Record Store Day

Today is Record Store Day.

I'm of the mind that EVERY day should be Record Store Day. I'm of the mind that every kid should not only know what a RECORD is, but that every kid should have a place to go GET one, or two, or a thousand.

I say this as someone who's not entirely a Luddite when it comes to acquiring music these days. I benefit greatly from this Culture of Immediate Gratification. I hear something I like, I identify it with my Shazam app, I buy it from iTunes and in a matter of seconds, it's mine.

Of course, it doesn't come with a sleeve or liner notes. There isn't the satisfaction of removing the shrink wrap, and gingerly taking the record out of the sleeve. There isn't that deep emotional release of hearing the needle hit the record.

This is why I still own pretty much every record I've bought since I was a kid. This is why we hired movers this last time around, because no amount of free pizza and beer in the WORLD was going to entice our friends to move these records again.

How many are we talking about? I stopped counting long ago, as that struck me as being sort of...um...obsessive. But it's *at least* a thousand (LPs and 45s), and we won't even go into the CDs. And I realize that's small potatoes compared to some of my friends. Trust - if we had more room, and if I had my way, there would be a lot more than what we have.

My love for records goes back as far as I can remember. My parents were extraordinarily permissive in this regard (that, and horror movies, but that's a whole different entry). At a ridiculously young age, I had full control of their stereo - a honking, huge cabinet setup on which I played the three records that were the foundation of my collecting, and my personality, going forward:

Oh, and we mustn't forget this'un:

Now, it also helped tremendously that I had a brother, eight years older. I pity anyone who doesn't have a brother who's eight years older. (More to the point, I pity everyone, because they don't have MY brother.) So my tastes became a bizarro hodgepodge of decades-old comedy that none of my classmates understood, chiller sound effects, what is now referred to as "classic rock," and what I heard on the radio. This is evidenced by the eclectic array of 45s which constituted my first purchases, mostly at Kmart, Bradlee's, and the like:

Records became incredibly important to me as I got older. I was bullied pretty relentlessly from sixth to eighth grade, to the point where I switched schools and - when that failed to solve the problem entirely - stopped taking the bus home. I would walk, in all kinds of weather, making a stop in the center of town, at Hingham Music, where I'd get myself a record to feel better. It had become such a habit that by ninth grade, when most of that shit had subsided, I just kept right on buying them.

My collection grew as I graduated high school and embarked on my love affair with local music from 1988 on...

On top of that, I was scouring flea markets and thrift stores and places like Looney Tunes and Cheapo Records. Some I made sure were playable, others were chosen strictly for their covers, many of which are framed and adorn the walls of our office.

Records are comfort. They are ritual. They are friends who have never let me down, are always there when I need them. They are not as easy to come by these days. The fact that I own them AND have the means to play them is sometimes met with amusement. "You PLAY these?" people ask, puzzled, when they come in and are confronted with our combination dining room/record room.

Yes. Have a seat over there and listen.

Every day should be Record Store Day. Find a record store and remember to say "Thank You."

lisamcc at 6:35 p.m.

1 comments so far
2011-04-17 08:53:50
When you so kindly let me crash chez vous last summer in the Record Room, I confess that the very presence of the towering multitudes of vinyl over your guest-pull-out-couch was a great, warm comfort to me. And your framed LP's were not JUST amusing, but entities of equal comfort. I pity children (read: anyone under 30) who have not had the experience of the LP shrink wrap slicing, or putting the 45 adapter in a single and changing the turntable to the appropriate speed. But then I posit that they'll have other nostalgia to look back upon, that fuddies like us will never comprehend. "Remember when people actually owned CD's!?!?"

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