OT: Music nostalgia
Last night as I worked out while listening to my iPod (which has about 750 songs on it, mostly oldies), I heard one of the songs I first bought on a 45, back in the dark ages of 1969.
What’s a 45? cries the chorus of younger readers. (sigh)
Who knows what this is?
It’s called a 45 adapter. Before MP3s, before CDs, there was vinyl. Long-playing (LP) records were played at 33 1/3 RPM. But if you wanted to buy just one song, you bought a smaller, cheaper record that played at 45 RPM.
The record players had a spindle on which the LPs spun. But 45s had a larger hole in the middle, so you had to insert the plastic adapter.
When I was a kid, my mom and dad (and later, my stepdad) had a ginormous hi-fi stereo. I had a few records that had been given to me (mostly Beatles), but playing records on my mom’s system wasn’t usually an option. She hated rock and roll and would put the kibosh on my record-playing whenever she was around. Which really wasn’t fair — after all, her @#$%ing opera gave me a headache with all the howling, but I couldn’t tell her to stop playing it. But I digress.
So imagine my delight when I was 12, my mother gave me a tiny record player I could keep in my bedroom. Off I went with my allowance to the nearest record store, where I bought my first 45s, three of them. What did I get?
1. A huge “bubble-gum” hit, “Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies. (Yes, the same Archie as in the comics. The group didn’t really exist; it was a studio band.)
2. “Little Woman,” by a major heart-throb at the time, Bobby Sherman. He came slightly before David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.
3. And finally, an obscure little one-hit wonder, an instrumental called “Keem-O-Sabe” by The Electric Indian. It was one of those bits of music that comes along and then disappears into the rock ether, never to be heard again… until many years later when it turns up on some nostalgic compilation CD.
It was actually pretty cool, I think. Anyone remember this?
It turned out I had an affinity for instrumentals. I was crazy about surf guitar (Dick Dale, anyone? Or how about “Pipeline”?), and everything from David Rose’s “The Stripper” to Hugo Montenegro’s “Theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.”
A lot of instrumentals became classics, but many more were one-hit wonders that disappeared. Here’s another one I had on 45, which I think still sounds good, but my ear may be skewed by age. It was called “Cool Aid.”
In the corner of my bedroom, I still have my old wire record rack, a lot of LPs, and a carton filled with 45s. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them, even though I haven’t played them in forever. Everything I had on records, I replaced with either CDs, or downloads from iTunes.
Do you guys remember the first piece of music you ever purchased, regardless of the format? Please share!