to boot.

At about the same time, “Jumper” became a single. It was an anti-suicide song that actually gave comfort to a friend of mine who was having problems.

So I had become a hesitant Third Eye Blind fan.

Then two years later, the band released one of the catchiest songs of all time, the very straightforward “Never Let You Go.” It was pure cheese pop but it was great cheese pop. It is interesting that Third Eye Blind never really did anything after “Never Let You Go.” No other songs from their second album, “Blue,” really registered on radio, except for “Deep Inside of You.”

The band really disappeared. Apparently, they did put out an album in 2003 called “Out of the Vein.” Right, I didn’t know that until last week either.

Like many bands in music history, they caught a bolt of lighting and rode it for about three years, then it all disappeared. Now, they are back on tour, as kind of a greatest hits act. I am not saying they had all kinds of potential, but a couple of their songs really made me think they were better than Sister Hazel, Marcy Playground or Matchbox 20.

So with that, I, along with many of you, am considering going to their concert Saturday.

It’s homecoming and there are a lot of people in town. I am strongly considering going and am actually thanking UAO for bringing in a band with such a personal connection to me.

Dude, if I decide I am ready for my upcoming mid-terms and that I can talk to the old friends enough at “the tents,” I will proudly be in the stands at Anderson Arena waiting patiently for “Motorcycle Drive-By.”