"...Son, back in my daaaay, when we heard a song on the favorite local AM radio station (WTAC, "The Big 6"), we rode our bike to Cracker's Records in the Small Mall, or down the road to K-Mart on Dort Highway and bought the entire vinyl album with half-a-week's paper route profits. We would then rush home and play it, stacking our 2-foot speakers in the open bedroom window, cranked and facing out so that our neighborhood Lockhead street friends could also enjoy."
OK, maybe that was a little specific to me.
I bring this up because my 20-year son, Josh, recently "discovered" my Vinyl album collection. It's not THAT impressive of a collection, and the 120-ish albums I still have are only a fraction of what I once owned. Those things were hardly indestructible and would scratch beyond auditory tolerances, even for a teenager. They sometimes would warp so horribly, the needle would jump 3 inches off the turntable every revolution. Or sometimes a favorite album might disappear after it was lent to a friend back in 1980 and you haven't thought about it until just now... Bastard!
In any event, Josh asking about my album collection gave me a reason to revisit these and to suggest one or two for his listening pleasure.
Feast your ears, son! No more music held hostage to a series of sterile digital 1's and 0's. It ain't music unless there is friction involved, along with the familiar vinyl groove produced dirty pop, crackle and hiss.
Numerous selections from multiple artists in no particular order include: Foreigner, Aerosmith, J Geils, Ted Nugent, REO, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Eddie Money, Van Halen, Stones, Seger, The Cars, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello. OK, I won't cherry pick. I also have these... Please don't judge.
I'm very sory you had to see those.
Not that I actually play an album much any more. Maybe once or twice a year I will play a side of one that's one my mind, but usually I just do the YouTube thing for convenience while I'm web surfing or blogging.
When I have a hankerin' for the real thing, my component stereo shelf is wired, ready and willing to melt my face. Behind the glass door on individual stacked shelves is my vintage 35 year-old Technics SL-D3 turntable, a much "newer" Pioneer VSX-402 receiver, as well as a Pioneer CD player.
Maybe the reason I have kept those albums and my component setup is for the memories they conjure. My turntable alone elicits a smile just sitting there. Frankly, I am amazed (but happy) it still works. Then again, if it were a similarly aged vintage automobile, it wouldn't yet have 100,000 miles on it, with most of those miles having been traveled in the 1980s.
Ahh, the 1980's, and maybe the real reason I hold on to these vinyl relics of a bygone era, for almost all of them were purchased in the 80s. Music purchased later was either in cassette tapes or compact discs.
The 1980s. For me, they were "the best of times and the worst of times". The decade was like the month of March. You know, "In like a lion and out like a lamb". I spent the 1980s from the tender and idealistic age of 19 through to the wiser realistic age of 29. The wheelhouse of life, as it were. The decade began with my meeting my "now wife", graduating from college and starting my career. Marriage to my sweetheart, then losing my baby brother to a drunk driver, and then losing my father a year later to cancer. Towards the end of the decade comes the birth of my first of my 3 sons. We named him "Adam". The first man. A new beginning.
All of these thoughts and memories are recalled from my browsing through my album collection. Nobody else would understand, for they belong to only me. I'm sure you have your own.
Come back next week for a full recap of the 1990s, and a full dissertation on my furniture pieces from that period. In the meantime, here is what's on my turntable at this moment.
The Big Six-Five! - *TODAY!* What a shame that the body *has betrayed* the mind as I've aged! At least I still look young enough to wear this shirt, a gift from my homeschoo...
2 hours ago