Sunday, July 19, 2015

RPM in Peace

There is a wonderful little record store in my neighborhood.  That's right a record store.  It's name says it all: Vinyl Resting Place.  We seem to have hastily buried the notion of records a few years back and now, as a culture, we may be having second thoughts.  It's no secret that younger generations prefer listening to vinyl.  They say the same thing that we said when CDs first came out.  All that stuff about sound quality and tone.  I've never really been able to tell the difference but I confess I did buy into it.  I used to find myself buying albums I had on vinyl as CDs only because I thought they might sound better.  Still not sure if that was a mistake but I have a few hundred of each now.
So, I peeked into the resting place the other day and found it was much more alive than I suspected.  One of the owners was there, a woman about my age and playing some Muddy Waters.  The selection was modest, but all albums were reasonably priced and appeared in good condition.  If I ever decide to send some of my vinyl to it's big turntable in the sky, this is the venue.  Someone will have the pleasure of discovering some of my best stuff anew.  Much more satisfying than a funeral.

As a result of my little venture there, I began recalling just how important buying was to me as a kid growing up in LA LA land.  Guess that began when I saw a 45 of Elvis' Jailhouse Rock in it's original sleeve.  I bought that exact record at the Community Market In North Hollywood when I was in the 5th or 6th grade.  Think I must have given 50 cents back then.  It sells for ten bucks today.  If my copy exists some where it might not have any sound left on the disk.  So many parties and bedroom performances...The same would go for one of the first 33 albums I bought, Ray Charles' Greatest Hits.  I played the hair off that album along with Hully Gully by the Olympics.  So much for Jr. and High school.  Along came Dylan and things changed.   Very few of my vinyl recordings from 1965-75 would bring much of a price. That's because I traveled a good deal from coast to coast those years and the times being what they were saw heavy use and many additions and subtractions from my collection. That's just the price paid.

There is one exception, and that is the RCA Vintage Jazz and Blues series that I consciously began to collect in the early 70s.  I had my first teaching job and the resources to "invest" in what I thought would be a worthwhile group of albums.  Besides, it was fun trying to find as many of those still in print as I could.  It often took a trip to another state, or even Canada to find something unavailable in Northern California where I lived most of my life to date.
My vinyl is in a couple of boxes, having recently moved.   I still haven't got a turntable but that may come.  At least one thing is settled.  I know where it's going to go when the time comes.

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