Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Sunday, January 6, 2008 3:22 pm

Remembrance of things past

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 3:22 pm

Yesterday — coincidentally, my 48th birthday — I said goodbye to a huge chunk of my past.

I gathered up all my vinyl LPs from their various resting places in closets, and I took them all to Edward McKay to sell them — from AC/DC and the Accelerators to Warren Zevon. I also took the stereo I’d had since college — receiver, turntable, cassette deck, bookshelf speakers and a latterly-added CD player, plus all the cables except for speaker wire — and donated them to the Salvation Army.

I did so not to make any sort of grand gesture of severance from my past. I did it because I had come to realize that, realistically, I don’t listen to the music or use the stereo and that it has been more than a decade since I did. Much as I might like to digitize all the old vinyl, I know I will never have the time to do so. And the house is too full of stuff in general; it’s past time for a lot of it to go.
The vinyl accumulated between 1971, before I owned anything of my own on which to play it, and about 1989, when we got our first CD player. It totaled a couple of hundred albums (I had many more before my time in New York, whence many of my albums did not return, or did not return in playable condition.), mostly rock but some jazz and classical as well. Many were in excellent condition. When I got a new album, I typically recorded it to cassette so as to be able to listen to it in the car, and frequently I never touched the vinyl again. I’m sure the folks at Ed McKay were salivating; they get $7 for used single vinyl albums in good condition, in nominal terms about what they cost when I bought them all those years ago.

So I said goodbye to it all. And I walked away from Ed McKay’s with $130 to spend on dinner and a movie with the family.



  1. A) Happy belated birthday!

    B) Dude, I’m ticked – you had shit that I would have loved to have gotten my hands on! As I read your post, I was burning a CD from the UV Prom and Foreign Bodies EPs and the first Snatches of Pink album that I just sucked down. I’m a long way from done, but I’m getting there little by little and I find that it’s the rediscovery of this stuff that’s the real joy.

    At least I managed to digitize your Brains LPs a couple of years ago before you did this…

    Comment by Tony Plutonium — Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:44 pm @ 9:44 pm

  2. Lex – belatedly, best wishes for a very happy birthday (hadn’t realised we were quite so close in date, albeit 2 years apart). Oddly I did exactly the same thing with my old vinyl about six weeks ago – and got a similar sum, spent in a similar way. Glad to see the back of it too, though a wrench (of sorts) to say farewell to the early Modern Lovers LPs & some some quite good things by The Who & The Kinks from the 60s. Hadn’t listened to them in years and would never do so again, so . . .

    Comment by Nick — Saturday, January 12, 2008 1:39 pm @ 1:39 pm

  3. Tony: I guess if I’d been thinking straight, I’d’ve called and offered you first crack at the vinyl. But to some extend I wasn’t, and honestly, if you hadn’t been able to get over here pretty quickly to cull the holdings, I’d’ve probably gone ahead and sold them anyway. We really do need the space.

    Nick: Thanks! You back from SA yet?

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, January 12, 2008 3:56 pm @ 3:56 pm

  4. Hey, not really criticizing – you’ve gotta do whatcha gotta do. With me it’s books and will soon probably be comic books as I’ve long run out of room for both but I keep acquiring new ones. I suspect one day soon I’m going to dump a shitload of books on the public library or on J’s church’s annual yard sale and then put my whole collection of comics on eBay for next to nuttin.

    I’ve got LPs that I may never listen to again but I have made a bit of progress over the last few years in digitizing what I’ve got. No question I need to focus on the stuff that has never been released on CD and probably never will, like the local NC stuff in particular. If I don’t digitize “The Stranger” or “In Through the Out Door” it’s no big deal – not like I couldn’t pick up either CD for 8 bucks if I wanted them badly enough.

    It’s healthy to be able to let go of stuff – something I need to work on…

    Comment by Tony Plutonium — Sunday, January 13, 2008 12:11 am @ 12:11 am

  5. This post reminded me of this recent NY Times story you might be interested in:

    I was particularly interested in the discussion of “sampling,” low down in the story … and how it affects the reproduction quality of CDs and MP3s, compared to the old analog vinyl.


    Comment by JohnC — Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:16 pm @ 12:16 pm

  6. Interesting article. I think the age of audiophile recordings is over, because I don’t see ear buds ever becoming capable of delivering true quality sound. There’s just no money in it for the manufacturer.

    But I could be wrong.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, January 15, 2008 4:26 pm @ 4:26 pm

  7. Lex – well, I’m writing in this in the BA lounge at Heathrow after arriving from CPT late yesterday straight into the jet-falling-out-of-the-sky crisis. There is a rumour going round that a plane may be leaving for Aberdeen later this afternoon, which will be the point at which I start to think of myself as ‘back’ from South Africa (which I left with regret & longing . . .)

    Comment by Nick — Friday, January 18, 2008 10:09 am @ 10:09 am

  8. I seem to be obsessed with this subject. I thought about this blog post AGAIN when I read this:

    Also, I’d recommend the book “Capturing Sound” by Mark Katz: :

    ‘Course, I haven’t listened to my vinyl in years. I don’t even have a working turntable.

    Comment by JohnC — Saturday, April 5, 2008 7:30 pm @ 7:30 pm

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