Jeremy gave me a record player for my birthday. Although my birthday was back in April, my gift just arrived a few weeks ago. It’s a long story that involved a misunderstanding, a shipping delay and a defective product, but has now ended with a fully functioning turntable in our dining room.
I actually had a small vintage portable record player until our great pre-move purge of 2008. I hardly ever used it, so I got rid of it. Afterward, I realized I still wanted some vinyl in my life. Jeremy doesn’t understand this at all, and I can’t really explain it. I just like records.
Of course, I was born in the mid-1970s so vinyl was still king for the first decade of my life. Thankfully, many of those albums were still at my parent’s house. I brought them home recently, and as I flipped though them I could easily chronicle the various stages of my childhood and adolescence.
Starting with my pre-kindergarten country music phase…
I spent the first years of my life listening to country music. I had no choice. This is what my parents listened to and I had no idea there was an alternative. I remember sitting in front of our hi-fi for hours listening to country albums.
This was old country too, not the adorable I love my high heeled shoes, God bless my truck sort of country that I unwittingly hear while shopping or dining these days. Country music in the 60s and 70s was sadder, grittier and sometimes violent. It was real cry in your beer music, or in my case, apple juice.
If you’d asked me about my favourite song back then, I’d have told you it was Johnny Cash’s, A Boy Named Sue. I know that doesn’t seem like appropriate material for a five year old, but did you know it was actually written by Shel Silverstein?
By the time I started school, I had a pretty grim view of the world. I understood the suffering that came with unrequited love, poverty and loneliness. I knew the pain of losing a spouse at harvest time and the perils of cowboy life. It was no surprise I had trouble assimilating during those early days of kindergarten. Clapping along to trite little ditties like if your happy and you know it was confusing for me. I was always waiting for a verse with a knife fight.
To be continued….