Space: The Vinyl Frontier
I need space more than I need vinyl albums. My record collection was never very large and really stopped growing at least ten years ago, before I moved to this condo. Since then, I've been selling off records scattershot, as I've replaced favorites with CDs and some others. My general tendency not to throw out things that might
, possibly, maybe, someday, be useful again had bumped into another technological space hog: floppy disks. So in the last couple of months I've gotten rid of several hundred floppies (and other misc computer stuff)...
... and just donated or sold over a hundred vinyl albums. Probably about a quarter to a third of the remaining LPs. My goal was to free up at least one record shelf, and I did that. Still, it was harder than I thought.
Even though I haven't listened to a record in years, I remember intimate details. For dozens if not hundreds of records, I can tell you when I got it, which of my college friends liked it and which didn't, what other records I was listening to at the time, which city I was in when it was important, what the cryptic symbols written on the sleeve mean, and so on.
Some of the records weren't too hard to part with. When many of my friends were playing Grateful Dead all over the place, I wanted to hear real
country and built up a fair collection of Flatt & Scruggs bluegrass. I still like bluegrass (and related genres like country swing and rockabilly), but have a fair amount on CD. At some point I'll get around to more Flatt & Scruggs (who remain the top of my bluegrass favorites), but for now I'm okay.
I finally bit the bullet and got rid of my Patti Smith albums. I have several of them on CD, but not all. But I could if I wanted to.
Quite a few of my records had never been listened to, and another large chunk with only a listen or two. Giving up on a record that I'd been hauling around for nearly 20 years was hard. And, in fact, I kept some of them. But many went pfft.
The records I kept probably tell more about me than the ones now gone. I kept all the 78s and 45s; not many of either and many not listened to in decades if at all, but I can't part with them. Perhaps technology is catching up and I can transfer them to digital.
I kept most of the comedy. Partly because I got them used and they're in terrible shape I'm too ashamed even to donate them to charity. I'll digitize all the Shecky Greene and Bob Newhart then toss 'em. If they play.
For the umpteenth time, I had Caught In The Act
in my hand. It's the live Victor Borge album from 1953; I have the CD and, if truth be known, really only play a cut or two ("Phonetic Punctuation"). Then, for the umpteenth time, I looked down and saw my father's name on the sleeve. *sigh* Yeah, I'll keep it.
I'll probably never get rid of the Steeleye Span. For one thing, they're very well played. For another, they hold fond memories. Many of them are imports, and in college I hoarded my imports while diverse contemporaries hoarded their cheaper but less played albums. Even if I take the plunge and get rid of them, I'll keep All Around My Hat
since the CD only prints the front cover. The album has a front and back
cover of the band members in projected art: You pull the lyric sheet out just an inch and bend it up or down and look through the holes to see the band members as they should be. Too nifty to toss.
All sorts of strange and odd records, most not rereleased on CD though I haven't checked in a while, made this cut. Selling CDs is getting hard, as young whippersnappers think mp3s are the cat's meow. Selling records is even harder. Still, as long as I can get a tax write-off and a reasonable chance that they can find a good home, this was probably not the last cut.
But it's getting harder.