I’m reading a book called Record Store Days by Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo now and it’s bringing back a lot of memories.  I guess that’s a trend right now…see yesterday’s post if you don’t notice any continuity.  I’m not trapped in the past…but I must be appreciating it for some reason these days.

The subtitle of the book is “from vinyl to digital and back again”.

I remember one of the kids in my high school bought one of the first cd players that came out.  It must have been in the late 70’s, very early 80’s if my memory is even close to correct.

It was expensive.  I remember that I was amazed at how much he spent on it…I don’t think I spent that much on my first two cars combined !

I remember conversations about the whole deal that went something like, “CDs?  So…what are they?  What do they do?  They never scratch?  The sound is always perfect?”

That was how they were marketed…perfect sound even if they were scratched.

Now we know that the truth behind the marketing is something different.

Neil Young said that listening to digital music was like looking at the world through a screen door.  I think he meant that you got the general idea of the music…but because it was little digital bits instead of sound waves like on an analog album, you were missing something.

I miss albums.

Now I read that vinyl is making a comeback.  It’s hip to like vinyl again.

I have probably a ton (literally) of albums in our back room.  My daughter is pretty curious about them all…it helps that they’re all from the 70’s and that the 70’s are sort of a hip era musically.

It was a beautiful format…for a graphic designer having a foot square area to work with must have been pretty exciting.

To buy an album was a real event for me.  It felt like I was really getting something…to take a new album home and carefully place the needle down onto the fresh surface of the LP was a big deal.  For a music lover, I think it was almost a religious experience.

CD’s took away most of that experience…and digital downloads completely eroded it.

This book is a great introduction to how special these record stores were to music lovers.

I hope that my kid’s get the chance to experience that sense of community and shared excitement over something as great as checking out new music at the record store someday.

I love that music is so easy to discover and share these days.  Websites like and are a great place to check out a lot of new music…it just doesn’t have the value that buying an album had for me…or that talking with a clerk at the record store and learning something about a band I’d never heard of before had.

I guess we can do it all from the comfortable isolation of our own homes…and that’s a good thing…right?



About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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