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Monday, May 16, 2016

Living in my Music Memory

Photo Credit: Me
I was transported back in time the other day. I was on a week long vacation, and thus decided to indulge myself in a little record shopping. A favorite pastime of mine. So on Saturday of my vacation I traveled up to Reckless Records on North Broadway here in Chicago. What I found on this extraordinary day absolutely shocked me. Before I explain what I found, it is crucial that I explain a habit of mine that I do whenever I enter a record shop. Whenever I go into any record shop, the first thing I look for is the Beatles collection. Even though I have every piece of Beatles vinyl, I still go through the selections just as an "in case". Because you never know what you will find.

So here I am, doing my thing,  looking through the Beatles selection when something grabbed my eye. It was a copy of Volume 1 of The Beatles Anthology. I couldn't believe it! I knew that there were vinyl pressing made of them in the United Kingdom, but never thought I would see a copy of one again in the United States. You read that right.  Again. But Pete you say, you've never been outside the country. How could you have seen a copy of this wonderful album on vinyl if it were only on printed/available in the United Kingdom?

Well, let me transport you to a simpler time.  1997. A very important year for me. Looking back at it, I feel like this was the year were I finally "got" music. My journey began by watching The Beatles documentary series The Anthology  with my older sister. Seeing the story of The Beatles unfold in front of me on television captured my imagination. With this in mind, I began my journey into buying the music of the Beatles.

One day I don't remember when, my family was out in the Orland Park/Tinley Park area. While traveling on 159th street, my dad stopped off at a local record shop called "Threshold Records". It was my first time being in a legit record shop. To this day, I still remember what that experience was like. The room had character. It felt like what a record shop would look like in the movies. There was vinyl everywhere. Posters of bands I had never heard of everywhere. There was even a section for bootleg CDs. (I had no idea what that even meant at the time.) But there were two items that caught my eye. Hanging up on the wall was a promotional poster for Paul McCartney's new album called "Flaming Pie", along with a vinyl copy of The Beatles Anthology Volume 2.

I stared at the vinyl copy of Volume 2. Unsure of what to do. I held it in my hand, and was blown away by it's shear presence. I remember then seeing the price, and realizing that it was far outside of my price range. Remember I was in 7th/8th grade at the time, so $25.00 seemed like a sumptuous amount of money. My parents agreed, and recommend that I get something else, which I agreed to do. What I got instead was a CD copy of Flaming Pie, and my first ever vinyl. It was the Ghostbusters' movie soundtrack. But I never forgot about the anthology series on vinyl. As I got more into music, and began purchasing The Beatles' catalog on vinyl, I always kept my eye out for the anthology series, but I never found any copies. Until Saturday.

I felt an unabated excitement that adults often get mocked for. It sounds stupid, but seeing volume 1 on Saturday took me back to that day in 1997. I was that kid again, discovering the power of music. The memory was incredibly vivid, and I loved every moment that I was in it. And that's what made it so special. Not buying the record (which I did) because, ultimately it is just a piece of plastic. But the fact that a piece of plastic can jar a long forgotten memory from my subconscious my conscious was really great.

With that being said one down, two to go. :) I should also add Flaming Pie to the list.

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