Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Sounds like old times

When my dad died unexpectedly a few years ago, my grandparents asked us three siblings which of his personal effects we wanted. For me, there were two things that immediately sprang to mind: his records and his Thorens turntable.

My dad was an audiophile and a music fan. He attended college in the late '60s and early '70s, and that was when he collected many of his most beloved records. His favorite album of all time was Boz Scaggs' first record. He also loved the Grateful Dead, Bonnie Raitt, The Who, The Roches, The Allman Brothers, and all kinds of other great music. There was some that was more hit-or-miss, too, but was cool in and of itself, being such a product of its time (Commander Cody, Linda Rondstadt, the McGarrigle sisters).

My younger siblings didn't really want the records or the turntable. I'm sure they seemed like antiques to them. So I brought them home with me--and brought the speakers, too, for good measure. But before long, the turntable started patching out on one channel. Eventually it became unlistenable. That really saddened me, because not only do I have my dad's records and a few of my own, but my s.o. has a massive collection, too. And more importantly, the turntable symbolized my dad. I have so many memories of sitting with him and listening to records, with him trying in vain to change my tastes for the better (in his opinion, of course!).

Which brings me to this morning, when my s.o., screwdriver in hand, somehow fixed the turntable. First he put on Jerry Garcia's first solo record. Then Peter Tosh, then Bob Dylan, then Elvis Costello. The music sounds so warm and sweet. I am so grateful.

I'd better go before I get too sentimental.