|Purple vinyl. New Order, Singularity 12"|
It was time for a new toy. I'd been collecting vinyl for the past two years without the ability to listen to it. One day I'd get a turntable and that day was yesterday. Easy enough.
I did some research online. Visited a Best Buy. Finally Googled "where to purchase a turntable in Des Moines." BINGO! Guitar Center! Now is that not the guitar store next to Barr Bicycle? Right off the trail on my way home. Damn, that's easy-peasy! I'll ride right over there after work!
I had the Red Phoenix with a rear rack sans panniers. But I had two bungie cords. No problem. I'd be some damn hip. Think about it. Hip to have vinyl and a turntable. Ultra-hip to ferry said turntable home on a bicycle. The only thing more hip would to have used my cycloscross single speed but conditions were icy and snow covered in spots so the hybrid with studded tires was the bike of the day. That's ok. Guess it would be more Viking* than hip. Dashing through the snow to plunder Guitar Center of a turntable and rushing home to put on New Order first.
Walking in a clerk asked me if I needed help. Yes indeedy, one turntable, please! "We don't sell them."
WHAT?!?!? I just looked it up online, said in stock.
"You must be looking for Guitar Center which is on University Ave a few miles away. the is Professional Music Center."
My bad, exit now.
|What it would have looked like bringing the record player home on the Red Phoenix. Perhaps the car was the way to go.|
Just as well. Probably needed a longer bungie cord since one is kinda short. Also could use a trash liner to keep the turntable dry. Damn. Tomorrow....
Got home and College Boy was home. IDEA!! "Say, Son, could you drive me to Guitar Center so I could purchase a turntable?" This cost me dinner and drinks for him and his mother and myself. Fair price. It saved what I can a urban commercial bicycling hazard--riding through parking lots, sidewalks and traffic lights in a place developed for cars only. But it saved my Friday and the possibility that the turntable would get damaged on the way home.
So it was not hip. But it was nice to make the purchase at a guitar store instead of a big box store. If only I could have also taken home a Gibson Jaguar like Johnny Marr's.
How does it work? Lift lid and place vinyl on. Select 33 or 45 rpm and select 12" or 7". Press Start. The arm returns to the resting position when it is finished or when Stop is pressed. The only issue is that I have to change or flip the record more often than I would if I was playing something off the computer. Time management.
One problem, when someone walks into the room to speak to me I cannot pause it or return to the track when they are finished. Suppose I could lift up the cover and lift up the arm and wait to place it back down but it's not like the digital format. Oh yeah, when you aere so intent on what you are doing you miss the track you wanted to hear. Sacrifice, sacrifice...
How does it sound? Fuller, louder, richer. Amazing. On older vinyl it sounds live, the scratches and cracks between tracks sound like the crickets at a boring concert when the crowd is so underwhelmed they don't make a sound.
Sad Fact: I abandoned my vinyl collection back in 1996 while moving. The turntable was long dead by years, CDs ruled the day. We were moving to Des Moines. Three little kids and only one friend to help move. just seemed like too much to pick those boxes up and put them into the truck on a cold and snowy December day. My regret. I also left a box of cassettes behind. Unlike the move from Cedar Falls, I took all the bicycles, abandoning a JC Higgins and a Schwinn Typhoon.
Time to rebuild. I've been purchasing newly released vinyl from bands I really enjoy recently. Someof it pretty interesting, colored vinyl and shaped discs, heavy weight records as well. When cleaning out my mother's house a few years back I found a crate of vinyl in my former bedroom. Mostly shit from high school. Journey, Men At Work, U2's War, REO Speedwagon, BOC, Van Halen, AC/DC, Kiss, Eagles, Robert Plant's solo lp ect. I'll probably give those away. But I did find Roger Water's Pros and Cons of hitchhiking, Soft Cell and Lenny and the Squigtones. My uncle told me that the latter lp may be work something in the future.
|Christopher Guest and Michael McKean's musical group before Spinal Tap|
|Notice the name of the guitar player....|
* The Vikings, hardcore New Order fans. They have their own catalog number from Factory Records, FAC 383. Name come from the opening music that was played as NO walked on stage, Funeral For a Viking.