Sunday, January 8, 2017

Need May Be Too Strong A Word

The beautiful Technics Sl-J2 Direct Drive Automatic Turntable just like
the one my parents bought at Service Merchandise and gave me for Christmas
In our family, with the exception of pets, my wife is the practical, sensible one. We were at the Carrier Dome today for the Women’s Basketball game which was also doggy day. At least four times she said, “we should get more dogs. Lots more.” I nixed the idea. It’s what she does when, after buying one record for a friend’s vinyl party, I want to buy a turntable. I found one for $100 with shipping, too much for such a thing, but I might make an offer. Of course, then I’m going to have to get a couple dogs and maybe another cat just to keep the peace.
The Technics SL-J2 turntable isn’t technically special, but it’s what I received for Christmas circa 1984 and had until a garage sale in 1995. Eleven years is a short time, but it was my turntable back when such things were as important as anything but girls. I bought records upon records with money stolen out of my paper route account. Why pay the paper bill when there’s a 1972 bootleg concert for sale? I mean, duh.
The charm is that it harkens back to a time when I was focused on music, the next basketball game at Toby’s house, and working up the nerve to kiss a girl. My friend and I put on an album, stared at the cover, read the lyrics, and really listened. We were severely focused on music, couldn’t get enough, and made weekly journeys to the Syracuse University to visit Spectrum Records and the mysterious Desert Shore Records.
This weekend, thirty years after our last trip for such things, we went looking for records. Spectrum and Desert Shore are long, long gone. We flipped through the bins at HiOnFi and looked at vintage stereo equipment. In Eastwood we scanned most of the thousands of albums at Books and Melodies. We searched Soundgarden in Armory Square. He got a used copy of Genesis’ Seconds Out. I opted for Sonic Youth’s Murray Street. We’re ready for the vinyl party. I’m just about ready to buy a turntable and an album a week. I miss my youthful focus.

But I’ll wait a bit on buying the turntable. At least an hour. I think I have that much discipline. I might even sleep on the deal. That would surprise everyone. Whatever the case, I’m already listening differently, really hearing the album on the speakers (Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years). That and thinking about whether or not need is too strong a word for a Technics SL-J2 direct drive linear tracking turntable. I’ll let you know after this album. And after I talk my wife down from getting puppies.