Life At 33 1/3 RPM

Since my teenage years in the sixties, I have been a vinyl album collector. It was out of necessity; we didn’t have CDs, flash drives, and such, but we did have 8 track tapes, which I despised. I was a rock musician in those years, so I bought all the most popular records. I’ve long lost many to thievery, unreturned loans, and negligence. At last count, I still have about 125 albums, most in good to perfect condition. I lost a box of my most treasured ones when a moving company absconded with them during a move. It was clearly marked ” favorite 60s albums.” The culprit also relieved me of my coveted ” Ray Ban” classic sunglasses. I curse the man daily, although I shouldn’t carry a grudge. I hope his turntable broke.

Last week I made the plunge, purchasing a new Sony receiver, an Audio Technica turntable, and two Klipsch speakers. Now my wife and I can listen to our eclectic collection of albums by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Crosby Stills and Nash, Chicago, Buffalo Springfield, Hank Williams Jr., Billy Joe Shaver, Jerry Jeff Walker, and of course, the Beatles and everything in between. I even have a greatest hits album by Sonny and Cher, if you can picture that. I own two coveted albums of “Meet The Beatles,” on VeeJay records, the one released in the UK, not the states in 1963.

I have a nice collection of CDs, but they don’t count since everything is digitized and sanitized, and I own a nice collection of music on my computer.

Thanks to Apple, I lost around 350 songs off of my iPod Nano while trying to download them to my laptop. Steve Jobs be damned.

There is something magical and soothing about that slight hiss and skips of a classic vinyl disk recorded on analog equipment with a 4 track machine. I can picture Sir George Martin sitting in the control booth pushing knobs while the Fabs struggle to produce the perfect tune on ancient equipment. I am deaf in my left ear, thanks to standing in front of large amplifiers playing at level 11 for many years, so my right ear is my musical one. Like the RCA dog, I can trick myself into hearing stereo high-fidelity if I turn my head just so.

No need for that flat-screen television anymore. We plan to live our life at 33-1/3.

3 Replies to “Life At 33 1/3 RPM”

  1. I don’t have as many vinyl records as you do, but I do have a pretty good collection, mostly from the 1970’s. A good many are French records that I bought during my junior year abroad in Nice (1974-75). My parents sent me a box of 45’s a few years back. They’re mostly records from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sadly, most of them are in very poor condition, and a few are even cracked and chipped. Perhaps my most valued 45 is a record signed by Donna Douglas (Elly May Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies) for my mother. Douglas was a friend of my mother’s employer, which gave my mother a chance to get to know the actress pretty well. Fortunately, my mother gave me the record right away, so it’s in perfect condition. I once played it as a studio guest on a Kansas City radio station.


  2. I’m slowly feeling the effects of playing also. It’s hard for me to talk on a phone without headphones.
    Yea I don’t blame you for holding a grudge against that ass…you don’t mess with a man’s records…unwritten law.
    I don’t like CD’s either…they sound cold and thin to me. Vinyl has that warm, deep, and wide sound. Give me the scratches…I don’t mind…it adds to the experience.


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