Thursday, September 10, 2009


Few of you who read this know that back in the day, I was quite the rock star. Shoot, I even married one of my groupies, so I must have been a rock star (although she may tell you a slightly different story - don't believe it though). Before I got more into mountain biking, I spent almost all of my free time playing the guitar. And it really started before that. I played the drums in bands through high school, and before that, I cut my teeth on the trumpet, piano, and even the accordion. Yeah, that's right; I used to play the accordion. So if you ever need to turn an otherwise boring party into a barn-burner, let me know. All it will take is 5 minutes on the accordion, and that place will be hopping.

After playing drums and guitar in a few punk rock bands through high school, I went to Utah State University and started playing guitar in a more mellow band called the "Blue Kilts." Don't ask. Anyway, we had a few member changes and finally settled in on a lineup that came together pretty well. We wrote a few original songs, and among them was one little ditty I wrote on the guitar that was pretty catchy. At least we thought so, anyway.

We messed around with it in our little practice space for a while, trying to figure out the best way to organize the song. Finally we gave this a try:

I started out by finger-picking the melody in a rather melodic sort of way, and then Steve came in on another acoustic guitar to add some harmonies. We built it up and improvised for 30 seconds or so, then we both stopped for a split second, and then we all came in together: Steve and I strumming the chords, Mike on the bass, along with Eric on the drums (we hadn't added our violin/fiddle player yet).

When it all came together, it sounded so harmonic, so loud, so in-tune, and so... perfect, that we all just stopped after 5 seconds, looked at each other with a dumbfounded look, and then started laughing. Things may have even escalated to the point that we were passing around a few high fives. It truly was an amazing and memorable moment. When we all finally calmed down, Mike uttered a line that will live on in infamy:

"Dude, I think I just had a Music Orgasm."

This was soon shortened to a "MO", the song was named MO, and lyrics were written around having a MO, culminating with a question for our loyal listeners (all 4 of them (1 more than my number of blog readers)): "where were you when you had your first MO?"

I can tell you the first MO I remember. I was probably around 12, sitting in my brother's bedroom in the basement listening to his new Master of Puppets tape for the first time with the stereo cranked to 11 (much louder than stereos that only go to 10). I think I must have started on side two, because I seem to remember listening to Orion and Damage Incorporated first. I flipped the tape over and "Battery" came on. I listened to the acoustic part at the beginning thinking "this is kind of cool." Then the song really took off with the distortion, base, drums, etc., and I'm pretty sure I fell out of my chair. That's right; my first MO was to a Metallica song. What can I say, I'm a product of my environment. Hey, it beats saying that my first MO was to Simon and Garfunkel.

Anyway, the usage of "MO" was quickly expanded. For example, FO (food) was soon added to our vernacular, along with many other variations. (By the way, if you want to have a total FO, go to Tiburon in Sandy and order either the Elk or the Filet. FO in every bite).

So how does all of this relate to "Shammy Time", you might be wondering? I'll tell you how. I was out on a ride the other day and had an experience that made me expand the usage of "MO" yet again:

STO (single track).

All it took was a short stretch of single track near the end of the Jacob's Ladder descent. Fast, smooth, with just enough slight twists and rollers to make you feel weightless, if only for a split second. I had butterflies in my stomach, a huge grin on my face, and the hair on my neck and arms started to stand up. All signs that I was having a STO.

I had yet another STO on Saturday. I had just ridden/raced 70+ miles of incredible Park City singletrack. I was a bit delusional, which only heightened the STO experience. I peeled off of the mid-mountain trail and onto Rob's to descend into the Canyons Resort. Rob's was simply perfect. A 1 mile stretch of 1 foot wide, tacky, fast, rolling, delectable singletrack. As I coasted down, I reflected on what I had just accomplished that day, and knew I was finally about to step off of my bike and collapse into the soft grass at the Canyons Resort in a state of total exhaustion. And I had a total STO, right there on Ray's...

...and then 5 minutes later I realized I still had one more climb to go. That last piece of gratuitous torture provided by the PCP2P race organizers.

So what are some of your most memorable STOs?

And do you have any MOs that are worth mentioning? (and don't be embarrassed to admit that it came to a Simon & G song).


Ski Bike Junkie said...

First MO = watching the video of U2 live at Red Rocks from 1983. I have been a fan ever since.

Super-PBX is a STO trail. Let's try and ride it next week sometime.

Grizzly Adam said...

MO: Hmm..

At the Horde Tour in 1995 with Blues Traveler on stage, I was dancing up a storm on the bench, had people all around watching me. Then the security guard got all uppity and threatened to kick me out. But t this day, that is one of my favorite music O's.

STO: The MM during the PCPP was good. My O on the descent was interrupted by the flat tire. The Crest trail this summer was pretty o'mazing.

I experienced a new kind of O this year, the PO: Powder Orgasm. And I don't think I need to go into detail about those because, well, er, you were...there.

Grizzly Adam said...

I will also admit to a more recent MO: Yo-Yo Ma playing Ennio Morricone's "Gabriel's Oboe" from The Mission score. In fact, I turned it on just now.

Just spectacular.

South County Ciclista said...

MO: Grateful Dead Tampa, FL 1995 and the Black Crows opened. Wow what an experience.

STO: Everytime I ride the Bennie Creek downhill section in Payson Canyon. It is so good since you ususally have to ride 2 execellent trails just to get to it. I can't get enough of the high speed corner, after corner, after corner. This Spring I hit it right after a rain storm and it was heaven.

South County Ciclista said...

Grizzly Adam - I saw Yo-Yo Ma play live in Buenos Aires Argentina a couple years ago in the Colon Theater. Amazing location and sound.

dug said...

prince, singing purple rain in the . . . wait . . . oh my god, is this thing ON?chogfbo

KanyonKris said...

In a punk band - never would have guessed.

Too many MOs to recount. Recently I was moved listening to the U2 Elevation tour, specifically In A Little While and Stuck In A Moment.

STOs, also many. I felt a tingle when I cleaned the Spine a few weeks ago.

Rick Sunderlage said...

Bad Yodelers my first MO.

nails said...

SCC and I share the same STO. Just not at the same time... If you have not ridden Bennies crack, get after it. My most memorable MO is Radiohead's Rainbows. Superb.

Aaron said...

SBJ: is the PBX a night-rideable trail?

Adam: I can't believe I forgot the PO.

Dug: If I had a "WTF" category for comments, your comment would be in that category.

Kris: you think my punk band is surprising, you should see the pic of me holding my mission call with hair well past my shoulders.

Rick: once again, you're too cool for school.
(And by the way, for anyone out there who thinks Rick is way cool, perhaps because of his white gloves, just know that his twin bro has done something cooler than all of us combined: he played bass in the Bad Yodelers.)

Nails: don't be shy. It's okay to have MOs, POs, and STOs at the same time as another dude. Just not Os.