Friday, January 14, 2011

Roads Paved with Vinyl

These ramblings of mine are not about a particular artist, album or even production. You'll not read about the high fidelity quadrophonic seperations, or the benifits of an adamantium tipped needle. I want to talk about the experience of a record collector, and the elation of 'The Find'.

There is something about knowing that a day is put aside to go off to a far off town, gussing up the car and having wonderful conversation with a knowledgeable fellow musicologist (and Better Friend) to find a used record store. The travelling is always something special when you see unique places in clean town that aren't so familiar and so everyday hum-drum. Sampling different Cole Slaw with a diner-burger.. These are just the small points.

The excitement of the voyage from the car door to the store door. (hoping they haven't closed down or that they're open on Sundays). Hearing the scratchy old records played on equipment valued at just above my car. Searching through unorganized bins to find the secret treasure you've never seen before, or haven't seen since you were a kid, or a cover that is so funny (or so bad, or so weird) that you HAVE to have it!

Who remembers looking at album covers, searching for hidden meanings that relate to the music that you're listening to for the first time? Staring at the colors and shapes trying to figure out just what it all means. I remember. I remember discovering the Yes-Fragile album for the first time. I swear I went on the 'Trip' all the big kids were talking about as I listened with my headphones and stared at the cover.

Remember the 'goodies' you'd find in a new record once you took off the cellophane? The Earth, Wind and Fire poster, the Magical Mystery Tour booklet with the GREAT pictures and terrible prose? or the oversized Band-Aid with a poem scribbled on it. (10 points to you if you know what album that was in!) My cellophane never lasted till I got home; most often it didn't make it through the parking lot. The inner sleeves, the smell of virgin vinyl... Ahhh!

And who remembers the bargain bins at your local department store? Can anyone describe the feeling of getting the last elusive Utopia album that completed your set of Rundgren discs? after searching for 2 years? for $1.99?!?!?!

Or in that used record store discovering something you once has and loved, and forgot about. that you recognize immediately with just that split second glance...and it all comes back.

Or seeing that NRBQ at Yankee Stadium album..(the cover is an empty Yankee Stadium with a teeny tiny itty bitty NRBQ guys in the bleacher) that always makes me laugh! I'm smiling thinking about it now! Ever open an album to find colored vinyl or a bonus 45? Can't get that from iTunes!

These things only a record collector can feel, its reserved only for us

and we haven't even played the Mutha yet!

Christopher Ceriello

1 comment:

  1. There are so many great experiences connected to enjoying physical music formats just as you described - from the thrill of the hunt to the appreciation of cover art and everything in between. The added bonus of course is that vinyl records can provide a lifetime's worth of enjoyment for minimal investment (in the grand scheme of things). Your post brings all that excitement back home. So when's the next road trip?? Heh heh!