As a child of the 70s/80s, my first music was on vinyl records — precious 45s from trips to the city, Disney storybooks, hand-me-down 45s from my uncle, and K-Tel compilations from the local five and dime. I would spin them regularly on my red and white plastic Sears-brand suitcase record player.
I loved the physical act of taking a record from its sleeve, placing it on the platter, and placing the needle. I would sit and look at the artwork on the sleeves as the music played, crackles and all.
Records were the first things that I owned that were not toys. As I grew older, ownership of particular records became more and more important to me. I literally scrounged quarters to get enough to buy a 45 or an LP to get that next fix. A vinyl collection was incubating until it wasn’t.
The onset of my pre-teen years coincided with the rise of the cassette, the Walkman, and boomboxes. My teenage/university years coincided with the emergence of CDs as the format of choice. And my young adult life started with the birth of MP3s, Napster, and the iPod. My vinyl records were nothing but a distant memory stored in my basement alongside other childhood trinkets.
The MP3 culture wore on me after a while though. While the format allowed me to explore endlessly and amass volumes of music that surely rivaled some college radio stations, I lost my connection to the music and my collection. It became work to dig through my music. I had a demanding day job and a wife and a couple of kids, so my music passion faded.
Things changed in 2011 when my young sons happened upon my dusty record collection as they rummaged through my basement. They coaxed me into bringing my turntable and my records upstairs to try them. The boys were mesmerized by the spinning platter as I had been more than 30 years earlier. With this encouragement, I soon I found myself poking around eBay and our local independent record stores looking for certain key releases on vinyl. Before I knew it, I had overhauled my sound system for vinyl playback and assembled a pretty reasonable record collection.
Today, I spend a pretty fair amount of time playing my records, documenting them on Discogs, and looking for my next fix. Am I addicted? I don’t think so. At least, I haven’t missed a mortgage payment yet.
This blog will be my outlet for sharing my collection and my love of music in general. I look forward to your stories and your feedback over the coming months and years.