A while back my 20-something son found a used turntable in pretty good shape on the Internet. He had no idea how delighted I was to receive it. It was a heartfelt gift from new school son to his old school dad. All it needed was a pre-amp and a stylus.
I finally pulled together the pieces, and I’ve been in 33-1/3 rpm – long playing heaven for three days now:
- Andrae Crouch and the Disciples – Live in London.
- Deodato’s “2001.”
- Miles Davis.
- Keith Green’s “He’ll Take Care of the Rest” (simply amazing).
- Charles Mingus (my little home theater subwoofer couldn’t reproduce his bass playing. First more cowbell. Now MORE BASS!).
- Billy Cobham (fastest drummer ever).
- Stevie Wonder’s Music of My Mind (1972, after emancipation from Motown).
- KRS-One (thoughtful rapper).
- Kool & the Gang (one bad jazz combo, far beyond their disco hits).
He said, “yeah, that’s just like putting on a CD and hitting the play button. Simple, I get it.”
“No, you don’t,” I retorted. “It’s more work! It’s more manual, see?” He didn’t. Nor did he realize I’d be back in 18 minutes, bowing before my newly-activated audio component. Turning over the disc for 18 more minutes of vintage musical joy is not a chore. It’s devotion.
I won't get all religious on you. I'm a peacemaker in the analog-digital wars (can't we all get along?). But there is something so refreshingly organic about the clicks and pops that I put there from too-much-love.
(Uh-oh. More fusion. Weather Report. Chick Corea. Stanley Clarke. Mahavishnu Orchestra. I may never leave my living room.)
Back when my last turntable was working, we had a Bible study at our house. I got to talking about the blues and one of the guys seemed interested. When we were finished with the study, I broke out the Jay McShann and "Cleanhead" Vinson. My guests looked us strangely, and when the music started, they got scared, I think, and left the room.
(Oh wait. The Hawkins Family. Trend-setting gospel. Did you know faith preacher Kenneth Copeland sings like a bluesy Frank Sinatra? Steve Taylor. Daniel Amos. Rez Band. Underground. Serious Christian rockers. Yes, I have a Stryper LP.)
So, you all are invited. When I was a drinker, I didn’t like to drink alone. I don’t like my music alone either. The family’s keeping their distance for now, as I re-enter the world of My Music. But you’re welcome to visit.
(What’s that over there? Seven of my Hendrix records survived the last purge! What to do!?!)