I’ve written about videos and concerts, but not the main currency of music: records. I mean tapes. I mean CDs. I mean mp3s….
I mean records. Seriously. My life in music has seen a constant trade down of quality for convenience. I’m no exception, now iPodding my way through life where I used to have a walkman, and my record collection that was lost in the flood of ’97 hasn’t been replaced.
One of the classic questions of my generation is, “What was your first record?” You can only hope it was something cool, like it was for me… Kiss, screaming about Christine at many decibels, right in their full makeup mode…
But it was only my first record on a technicality. What I really wanted was the soundtrack to Grease. I wanted that record so badly that I actually asked for a record player for my birthday just so I could get it! The thing was, the soundtrack was such a hot property that my parents couldn’t find it. So they bought the latest Kiss record, a gift any kid my age would love, except… for some reason, I was the one kid in America who didn’t see what the big deal was about Kiss. My older brother borrowed it so much it pretty much became his record.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked to rock as much as the next kid. I was just into old school. I liked the 50s/early 60s sound, my favorite being — not Buddy Holly, exactly, but Buddy Holly as portrayed by Gary Busey in a movie I watched a hundred times on HBO. My favorite part of the Grease soundtrack was the fifties side, with songs like “Tears on My Pillow,” and “Those Magic Changes,” which were at least authentic enough to fool a ten year old. The soundtrack to American Graffiti was another favorite*, one I “borrowed” from my Dad for about two full years. I had a couple of Elvis platters, too, my favorite being a live album with lots of chatter between songs. It’ kind of cool to have the King talk to you casually.
Another of my first records is one I still love today. Some music stands the test of time better than other music, and this seasonal favorite holds its own with the best of them.