Vinyl days are here again
Like many of us who grew up in the 80s, a big chunk of my allowance was spent on vinyl records, concert tickets and musical equipment, such as guitars, amps and other gear. On the bright side, it did keep me and my friends away from daring with stupid things (you know what I mean). Vinyls, in particular, were my vice. Probably at age 12, I used to buy a few a year, like the new KISS or AC/DC albums. But by my early twenties, my collection had grown to probably around 1000 12” records! Then in the early 90’s that little pesky silver disc had made its way into our record stores. Sure, I was curious about it, especially with the new digital sound quality, but at the same time I was dismissive about it too. So I kept on buying vinyl records. Aside from the music itself, it was about the artwork man, the artwork! The liner notes, the lyrics, the photos. I even would memorize the addresses of the record companies that were buried within the legal line near the barcode. For hours I sat on my bed holding these sleeves in my hand, while side A was spinning. Once the needle of the Technics record player left the last notes of track 5, you’d have to get up and flip the album. All part of the experience!
Sadly (and I am still quite mad at myself for doing this), when I decided to move to Los Angeles in 1994, I sold a big part of my collection to my friend who ran a second hand record shop (Oldies Shop in Bern, Switzerland). Because by then, the domination of the Compact Disc could not be stopped. It was here to stay and replaced these cumbersome and precious vinyl records! So, I stopped buying records altogether, and succumbed to buying CDs. Ironically, some years later, our design studio, t42design, would thrive on designing hundreds of CD packagings.
Then just about seven years ago, a dear friend decided to move back to Europe. And as luck would have it, he was giving away his record player, amp and speakers and a million cables. I happily offered to take good care of it! The next day it was all set up in our living room. So my record buying days was rejuvenated. I (tearfully) started re-buying records that I sold or which had mysteriously disappeared. This is where Ella comes into the picture. She was about five years at the time and was very intrigued by my ‘new’ toy. Since all she knew was music that played from her iPod up until that point. I explained how the ‘old school’ way of listening to music worked. I had her pick an album - Synchronicity by The Police and she carefully put the record on the player. She was fascinated. So one Saturday afternoon I took her along to our local shop, High Fidelity. She wanted to help me find what I was looking for, so I told her ‘go over to the “A” section and perhaps look for an AC/DC album. A few minutes later she comes over proudly holding For Those About To Rock. What a find! I was so happy that my daughter had found this album that I had when I was 11 year old. First pressing, great condition for ten bucks!
It’s always so special when I can pass on a little something from my youth to her.