Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In which I learn about vinyl, Cheap Trick and science-fan-fiction epics....

"Hey, this song is awesome!" I looked around at Maddy. "Did you just download this?"

"Yeah. I have the CD - or I should - but I can't find it anywhere." Maddy looked around.

"Did it just come out?" The last CD she bought was a month or so ago, and that was Big Country's latest. (Which rocks, BTW. Check it out.)

"Oh Gawds, no. And that 1998 is for the CD. The album was recorded in 1978, I think. It was one of the first albums I ever bought."

"Was it the first?"

"No, that was the soundtrack to Grease. Which I still love. Did I ever show you what vinyl records look like?"


"Here's one." She found it and took it out. "This was how music used to come. Sounded good, but not very portable. Plus, records had a nasty tendency to 
get scratched and/or skip - sometimes right out of the sleeve. One album I had - Panorama, by the Cars - I had no idea it was skipping one whole line of the title track near the beginning of the song until years later when I got the CD. I think out of all the labels, Chrysalis was the worst. Any album I bought on that label was guaranteed to skip right out of the sleeve somewhere."

"They did have awesome covers, though. At least some of them did."

I looked. "Are those Harleys?"

"I have no idea." She gave me an odd look.

 "This was how you made your music portable back in the vinyl days. Tapes."

"This is one of the original Sony Walkmans, I used to sneak mine to school all the time along with a bunch of mix tapes. I had to carry a ginormous bag to keep it hidden, though. I wasn't supposed to have it with me. Nobody ever caught on, though."

"Then along came the CD...."

"And the MP3 player. I think I have almost six hundred songs on that and I still have room for more. I could never have done that with mix tapes. And now I can just download a song I like right away instead of waiting until I can get to the record store to find the album - if they even had it, that is. I can even Google an awesome song on a commercial and download it before the commercial's over. Very cool."

"How did you first hear these guys?" The album wasn't bad.

"On an old TV show called Pink Lady and Jeff. They had some really good bands on, That was where I first heard Blondie and Alice Cooper, too." She made a wry face. "Back then - I guess I was about eleven or so - I was pretty much convinced I was going to marry Robin Zander. Me and about a bazillion other girls..." She rolled her eyes at herself. "At the time I was also writing a very convoluted fanfic story about the band. Some kind of overwrought science fiction epic. At one point I think it had a plot somewhere, but I think I totally lost it about a chapter and a half in."

"What was the plot?"

"It was supposed to be something about the band getting magically transported to the year 4001 and finding out everything had been destroyed in a nuclear war and then traveling back through time to figure out what happened so they could stop it, but meeting me and some of my friends and we started traveling with them and then well - bye-bye plot. I think Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless made an appearance somewhere along the way and there were a bunch of talking winged cats and Robin becoming the High Priest of Rhythmic Noise....I think I was on a lot of Benedryl when I wrote most of it."

I somehow don't think it could have been that bad. It sound kind of weirdly cool. Surrealist fan fiction.....


  1. I would totally read that story. It sounds awesome in a very epic kind of way. And yeah... Robin Zander... *dreamy sigh*

    This was a very awesome entry. Thank you for the walk down memory lane. And a funny thing - your picture with the "Book of Days" album. The new Daft Punk CD, Random Access Memories, just came out. They're on Columbia, and they purposefully made the CD look just like the old Columbia record labels: red with the print on it, so it was super cool to see in that picture.

    Thank you for this entry. And if you find that story, I'm not kidding, I totally want to read it. I think I wrote something not dis-similar about a different band once... :)

  2. Thanks! I started thinking about all that while I was downloading the album - buying it on vinyl when I was eleven and all.... I actually do miss vinyl for the awesome cover art, but I really don't miss the skipping right out of the sleeve and things like that.

    I also learned not to write fanfic starring your friends. I don't think one of my friends has quite forgiven me for not hooking her up with Robin in the story :). (That notebook may be buried somewhere on a shelf downstairs; one of these days I should look for it...)