Under The Pier

I’m begining to wonder if my annual pictures under the Pier at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, are influenced by the music of my teen years. Specifically, if I’m paying tribute to a record album I never owned, put out by my (then) favorite band.

The album was The Best of the Guess Who, released in early 1972 and featuring that band’s hits of the previous three years. For me the album was a disappointment, so I didn’t buy it. Not that the music wasn’t great, but I already owned the albums the songs were taken from. Why would I pay four dollars for music I already owned? (Remember when a record album only cost four dollars? That was a lot of money to me as a teenager.)

Today, if you buy the CD version you’ll get a couple of songs that weren’t on the vinyl pressing due to space limitations. If those non-album songs had been included, I might have considered a purchase – but I had the 45 rpm single of Albert Flasher already (and the b-side, Broken, also a hit in Canada back in the days when cool bands like The Beatles and the Guess Who released double-sided singles). Those songs wound up in the next “greatest hits” collection.

So there was no incentive for me to buy the album, but I did think the cover was cool. I think it reminded me of Old Orchard, then and now my favorite beach. The band must have liked it too – they used a similar photo for The Best of the Guess Who Volume Two, though it wasn’t a beach picture.

Each year I take some photos underneath the Pier, usually on my early morning walks when there’s no-one else around. I think subconsciously I’m recreating that album cover.

Do you think that is possible?

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