Monday, September 12, 2011

Cleaning Vinyl?

Derrick sent me this photo. Not sure what is going on but perhaps this person is fixing scratches. Maybe it would be easier to flush it in the toilet, like we do to the kids' Wii games.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Neighbor's Collection

Thanks to my "Happy Rock" neighbor Steve for letting me take a picture of his vinyl explosion.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Can Fall Asleep At Night.....

As A Rock N' Roll Star. Who couldn't? Who wouldn't? Writing about it is the closest I will ever get to it. I cannot sing, play an instrument, write a lyric, but I can purchase rough textured, silver, glittery stretch pants, dye my hair black and pretend to be a Bowie groupie, and I did. In my mind. Wrote my English term paper on The Duke. Thought for sure my teacher never heard of him. There was a group of us who were heavily influenced by Ziggy. I think we even had a notebook filled with "Bowie Notes." Everything and anything that resembled Davy Jones was slapped together with such ignorant innocence. The classmate next to us could have had on something that slightly resembled our hero, like a mullet shaped freckle and we would have written a couple of pages on Bowie freckles. I will never forget listening to Ziggy Stardust And The Spider From Mars tape. Yes, twas a tape. One side of tunes anyways. The other side was taped over, by me, early on, during my safe Beatles phase and who knew that I ruined a great album. I think it all came to me when I was at Medusa's, a teen dance club, around Belmont and Clark. They had this dance floor with a juice bar and a big screen that played a music video. Most of it was probably old school Nine Inch Nails and Front 242- stuff that I could not get into. But then Bauhaus came on the screen with Peter Murphy and the riff ignited and I was alone, standing still, while the crowd was spinning and I could not help but fall insanely in love with the song. So I dug and I found out who the original singer was and It was all over for me. History. Emotionally turned on, full tilt boogie with open mind and heart and legs and whatever else opens up during times of a musical orgasm. I put two and two together- "Oh, "China Girl" guy and oh shit, I taped over the other side." And I said it, just like that and then I went and bought a new Ziggy Stardust on tape- remastered- and I went to my bedroom and lit a candle and "Moonage Daydream" came on and I cried. It's that simple. I finally got it on vinyl, from a friend, and I am one happy muthu.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

They Call Me John

So, I got about 60 or more records the other day from a friend of mine. Purple Rain, Maggot Brain, bunch of Dead, Black Flag, etc.... Also picked up three records from the Kiss The Sky booth at Louche Puce market in Aurora. A Brian Ferry/Roxy Music double record, Mott The Hoople's self titled album and Lennon's Imagine.
They called me John Lennon in high school. Yup. My yearbook can prove it. "Have a nice summer John Lennon." "Give Peace a Chance, Lennon." "Kiss the Ono for me." Something like that. I go for all things androgynous. Apparently, at the age of 14, I decided I would rather be known as a man about 40 years my senior and I was so cool with that. I purposely picked out the most Lennonized glasses I could find in 1988- gold, round specks, that wrapped around my ears in a Mrs. Clause kind of way. I decided to let go of the Cicero high hair fad and indulge my inner flatness. Yup, grew out the bangs too and parted it in the middle, tucked behind my ear...uh, kind of like now. I remember reading somewhere how Patti Smith wanted to be Keith Richards and she pulled if off real well. I inhaled the Beatles morning, noon and night and in ninth grade, I became one with the walrus.
Imagine. What can I say that hasn't already been said. Brilliant record with an ethereal shot of John on the cover and a profound back displaying the words of Yoko. "Imagine the clouds dripping, dig a hole in your garden to put them in,"- Yoko '63. Who doesn't love a good Ono quote? Ok. About a billion. But give the muse some love because without her, we probably would not have heard the heart sinking beauty, "Jealous Guy," "Imagine," "How Do You Sleep," "How," and everyone's favorite- including my husband's- "Oh Yoko."
Last but not least, I give a shot out to Lennon's south side Chi-town genius- "Those freaks was right when they said you was dead." Best lyric evah.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Many Faces Of Abbey

I found Abbey Road at the flea market. I actually found two and I should have picked them both up since I have now learned that there is an underground school of Abbey aficionados who speak in tongue, defining the technicalities and the many engineering cycles of this record. I will try and break it down to you in Amy's terms which may prove to sound like the Riddler on crack so bear with me. It was a dark, dark night in England. The year, 1969. The month, October. The subject, Apple.
I have come to learn that there are three variations of the Abbey Road cover and record. A thorough explanation can be found on the web at places like and the technical site, an audiophile music restoration specialty site, which features an amazing discussion just on this subject.
My brief breakdown of the three variations:
The first group of pressings- released October 1, 1969. I won't give you the technical background of the way the cover was put together, but in short, Abbey Road was the first album in America to have a new form of "print-on-board" covering. You can view that information at The album cover's photo had the small portion of the sewer cap on the white road cross walk beneath Ringo and John's feet. It also did not list "Her Majesty" on the song listings on the back of the album or on some, the record.
The second- this group of pressings did have "Her Majesty" listed on the back and also pictured the sewer cap on the cross walk.
The third- this batch changed its original "print-on-board" format for the cover and boasted "cover slicks" which were taken from the original print. Again, the third batch did not show "Her Majesty" on the song listings. The sewer is missing due to the picture of The Beatles being larger.
There were some pressings that had a misaligned Apple logo in the back, under the track listing "I want You (She's so heavy). Those are pretty rare. The original, which is what I believe I have based upon the criteria, had a larger font and different position of the title - "Abbey Road - The Beatles," on the record. There are even variations of the apple color and some do not list "Her Majesty" on the record itself. There were also color differences in the inner sleeves- some being black and others white. Mine has the white sleeve but I did read that the first pressings also had the black. The second and third did not have black.
So, take a look at your Abbey Road album. Check for these numbers on the back- Apple So- 383 and type it into the computer. You just opened a can of worms.
I am listening to the record now, over and over , while I write this, and am wondering if my neighbors are getting a whiff of Polythene Pam. I can listen to it over and over due to the fact that it brings back such strong youthful memories. It reminds me of my first crush, putting me in such a retrospective daze. It was the beginning of the end of B-96 thump it and dump it crap and the start of a raging musical hormonal enlightenment. It was and is the first tape (Ahh, did I say tape?) I ever bought with my hard earned babysitting money and was preceded by a long line of godly musical influences forever in my debt.
I don't have a technical ear or background but the sound on the 1969 original, in stereo, is pretty darn good. I am even appreciating the few scratches that it has.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Color Red

This is going to be a hodgepodge of vinyl business because for some reason, this morning, I cannot contain my ADD and I am a bit rusty with my writing skills since I haven't written in my blog for some time. I guess I am on diary mode which will help me to remember the topics I would like to cover as a whole. In the future, in the night, in the dark.
Dear diary,
Agenda one on right hemisphere. There is a published book on all things vinyl, saw a brief synopsis in Rolling Stone. Can't remember the title or author and too lazy to get up and look for it. Pleasant. Agenda two. I wanted to write a post about color vinyl. I purchased Squeeze's self titled album, surrounded by a hot pink mess and a cool red record. Many records were released in color, possibly for promotional purposes and collectors' items. I have one other colored record that is white, a Black Crowes single, but I have never seen red. There was a site that showed how color gets put into vinyl. I believe they inject some kind of seeping dye into the plastic. Lots of new releases have "promotional" eye candy vinyl. YouTube is full of record collectors showcasing their hues in new and old.
Onto more serious matters. I was introduced by a friend to a Face Book page and retail company called Bad Kitty Music. They are an online LP and CD store. What has me hooked are their ingenious posts featuring perverse descriptions of the greatest album covers- you've never heard of- of all time. They go where no publicist has gone before. You can order from them through their various websites, located on Bad Kitty Music Face Book page. They are also located at 18460 US Highway 67, Good Hope, IL at a booth in the Yesterday's Treasures Antiques Mall. Last but not least, today I kissed Gary Numan on his "Replicas" album. Good night diary.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How Many Albums Do You Wish?

I have approximately 191 albums with a couple of records missing. My "Hey Jude" album has "Revolver" in it, I am missing Grateful Dead's "Wake of The Flood" record along with Zappa's "Zoot Allure." The albums, sitting tight, waiting for replacements. There are a couple of loose records without an album cover and I have a Black Crowes "Three Snakes And One Charm" box set of 45's. 191 and growing.