Two days before the "Ultraelectromagneticpop" vinyl release event at Eastwood Central Plaza Mall on November 24, a store owner in Cubao Expo selling pre-loved vinyl records, books and magazine was giving a young man some music history lessons.
"I have friends who told me they're going to sleep near the venue to be first on the line. That's how valuable the record is," the older man said. "Ultraelectromagneticpop" is the first commercially released album of the Eraserheads, touted the biggest Filipino rock band since the 1990s.
"Wow, grabe pala. That means ganun kaganda yung vinyl version," said the customer, who looked like he was in his mid-to late-20s.
The older man, with graying hair and wrinkles, gave a lecture on the difference between the CD version and those from streaming platforms. "Kahit mag-adjust ka sa ampli, hindi kaya ng CD yung ganda ng vinyl. May kulang."
The younger man was holding "Desperado" by The Eagles, released in 1973.
"Parang 'yan, malayong malayo sa maririnig mo sa You Tube," the older man said before giving the marketing coup d' grace: "Kaya bilhin mo na yan, kasi patay na si Glenn Frey. Wala ng Eagles. Hindi na sila mag-reunite katulad ng original."
Besides being a founding member of The Eagles, Frey was co-songwriter and co-lead singer with Don Henley. At age 67, Frey succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia while recovering from gastrointestinal tract surgery on January 18, 2016.
And "Desperado" or desperate would be the perfect modifier for fans who failed to purchase online a copy of "Ultraelectromagneticpop".
The pre-selling copy online was originally priced at P2,999 but now, "Ultraelectromagneticpop" is priced at P3,360 per copy. It was announced earlier that only one copy will be sold per person due to high demand.
Fast forward to six in the morning of November 24 at Eastwood Central Plaza in Barangay Bagumbayan, Quezon City, there were around 10 people already lining up before the entrance.
"Mga ganun Sir, start ng duty ko alas sais, may pumila na mga sampu. Nagulat nga ako eh," said a security guard who requested not to be named for privacy reasons.
The Central Plaza is located near a row of restaurants and bars where people still dine and drink even in the wee hours. Customers are usually from the nearby BPOs and POGOs, mostly Filipinos and Chinese nationals who are on night shift, drinking and "vaping" their stresses away.
As the sun rises, the drinking crowd has lessened. Street cleaners are starting to appear and some residents taking their pet dogs for the usual Sunday leisurely walk.
At around 11 am, the number of Eraserheads fans lining up before the Central Plaza has reached around 800 to 1,000, said the same security personnel still standing before the venue.
From what we saw, the lines started near TGIF and looping towards Pho Hoa on the other side. It is on the same lane where the Eastwood Walk of Fame markers are located.
"Estimate lang natin, Sir. Pero dadami pa yan sigurado," he told ABS-CBN News.
There's a stall near the entrance selling T-shirts featuring the cover image of "Ultraelectromagneticpop," among others.
On a makeshift stage before a row of seats reserved for special guests inside the Central Plaza, there was Eon Buendia, vocalist of Nobody's Home, doing sound check with his band mates. Buendia is son of Ely, vocalist-composer-guitarist of Eraserheads.
From a list we took a photo of, we learned Nobody's Home will play at around 7pm to 7:30pm.
There will be a series of performances, featuring Nathan & Mercury (2 pm to 2:30 pm), Cheats (3 pm to 3:30pm), The Itchyworms (4pm to 4:30 pm), Barbie Almalbis (6pm to 6:30 pm) and Pinkmen (8pm to 8:30 pm).
Take note, there's no band on the list officially featuring members of iconic rock group. As we all know, Ely has Apartel, Oktaves and Pupil. He also headlines the world-touring Ely Buendia Live supergroup, where he plays mostly hits from the Eraserheads. Raymund Marasigan has Sandwich, Pedicab and Cambio. Buddy Zabala plays bass with Moonstar 88 and Hilera. Markus Adoro has Markus Highway. Marasigan, Zabala and Adoro once in a while resurface as Ultra Combo to play an all Eraserheads set.
"Ultraelectromagneticpop" was mastered from the analog tapes and lacquer cut by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood in California and pressed on 180g HQ vinyl at RTI in Camarillo.
Grundman is an American audio engineer credited as mastering engineer of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller," U2’s "The Joshua Tree," Red Hot Chili Peppers’ "Blood Sugar Sex Magic", among others.