There is something special about listening to a vinyl record. I love those pops and cracks. The format just creates a whole different listening experience, and that is why I’ve tried to collect vinyl records over the years. I don’t have the biggest collection by any means, but each of my records is special to me. And because I’m broke most of the time, a vinyl can potentially be the cheapest method to own music. Nothing is more satisfying to me than rummaging through the old records in a thrift store and coming across a real gem. I’ve found Back to the Future, Purple Rain, Roberta Flack, Fleetwood Mac and lots of Beach Boy albums all for $1. I also found the best Christmas record for 50 cents one time. I know Christmas records are probably the easiest genre to find in thrift stores, but this had 5 discs of classics and I was so excited!
One of my biggest regrets was not buying the original Blondie Parallel Lines vinyl I found one afternoon while visiting a thrift store on vacation. I had searched through the largest section of records for probably 45 minutes when I came across it. None of the records in that store were ever more than $5, but this one was marked at $20. I was just a kid, and I don’t think I even had that much money. My parents were really strict with music, so I knew there was no chance of me talking them into buying it for me, even with the promise of paying them back. I tried to hide it back in the pile of records so that some day I could come back and find it again. I did go back, but never found it. It’s silly to still think about that record, because I do have other versions of the album. There is just something about a vinyl copy, and an original vinyl copy, that just makes me regret the missed opportunity.
Another time I was buying several vinyl records at an antique shop in Ohio. I set my stack on the check out counter with a Dolly Parton album resting on top. I looked up at the clerk for the first time and realized it was an elderly Amish man with the full on beard, hat, and conservative appearance. He was staring right at Dolly, and he barely stopped staring right at Dolly the whole time he was ringing up my purchase. I’ve rarely ever felt so uncomfortable. As he handed me my bag at the end, he gave me a very disapproving look. I might as well have walked up to the counter and asked to purchase sin, and then flashed him. It would have gone over the same as purchasing those records. What I want to know is, why was he working there?