Saturday, April 21, 2012

Time has healed my wounds

I was supposed to head somewhere today, but by force of habit I ended up driving the wrong direction up the Interstate towards work. Missing where I was supposed to go and feeling a bit pissed, I instead continued to drive and made my way to a place called Bordentown, home of The Record Collector music store. Today was Record Store Day (like Free Comic Book Day without the free part), which involved many exclusive releases to lure people out.

The only one I was interested in, a double live album by DEVO, was sold out, along with many other things. Apparently, the line was around the block.

I don't particularly love record stores. There was once an argument about vinyl sounding better than CD, but that ceased to be valid as digital technology improved in the 1990s. Quite frankly, even though I still buy CDs, mp3s and similar ethereal audio formats are the way to go. Also, record stores are expensive. I don't want to pay $16.95 for a CD. That's basically what killed the physical album industry, so who would a quirk of nostalgia fighting against progress try to encourage one of the worst parts of the past?

However, today was a good day. I found something I had regrets about. Something I once found and passed by. When I was in high school and into college, I used to hit music shops all the time. Before Napster and well before Youtube, the easiest way to sample old music was to buy up old cassettes and LPs. One store I used to frequent, Arboria Records, had a large selection of $1 albums. The cassettes were easier to browse, but the dollar records were along the floor underneath the organized bins. It circled the entire store, but I eventually made my way through the whole selection. It's how I was first introduced to Trouble.

I also found the debut EP of an L.A. band many people have heard of, Ratt. I wasn't that into glam metal (then or now), so I never purchased it. I later learned the EP is fairly rare, and Ratt was one of the better of the pop-leaning metal acts from the Sunset Strip. I kicked myself for not picking up the record, which featured Tawny Kitaen's legs in fishnet stockings poured into red high heels and covered with albino rats.

This was many years ago. We're talking Clinton Administration.

Today, low and behold, I find not one but two copies. I finally corrected my youthful error, and while at it, got Black Sabbath's "Born Again" and "Mob Rules" albums. The woman gave me a free "Record Day" canvas shopping bag, along with a Metal Blade sampler and some other CD because I "like the metal," as she said. Fortune worked in my favor today. It even spurred me to come back and visit the blog, so it seems your fortunate has improved, too.