Vinyl, Little Fingers and Shaky Legs

In my last blog I wrote about memories, and how music was one of the vehicles by which I hold memories.  Another aspect of the music that I call, “my music,” is the vehicle by which I hear music–vinyl, tape, CD, internet uploads.  But in specific, I’m writing about actual records–now termed, “vinyl.”

Vinyl has an emotional, warm, live sound to me.  Vinyl is also all we had in the 50s and 60s if we wanted to hear music.  When I was a kid, my folks were poor, and I didn’t get to buy the 45s that my friends collected.  I remember going to friend’s homes and listening to their 45 collections and wishing I too could collect the music I so loved, but it never happened until after I was working and married.

My first semester in college, I was already going out with Cherie, and in my American History 1A class, my instructor showed us Bob Dylan’s “Freewheeling Bob Dylan” and said that while we all thought we knew something, we didn’t have a clue about what was going on in America if we had not heard this album.  Well, I went straight to Cherie and told her what he said and that I was going to go and buy it.  She went over to her record shelf and pulled it out and let me listen to it.  Dylan and Cherie blew me away that day.  I think it is one of the albums that did more to change my thinking about my world than any other grouping of music I’ve come across.

The Music's in the ScratchesAs I write this I am taking a nostalgic journey as I listen to The Doors’ first album.  But this is not a musical journey.  It is a journey of scratches.  Scratches?  Scratches.

Cherie and I bought this album as soon as we could after it first came out.  It has scratches, shallow and fuzzy-sounding, as well as deep grooves that chunk and clunk and clicks the album plays.  I love those scratches, because each one was put there by the small fingers of my children as they learned to walk play and.  It did not matter how we tried to protect this poor piece of vinyl, they were always standing at the phonograph listening to the music when their tiny legs crumpled and they grabbed out for support.  Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeitch, and there was a newly engraved memory.

I did not appreciate it very much at the time, but I do now.  I know that many have tossed their vinyls in favor of tapes and CDs, but as for me, I will keep them, and remember those little fingers, grabbing for any hold they could find as they waited for those stubby, unsteady legs that protruded from the billow of diapers, to grow and strengthen.

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