I’m glad to see that people in their twenties are beginning to go back to vinyl records, a trend I started noticing about a year ago. Now that technology is allowing music to become completely disembodied, there is something lovely about something as old-fashioned and analog as an LP with actual physical grooves on its surface.
There are certain qualities inherent in vinyl that simply cannot be duplicated in software. For example, I remember back to when I was very young, and my good friend and colleague Josh was heartbroken because a young lady had just unceremoniously dumped him for a mutual friend of ours. Technically, for a former mutual friend of ours. The man was still a friend of mine, but Josh’s views on the guy had just changed rather decisively, if you see what I mean.
Anyway, Josh was going through a spiral of self-destruction – not sleeping, unable to concentrate on work, making entirely too much use of various artificial substances to self-medicate away his pain. One day I suggested to Josh that we take a break from work, and go on a long walk. I was thinking that maybe talking it all out with a sympathetic buddy would help him cope with his grief.
We found a nice bucolic spot, and proceeded to walk around together, while comparing notes on the unfairness of love and the fickle nature of women. At some point, I remember, I asked him “So just how bad does it hurt right now.”
Josh paused for a few moments to collect his thoughts. Then he asked me a question. “Ken, have you ever played one track on a record over and over again, so many times that the grooves on that one track became completely worn down?”
“Of course,” I replied, with no hesitation. “‘For No One’, by the Beatles”.
Josh stared at me, somewhat startled. “Have I told you about this before?” he asked.
“No,” I replied, “but there was a girl when I was sixteen, and a week when I did nothing but sit in my room, play solitaire, and cue up that track over and over again. You should check out my copy of the Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ album. That song is worn clear down.”
That was a long time ago, and Josh and I have remained great friends ever since. There are some moments that just bind two men together for life, and this was one of them.
Just one of the advantages of vinyl.