My home cleanout and organizing continues. I am staring down boxes of a lot of obsolete formats like VHS, CDs, cassettes and albums. What do I keep? What do I get rid of? When do you need the hard copy of a memory?
When I was 12 years old I got my first album. I still have it.
The album had a big sticker on it stating you had to be 18 years old to buy it. I was not. Putting on mascara and my best pair of Road Runners wouldn’t convince anyone otherwise.
So Norm, my father, went to the store and bought it for me.
I take a strange sort of pride in the fact that my first album was a comedy album. It make sense for me really. You know. Because I’m funny. I mean, I’m not being particularly funny at this moment but … I can be hilarious if I try very hard and you're just coming out of dental surgery in.
I probably haven’t listened to this album since I was 16. I thought about listening to it a decade ago when Robin Williams died and then didn't. I'm hesitant because I have no idea if I’ll think it’s funny or sad or dated or timely.
I don't think I want to lose the memory I have of it. What if I think it's awful, I hate it, and question every thought I've ever had about everything while I was 12? What then?
Now onto the first music album I bought.
I have no idea how we got there or why our parents let us, but I got my first music album on a trip to Buffalo with some highschool friends. You may notice I’ve spelled highschool as one word instead of the more socially acceptable two worded “high school”. That’s because I strongly believe it should be one word and I am rebelling against the two worded highschool spelling.
I realize I achieve nothing with this protest.
Anyhow, I had a certain amount of money to spend while I was in Buffalo and I’m sure if Betty had anything to do with it I was supposed to buy clothing, shoes or makeup. But I didn’t.
I bought this.
John Cougar, as he was known then, is now John Mellencamp. I was lucky enough to interview him when I was an entertainment reporter. And he was just like I thought he would be; relaxed & rough, with a smoker’s cough and without pretence.
I don't know what the second or the last album I bought was but I feel attached to them. Plus I have a turntable. So even though I rarely play them and when I do I feel like I've just sat down to listen before I have to get up and flip the album over, I am going to dedicate several linear feet of storage to vinyl.
My cassettes will all be given away or chucked. There are a couple rarer ones that I might have transferred to digital. The CDs ... omg the CDs. I worked as a music reporter for a few years in the 90's and I have almost every CD made in those years.
I also have all the CDs I bought myself in the years before and after my time at MuchMoreMusic.
But I don't own a CD player.
And a CD just doesn't have the patina of an album.
So I'm going to go through all of the CDs and just make note of any I remember loving - a Steve Poltz record comes to mind - and then I'll buy it in digital form.
I have Tupperware BINS of VHS tapes of almost every SINGLE time I was on television. There are hours and hours and hours of my life on television starting from when I first volunteered on local cable to the next 10 years of hosting shows, most of them daily.
I'd love to just hand the boxes to someone and say please convert everything and deliver them back with a bag of chips please. Maybe I will. Years ago I did a sponsored post for Legacybox and they really did do a great job of converting stuff for me, but there must be a local place I can try as well. I'll have to look into it.
You know what’s coming now. Now I'm going to ask you what YOUR first album was.
I'm excited to hear the answers.