It was Secret Touch from Rush's Vapor Trails album. WTF?
That is probably one of the noisiest, most angry songs Rush ever released and here it is blaring away in Safeway while I shop for cold meds. Awesome.
It reminded me of another time in Safeway - this time in San Francisco in the early 90s, when I had just graduated from college and had moved to the City to make music for a living (that lasted about 5 years and more than 1,000 gigs across the country).
I was doing my low budget musician diet shopping (bread/peanut butter/jelly) and noted that The Doors were playing on the PA - not one of their poppier tunes either. It was Riders on the Storm.
"There's a killer on the road. His brain is squirming like a toad -- PRICE CHECK ON AISLE SIX -- If you give this man a ride sweet family will die..." Yeah, baby.
This was around the time when I noticed that radio was turning more to a 'classic rock' format, playing all the stuff from the 60s and 70s that I loved but never heard outside of my room or car cassette player. Maybe classic rock was around earlier, but I remember taking special note right around the late 80s/early 90s and totally digging it.
Having heard the same songs they play on classic rock radio for the next 20 years has soured me a bit on it and made me take the (now very stale) format for granted, but back in the 80s, radio sucked as hard as the crappy 80s music pouring out of it. Classic rock radio was a nice breath of fresh air at the time. Made me feel like my people were finally in charge.
Gotta go to Costco today. Maybe I'll hear some Dio-era Sabbath. Well, one can dream...