Reflections on vinylI lost a lot things in Hurricane Katrina. Our pre-K lives melted like the Wicked Witch of the West when the floodwater filled New Orleans. And even though it's been more than seven months, I still, on occasion, miss some of my stuff.
Things like my albums. I'm talking 12-inch vinyl discs, lovingly stored in paper sleeves tucked into cardboard jackets. What we used to call "LPs" for long-playing records. I had a whole bunch of Beatles records, and lots of 70's and 80's pop.
Sure, I know I can easily replace those Beatles records with newly burned CDs, but it's just not the same. Records were 12-inches in diameter, so the covers were big, too. A lot of them opened up so that you got plenty of photos, notes and lyrics. The tiny art and booklets they put in CDs just don't compare.
And there were a lot of albums in my collection that simply cannot be replaced in the laser age. I had a copy of "N.O. Experience Necessary," a compilation of local new-wave and punk bands from the late 70's. You just can't buy anything by The Mechanics, The Driveways and The Backstabbers nowadays.
I had a full set of Blondie, too. I could probably get "Parallel Lines" on disc, and I might even be able to get "Plastic Letters" and the debut "Blondie," but it would not be the same. And all my DEVO albums--gone. In a way, De-evolution finally caught up with the spudboys.
I had some fun stuff, too. Like "The Story of Star Wars," which was a combination of the movie soundtrack and narration from "Episode IV: A New Hope." When I bought that album, we had no idea there would be sequels and prequels. Luckily, I played that one for my Precious Daughter a few months before the storm, so at least she got to hear it one time.
Books are something else I miss. I'll never replace my high school year book. And I'll never replace my Army Basic Training photo book. Who will ever believe I fired an M-60 machine gun without those pictures to prove it?
I had a few autographed books, too. Nobody really, really famous, but they were special to me anyway. For instance, I had a signed copy of Mel Leavitt's "History of New Orleans."
I lost a lot of furniture in the flood, but it's not the same. We had two almost new sofas in our house, and a fine dining table. These items alone were worth thousands of dollars more than my entire collection of books and record albums. But I just don't pine for my furniture. I don't find myself wistfully thinking, "Man, I'll never sleep in that bed ever again." I don't long to sit in the big blue chair and put my feet up on the ottoman. I guess those things can all be easily replaced.
I should not complain, though. We all got out alive, healthy and untraumatized. And as I wrote a while back, I was able to salvage some of my CD collection, even if they are somewhat smelly. But that was just part of my music collection. I have virtually nothing pre-1988 when I joined the digital music revolution.
I can't help it--I miss my albums. It makes me sad to know that I will probably never again drop a needle into the groove of "Serfin' USA" by Bas Clas, or rock to the frenzied energy of The Angry Samoans.
One record I did not have, and I'll be glad if I never hear again, is anything by Katrina and the Waves. I bet you can guess why!