Record diggers see an LP priced at $2 or $3, and they want to know one thing.
“What kind of shape is it in?”
As I sold records near the back door of the Green Bay Record Convention last Saturday, I often had the same answer.
“Good shape. These are my records. I bought them new in the ’70s and I played them back then, but I haven’t played them for a long time.”
They’d pull the black vinyl from the white plastic sleeve with the gold trim. They’d inspect it.
“This looks pretty nice.”
I took care of my records. But the time has come — it’s past time, really — to let some of them go. As they were paraded past, I was taken back to when and where I bought them. Good memories.
Z.Z. Top’s “Fandango” and “Tejas?” Yep, bought “Fandango” new, probably summer of 1975, and “Tejas” also new, probably as 1976 turned to 1977.
Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog?” Yep, bought that new, also probably summer of 1975.
Blue Oyster Cult’s “Agents of Fortune?” Yep, bought that new in 1976.
Eagles’ “Desperado” and “On the Border?” Yep, bought those new, but probably not until I started digging the Eagles in what I think was the spring of 1976. Pretty sure alcohol and warm weather were involved.
Somewhere in that stack of records at the top, which I sold to my friend Dave K., are the first four George Thorogood LPs, which I bought new from 1978 to 1980. Thorogood was a revelation in 1978. I really dug that sound. But I long ago moved on. Into the show crates those records went.
It also was a day for letting go of some of the records I bought during the early and mid-’80s: John Hiatt, Richard Thompson, Ry Cooder, Jimmy Buffett, the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Bought all of them new, too.
I once loved all that stuff, but I haven’t listened to any of it for a long time. Those records need to be enjoyed. Hope the folks who bought them will dig them.
Having let go, we move forward.
Like almost everyone else in 1976, I bought “Agents of Fortune” for “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” It’s still a good song. Here’s a cover that sort of conveys how tastes change over 40 years. How you let go of one thing and embrace another.
“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” The Beautiful South, from “Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs,” 2004.