I did some crate digging when my wife, two of our sons and I went to an antiques mall recently, and found some real gems (using that term very loosely) in the album bins. This is vinyl that takes me back to the days of old, when I was young.

Here’s the first album I ever bought:

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Yep, I was pretty late to the Eagles party. This album was their swan song (post-breakup re-formation albums don’t count in my book). Love the cover… not too far removed from the infamous “Black Album” from Spinal Tap.

I bought this album at Wal-Mart. (Don’t hate – it was pretty much the only store in Clarksville, Arkansas that sold records.) Brought it home, put it on the turntable and it skipped. Returned it to Wal-Mart for another copy, which also skipped. Finally figured out that if I taped a penny on the turntable’s needle arm, it worked just fine. Don’t try that with your mp3s.

I loved music so much that I pored over the liner notes. There was a note in tiny print at the bottom of the album sleeve telling how you could mail away for the lyrics:

2015-07-12 14.43.47How quaint. And of course I dutifully mailed in my SASE because I love lyrics.

I studied the album so much that I even found an “Easter egg” of sorts etched into the black vinyl between the last song and the record label on both sides, aka the “runout grooves.”

Side 1 said: Never let your monster lay down.

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Side 2 read: From the Polack who sailed north.

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I’m guessing that’s a reference to the album’s producer, Bill Szymczyk.

So I thought I was just driving 5 minutes away to an antiques mall, but I actually wound up going 800 miles (and 36 years) down Memory Lane.

“Who is gonna make it? We’ll find out, in the long run”



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