About a month ago I entered into a casual chat with a friend and co-worker who has a deep collection of old vinyl records and swears by listening to music the old fashioned way. I mentioned to him that I had a lot of old records still both from my youth and my father’s days. I also mentioned that whenever my wife and I visited her recently deceased Grandmother in southern Illinois her uncle would pull out old vinyl and play it and it sounded so good. My buddy from work suggested that I buy a turntable and resurrect some of my old albums. It planted a seed that was lying dormant for a while and then tonight on my way home when I stopped at my storage locker to pick up the Christmas decorations I noticed a box with a bunch of my old vinyl.
As I looked through the box I saw albums that hadn’t been played for 30 years and in some cases even 50 years when it came to some of my Dad’s collection. After I left the storage locker I buzzed by the Best Buy in my neighborhood and went in to see if they sold any reasonably priced turntables. They only had two models one of which that hooked up to an Ipod docking station which somehow seemed wrong to me. The other one was a basic Sony for $99 that seemed to be crying out my name. I bought it and came home with a handful of old albums and a bunch of boxes of Christmas Decorations.
Needless to say I had one of my best nights in recent memory!!! I hooked up the turntable to my Bose Wave Radio (the merger of old school and modern technology in the best possible way) and then carefully selected my first spin. I chose side 4 of Bee Gees Live in Los Angeles in December of 1976. In order “Winds of Change”, “Nights on Broadway”, “Jive Talkin” and “Lonely Days” filled my apartment with a sound as if the Bee Gees themselves were camped out at the Roosevelt Collection building 36 years after the fact. It was truly amazing and quite moving in so many ways!
Over the rest of the night I enjoyed a mix of rich sounds spinning from Flock of Seagulls, Van Halen, The Jackson Five and my favorite was from an old Calypso group called The Sounds of Martin Denny a 1950’s Hawaii based big band group of which my Dad must have had every record album they ever recorded. Progress is nice, technology is good, but somehow this return to the classics seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for me in a time of reflection and I think a new hobby was just born. For a night at least and hopefully many more in the future a quiet night at home with some vinyl and a turntable could be about as good as it gets…