Spinning The Black Circle

I’ve had a small collection of LPs that I’ve collected over the years, mainly Pearl Jam singles I received from being a part of 10Club.  While I can’t deny starting a Spotify playlist and cranking out some code, there is definitely something about physically pulling out Vinyl and listening to an album as the artist intended.

So this fall I combined two inheritances I received into something to relish and enjoy.  

First, my late uncle was a DJ in Richmond, VA and had quite the collection from his working days.  My dad initially had them, adding some of his own to the mix, and then 5 or 6 years ago I inherited the whole stash.  Almost 200 LPs, ranging from old school country music like George Jones, Conway Twitty, and Loretta Lynn, to a healthy collection of 70’s and 80’s classic rock.  Z.Z. Top, Yes, ELO, even an original Abbey Road.  He also had 2 dozen live albums, which is always fun to hear how the artist perform outside the studio with fan interaction.  Paul Simon, and early Elton John, , an original Queen Live Killers, and some Willie Nelson jam sessions. They were all sitting in my closet, so I pulled them down, one by one, and listened to them reliving some of the best moments of Rock ‘n’ Roll over the past 5 decades.  Some I never thought I liked until sitting down and listening.  To make it even more fun and interesting, a good number of the LPs were demo or promotional copies given out to the radio station to promote the bands.

Second, Amy’s grandmother had a Victrola in her cabin up north.  The story goes is that she used to babysit for a well to do family back in the 1920’s and as a gift they gave her this Victrola VV-XVI.  It’s a full standing phonograph with a cabinet to store her favorite records, and has become a collector item that’s in great shape.  The only problem I had getting this to spin up was that I could no longer find the spring that acted as a motor for the turntable.  With a small amount of engineering, I took a newer turntable and retrofitted it to the cabinet, and wired the AUX output into my SONOS system, so that we can enjoy the records throughout our house.  It now houses a large part of my ‘new’ collection and sounds great!

Paying it forward, Charlie has noticed my love of Vinyl and has decided to chart her own course through music.  She got a portable player for her room, and now has several records of her own, from Pearl Jam to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Foo Fighters, who all share an appreciation for the sound of Vinyl.  I caught her the other day listening to a RHCP record with the sleeve open, and when I asked her what she was doing, she replied ‘Did you know they print have all the lyrics in here!’.  Hopefully the concert going spirit in her extends to Vinyl and she can inherit this some day!

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