Jimmy Eat World – “Thinking, That’s All”

I met Ryan at the restaurant. He had arranged the double date. I’d actually never met my date so I guess it wasn’t just a double date, but also a blind date. I can’t remember where the Italian restaurant was but I remember it being out in the middle of nowhere, to the south east of my parent’s house. I could maybe google it but it isn’t important. We had the entire place to ourselves, typically not a good thing when it comes to restaurants. I think one of us knew someone who worked at the restaurant or maybe they were willing to entertain us because we were the only ones there, but they played a cassette tape Ryan had picked up a couple days earlier. On the cassette tape was early mixes of the first four songs from Jimmy Eat World’s debut (major label) album. I had copies of all the other Jimmy Eat World releases, somewhere, but I hadn’t heard the tape yet.
All four of us knew the guys in the band to varying degrees. We went to school with them. We had been in short-lived bands with them. We were in the living room for some of their early shows. When they started playing larger shows we were to the right of the stage. We were all part of the scene Jimmy Eat World. When we heard Jimmy Eat World had signed to a major label we cheered them on because it somehow validated all of us.
The first song started and the guitars… those guitars. Those new songs were like nothing I’d ever heard before. I sat there and I listened to each of the four songs, amazed, ignoring my friends, ignoring my date, and ignoring my meal. The songs were incredible. All I was interested in at that moment was those songs. I was awestruck. I felt inspired and I felt proud. People I knew had made those songs. Jimmy Eat World had made those songs.
When the tape finished I asked them if we could listen to it again.
To this day, when I hear these first four songs I feel myself sitting in the booth of that restaurant looking up at the speakers.

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