Monday, October 3, 2016

Vinyl Flashbacks

I might be typical of many boomers who grew up with great music in the 1960's and 70's who've come back around to listen to music again as adults now in their actual 60's and 70's. I remember buying albums for $1.33 (as that figure sticks in my head). I think I purchased George Harrison's All Things Must Pass (3 record set) when it came out in 1970 for $3.99 in a little record shop next to JC Penny's, maybe it was a bit more. Well, into the 80's, I purchased less albums, watched more music on TV and eventually got a CD player. Into the 90's, I purchased less CD's and got caught up in the rat race.

Now, with the empty nest, I have a bit more time to listen to music again as I love the old stuff and love so many new artist's as well. I've also made the time to go to more concerts again and it is simply a blast! My friend and college roommate, Mark Hunter first told me about the music category of Americana as I've now embraced that genre along with traditional genres of rock, folk, blues, bluegrass and jazz as my wheelhouse of music today. Mark and I must have spent hundreds of hours listening to albums together in our dorm and later in our apartments.

As my music blog's tend to go back to the well of my youth, I take my long-term memory here again to fuel this passion. I was so re-minded of that this past weekend on a visit to my home town of Santa Maria, CA and seeing several old friends. After having dinner with Ken and Vicki Forman and Jane Hobbs (Paul was very sick and couldn't make it), we went to Ken and Vicki's home. We were talking about music as usual and Vicki was showing me their CD and then vinyl collection of music. Jane pulled out the 1969 vinyl, Blind Faith album which had our friend Ron Zieman's name on the front and back jacket. I recognized the hand-writing immediately on the back and it sent me into a central coast high. Jane even said, "I think Doug's going into a flashback moment."


So my first flashback -  It's 1969 and I'm sitting on Ron's bed (who's my next door neighbor) and listening to the Blind Faith album with him in his room. Here's the thing about this period in time. When one of our friends bought an album, You might buy it too, because it was so good, but even if it was a great album, you often didn't buy it because you just went over to your friends house and listened to it. I don't remember borrowing albums much, we just listened to each other album's at who's ever house we were at. One time, I remember several members of my youth church group coming over to listen to my new Cat Steven's Tea for the Tillerman album. Tommy Wishard, where are you now?


My second flashback at the Forman's - I'm in a house (can't remember who's) but Ken and Vicki came over and we are listening to one of Dan Fogelberg's albums. I remember Vicki saying at that time how much she loved Dan Fogelberg.

Back to the present, I mention what I just said above and then Vicki brings out all of her Dan Fogelberg vinyl albums. I see his first album, Home Free and it's like seeing an old friend after many years. I touch it and remember it's recycled-like paper texture, kind of like Neil Young's Harvest album jacket.


So I'm back at my mom's house in Santa Maria thinking about writing this blog, my mind suddenly flashes back, I'm over at my friend Bill DeVoe's house. We go into his bedroom that he's just painted black (and I'm thinking, we should be hearing the Rolling Stones). Anyway, he plays me his new Bob Dylan album, New Morning. I remember the song, If Not For You from that album and, it was then recorded shortly thereafter by George on the All Things Must Pass album.

I guess as friends, Bob and George knew a few things about sharing too.



Footnote 1 - In 1978, I go up to see Mark Hunter in Sebastopol CA as he's into doing his elementary education certification program at Sonoma State University. He's living at a farm house with several people but he's actually living in a small wooden shack off from the main house. Nobody's home in the main house, we go in and he takes out one of his roommate's new album's from I'm assuming the roommate's record collection and puts on Dire Straits' debut album. I listen to Sultan's of Swing for the first time and I'm blown away listening to this with my buddy sitting on an oriental rug with lots of animal hair.


Footnote 2 - It's a couple of week ago, I go into Barnes & Noble and see their tiny vinyl shrine to Tower Records. I walk up and start running my fingers through the vinyl jackets just like the old days, my thumb, first and middle finger all working together, flipping the records forward in the bin to find a gem. I stop at Hotel California, pick it up and start the flashback total visual experience of looking at vinyl record jackets even before you listened to what's inside. I look at the little price sticker in the upper right hand corner, $24.95.

Now here's a little Monday Monday Music from each of these albums.


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