Influential Albums – 9) Still Feel Gone

To celebrate the upcoming publication of my short story, “The Record Collector,” I’m finally doing the “post an influential album each day for 10 days” thing that several friends challenged me to do.

9 – Still Feel Gone, Uncle Tupelo


The first time I heard “Gun,” the opening track of Still Feel Gone, I was playing it on the air of a college radio station. It got to the chorus—“My heart, it was a gun. It’s unloaded now…”—and I just quit. At that point, I knew I had to stop everything I was doing (queuing up commercials, selecting the next track) and just sit there and listen to this song.

My inaction would result, of course, in the dreaded “dead air”—utter silence after the song ended. Deejays have nightmares about it. I still do. At that moment, I didn’t care. The song had spoken to me. It jumped out of the speakers and took over my life for three minutes.

I didn’t know then that this was the beginning of my lifelong love for the songwriting of Jeff Tweedy, an endlessly rewarding relationship that resulted in great concerts, great common threads for many friendships, great creative inspiration. I had no idea Wilco was ahead, or that they’d still be a major force over two decades later. Watching Tweedy and John Stirratt go from Anodyne to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is as satisfying an experience as any music fan can hope for. The Jay Farrar tracks are dynamite too, obviously. It’s a knockout.

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