Seeing Boz Scaggs last night put me in a nostalgic mood.
Reading Henry Rollins’s LA Weekly story about Record Store Day this morning also made me nostalgic.
The article got me thinking about how I used to listen to music on records, and while the music was playing I would study the album cover, read the liner notes, and try to memorize the lyrics. I haven’t done anything remotely like that in probably 30 years.
I had a small collection of albums; including ones by Billy Joel, Klaatu, Hall and Oates, Pure Prairie League, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Electric Light Orchestra, Boston, Peter Frampton, Al Stewart, John Denver, Tim Moore, Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, and a few others.
But before I get too mushy over those good old days, Rollins is quick to point out the issues associated with owning albums.
One of the best parts of playing records is they are a fantastic pain in the ass. They are heavy and easy to ruin. They make moving worse than getting audited, and rarely do you meet someone to live with who doesn’t see these crates as anything but junk, mere male juvenilia that takes up too much space — right up there with comic books. Records force your devotion because there is nothing easy about having them.
I kept my albums for a while after college, but I guess after a couple of moves, they just somehow faded away. I obviously was not as dedicated as someone like Rollins.
It seems as if records have been making a comeback, and I think I’d like to see what it’s like to listen to an album on a record player. Some people say it’s a better experience; I don’t think I have that critical an ear to pick up the difference between listening to a song on a CD, MP3, or a record album, but I’m willing to give it a shot, and tomorrow seems like the perfect day to start such an endeavor.
So I plan to go to a local record store tomorrow, pick up a couple of my favorite albums from the 70s, and then go home and for now at least, just read the liner notes and the lyrics.
You see, I don’t have a record player either. That’s going to require some due diligence to see which one seems to be highly rated on Amazon, seems to be selling well, and has a reasonable price.
Hopefully that won’t take too long, and some day soon I’ll put an album on the record player, sit back, and recall my glory days of living on the first floor of Shawnee Hall at East Stroudsburg State College.
I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away