Why does it feel so good to hold on to things from the past?
In my apartment, my bookshelves are lined with vinyl records. Some are from my father: I've got a handful of Johnny Cash, the "Man in Black," to whom my dad partially attributes his dark monochromatic style, plus a lot of Elvis Presley. Let's just say my sister and I learned how to do Presley's signature lip curl at a young age. Some records are from my mother: Journey, Heart, Jethro Tull, et cetera. (No offense, Mom, but those ones don't get played often.)
Others, however, are the result of spending my own time sifting through cramped crates of records at small shops in cities near and far. One of my favorite finds is a collection of 1960s French songs featuring big name "it girls" like Brigitte Bardot, Françoise Hardy and Anna Karina.
Ah, if I could dwell in a world of old library books and dusty records for all eternity, I certainly would. But there is also this little issue of availability as the world — and our beloved joys from the past — ages.
I ran into this problem last year when my dad let me have his old wooden cabinet-style stereo console. It's a 1960s Magnavox with a Micromatic record player — the kind where you can stack records on top of one another, which also led me to understand why early pressings were made as side A and C, and so on, as opposed to side A and B on the same record that we typically see on reissues or newer pressings.
It was a beautiful piece of furniture, but years of neglect and water damage resulted in an unbalanced sound and a record player that couldn't do the one thing it was designed to do: turn.