Several conversations with musicians, as of late, have turned to vinyl and its superior listening enjoyment as compared to CD. The conversation usually touches on how social interaction with recorded music has changed drastically and how it is directly related to the medium of the sound. Gone, it seems, are the days of lounging around the record player; talking of important things, flipping through albums. The music demanded a kind of attentiveness that fostered a certain kind of social interaction.
I started collecting vinyl when I was in the 3rd grade. It happened much the same as it has happened to me as an adult. It started with one record. The Beatles. My cousin came over with her stack of 45s and proceeded to school me on the virtues of the fab four. I became obsessed with the Beatles. From then on, Mom would find me flipping through vinyl wherever our second hand travels took us. Mom loved yard sales, thrift shops, swap meets and all things pleasantly used. My collection grew. I knew an original pressing from a re-release. I started sleeping in the living room so I could listen to Rubber Soul as I drifted to sleep. I would wake in the middle of the night to the soft crackle and skip at the end of side one.
During a summer visit with my Dad, I asked him if I could have his Abbey Road record. I begged and begged him for that record. No Go. Kind of like when I begged him for the 1934 Ford pick up at the age of 16. I was dumbfounded.
When my father died in 2000, I inherited both the truck and his small vinyl collection. Unable to bear dealing with his possessions but also not willing to part with them, his vinyl collection sat in my office collecting dust. Then, a miraculous event happened - my sons birthday. For his 12th, Calvin got The Ramones Rocket to Russia ON VINYL.
It was time to teach a new generation the wonders of vinyl, someone who had NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE. The thought was a giddy one and it drove me to spend a good part of Saturday at Freds Sound of Music looking at turntables.
Just as my love for vinyl started with that one event in my youth, it took a similar event to push me back into my vinyl collecting ways. Not surprisingly, it was a film about music that was partially responsible for my Saturday turntable excursion. This Film.CONTROL
Just as I had become obsessed about The Beatles in the 3rd grade, I have become obsessed about Joy Division. Ask my Son. Sure, I've always admired and enjoyed them, but this film made me realize that I had to have everything they had recorded on vinyl.
(To be continued)