A few months back, a discussion about old times cropped up on Facebook, with people comparing notes about Whiskeytown-related tokens they had from back in the day. Whiskeytown’s old manager Jenni Sperandeo mentioned that she still had a stash of customized airplane-service-sized Whiskeytown bottles of whiskey that the band’s record company had made up as promotional items for the 1997 album Strangers Almanac. Naturally, people started putting in requests for Jenni to send them a bottle.
I threw in a “Me too,” of course, even though I didn’t expect to get one, especially when Jenni said that it might take her a while to find the right box in her garage. I had actually forgotten all about it until this week, when what should arrive in the mail but a miniature, still-sealed bottle of Whiskeytown whiskey; Seagram’s, of course, since that was the company that owned Whiskeytown’s label (which would be dissolved two years later in the Universal-PolyGram mega-merger, but that’s another story).
The label on the bottle is emblazoned with the name of the Strangers single “Yesterday’s News” as well as the logos for both Outpost (the major label that released Strangers) and Mood Food Records. If Ryan Adams ever saw one of these, the latter probably rankled him because Whiskeytown and Mood Food did not part on the best of terms — see Chapter six of “Losering” for more details on that — but I bet it wouldn’t have stopped him from cracking one of these bottles open and drinking it down.
Anyway, it’s a nice reminder of those heady days when some of us thought Whiskeytown was headed for the toppermost of the poppermost, and a blast from the past I am happy to have (and no, I have no plans to open it). Thanks, Jenni!