Turntable Fix, I Need My Turntable – “Excuse me, sir” the young black millennial woman quietly stated as she had the nerve to interrupt my flipping through the bin labeled “H.” “Can you tell me where I can find Lauryn Hill?” Realizing I was a pro at this and she was a novice my ego acquiesced as I offered my assistance.
She was not sure how the Vinyl was categorized but she knew what she wanted and how she wanted it. I told her, “Well, it should be over here if they have it on Vinyl. Let me see”
I helped her look for a minute and we could not find it but we both kept looking for other music nonetheless. Every now and then I would glance over at her to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. Was she actually shopping for Vinyl as I had predicted on this site some years before?
Vinyl, that wonderful part of the record buying “experience” that the industry had abandoned since the early 90s when CDs, which I never liked, came onto the music scene. Seeing this young woman, who could not have been more than 25 eager to buy vinyl, let me know that some things DO come back and with a vengeance when there is value AND when it can reinvent itself (new releases on Vinyl).
It had been WAY too long since I had done my favorite activity that I did as a child. A therapist once told me, if you want to always be in tune and in love with yourself do what you loved to do as a child. The record store, namely Audrey’s and Dell’s or Doris Records in Buffalo were my favorite activities. The radio playlist for the songs that you could never remember the names of on the counter and the 45s hanging on the wall behind the counter.
Walking through the neighborhood in the Towne Garden apartments in Buffalo, there were four distinct things that were consistent at just about every house. Colt 45 cans popping, The amazing smell of Fried Chicken cooked in that black cast iron skillet, Kool Cigarettes and great music blasting from everybody’s record players with the latest songs. I was raised on great music and even snuck and listened to WKBW and some of the pop stations to hear Jim Croce, Three Dog Night, The Doobie Brothers, David Bowie, Elton John and more. Not only did I love music … I am a musician.
I love the buffet concept of life. A variety and being able to get what you want to get instead of having it served to you. To me, digital music is served to you. While I love many aspects of digital, the only one that I am not impressed with is music delivery. It’s ice cold and I need to have that relationship with the experience of buying Vinyl instead of simply clicking.
In 2013 I made a prediction on this site that has come to pass. I predicted that vinyl records would resurge in popularity to a new generation but what I didn’t realize was how MUCH of a return.
This past weekend I did something that I have not done in a LONG time, I went to the record store. Amoeba in Hollywood. For those of us over 40, we KNOW that vinyl is an EXPERIENCE that digital will NEVER be able to compare to. Going into the record store, smelling the incense, seeing the library of vinyl songs to go through and starting at the first bin, you know you are going to be busy for the next two hours at least.
Once you get the record home you open the album and pull it out fo the sleeve hearing the static if it’s in plastic or getting an added advantage of seeing other records on the label advertised on the vintage covers before 1970 there is no better record buying experience.
Once you put the song on the turntable the slightly worn (if used) crackling is appealing as you sit and watch the record spin and get a ton of information from the cover and the inside cover.
While I am not the kind of person who likes to look back, I was a record player and vinyl fanatic as a kid. Whenever my mother took me to someone’s house, I ran to their record player and examined it. She would always have to explain, “He loves record players” as her friends would have a slightly puzzled look on their faces at my excitement. I would ask if I could play records and they usually said yes and I would have a field day.
Kids who don’t have the “experience of Vinyl today are missing out, I printed in the previous article but thank God for the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who kept their stereos and record players in their attics and basements for the kids to explore. This is certainly what has helped to cause the surge in interest with record players and vinyl today. Not only are records expensive but refurbished vintage stereos are selling for as much as $5000 on certain sites.
This past week I invested in a turntable and then was in heaven as I played my vintage albums. I have an appreciation for the Jazz my mother used to buy like Wes Mongomery, Jimmy McGriff, and Sarah Vaughn. The very first record I ever played when I was three was “A Lover’s Concerto” I remember because the record label was red. I had to go by colors because I could not read at the time.
While at Ameoba’s I noticed many albums were priced in the $20.00 range new, old and all genres. I asked the black clerk about it and she confirmed that Vinyl has not only made a comeback, but kids were lining up outside the store during “Record Day” to buy it. I hope the labels have learned that Vinyl is an added bonus for record buyers that must never be denied … again.
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