Mega City Four were the local big band that indie/punk kids in my hometown wanted to be like when they grew up. They toured relentlessly, playing in grotty little places to single-figure audiences. Their middle three albums, "Who Cares Wins", "Sebastopol Road" and "Magic Bullets" were the soundtrack of my teenage years. I bumped into Wiz one day in Camberley High Street, and was so gobsmacked I didn't know what to say.
But hardly any of my friends seemed to like MC4 - even the ones who usually shared my taste in music. I'd make copies of their albums for anyone who'd listen, but I couldn't seem to convert anyone to the cause. Until 1995, when a friend who stayed with me a lot picked up "Who Cares Wins". Normally, I wouldn't have lent out one of my favourite albums - I'd have taped it. But he was going to the US in a couple of days to meet his girlfriend for the first time (they'd met on the internet), and I didn't have any spare tapes. So I let him take it. He says that he posted it back to me, but it never arrived. I was left with just the tape copy that I'd made to play on my Walkman.
About once a month since the summer of 1995, I've made a trip around various of the used record shops in London, to try to find another copy. I've gone through pages and pages of online stores, placed ads, and even contacted the various ex-band members to see I could locate another CD - all to no avail. Then, this morning, I got an email from eBay. It said:
Good news! New items have been found at eBay in your favourite search for:
Keywords: "mega city four"
Available to: United Kingdom
And lo and behold, there it was.
I love the internet.