There’s Vinyl In Them There Hills

This past week/weekend was the Waunakee city wide garage sale days. Over the past couple years I have expressly avoided going to the garage sales if at all possible. I have enough stuff for the most part. The garage sales start on Thursday now and the influx of traffic is insane. People come from cities all around Waunakee for this, and people save their stuff all year for this very day. There are bargains to be had if you can come early enough or wait until the last day to scoop up the price slashed stash. Last year I had my last garage sale, forever. Nonetheless, this year we got up early and decided to go out to a few. I had vinyl on my mind, but doubted that I would find any.

Keep in mind, I have no record player, so this would just be a purchase either for Abbey (if I happened to come across something Brit), or mere decoration or nostalgia.

Amazingly I did find some albums at one of the first few garages we stopped at, but as you might expect, the selection was questionable at best; Hawaiian Wedding Songs and Burl Ives Christmas Favorites and Doo Wop Classics. There were K-Tel stickers on some and aged protective plastic on most. These were the kind of albums that remained after their brothers were all sold off to used-record stores. They smelled faintly of basement and I felt bad for them, but had to respectfully pass.

A few sales after that we stopped at a garage and as I walked up the driveway I could hear Neil Young. The guy was playing garage sale music, for himself no doubt, but I appreciated it anyway. I couldn’t place the song, but I knew it was Neil. It reinforced my desire to get some of the old Neil Young that I am missing. I digress. As we approached closer, Cindy spotted vinyl and pointed it out to me. I glanced as she flipped through the first couple. Forgettable, yawn, yuck, worthless… WAIT! Did I see Brian Eno? What the…?  At a garage sale?

Indeed it was Brain Eno… “Brian Eno – Ambient 1 Music For Airports” no less.

As Cindy flipped through the bin, I grabbed others, and ended up with 7 LP’s.

The first 3 were Brian Eno ambient albums. “Ambient 1 – Music For Airports“:

“Ambient 2 – The Plateaux Of Mirror“:

and “Ambient 3 – Day Of Radiance“:

Now, you have to understand that when I rented the room just off campus while going to school in Milwaukee there were 2 songs that absolutely gave me shivers. I had heard backward masking plenty of times, but for some reason the track “Still Life” on “Iron Maiden – Piece Of Mind” made my skin crawl when the voice in the beginning spewed out in mysterious speaking in tongue nonsense. I never tried to spin the record backwards to hear what they were actually saying. It probably would have taken the edge off of the creepiness. Perhaps I should have. The other track that did the same thing to me was on Brian Eno’s album “Ambient 4 – On Land”. As I assume that Ambient 1, Ambient 2 and Ambient 3 are, Ambient 4 was a collection of soundscape tracks that were just chirps and waves and boings and sound treatments. There was one track on “Ambient 4 – On Land” that made me glance around the room paranoid-ically whenever I played it. The track is called “Shadow” and it has a “vocal” on it that is just piercingly weird and there is at one point a quick intake of breath. My hair would stand on end. Still does if I listen to it. In my dark room at night, it was eerie. So, without a doubt, I had to get these other

Then there was the Linda Ronstadt. “Simple Dreams”:

and “Greatest Hits”:

I have always loved Linda Ronstadt. In the beginning it was the music. This was dangerously close to country music for me, but well worth it. Linda with The Stone Poneys. I loved “Different Drum” and overlooked the pedal steel and twang to lavish in the sound of Linda’s voice. Then when “Simple Dreams” came out and Linda started being promoted as a singing sex symbol I fell hard. I had several posters of Linda in my room. I had this one on the ceiling.

These had to come home with me. I still love the music.

I also like Neil Diamond. Take your best shot.

Also in the bin was one I actually never owned, but couldn’t resist.

Even non Frampton fans have to be able to find something on here. How can you not like “Baby I Love Your Way” (though I do maintain that the Lisa Bonet version from the movie High Fidelity is a close second) or “Show me The Way” or the ultimate talkbox exposition: “Do You Feel Like We Do?”. I will probably never play this whole thing, but I had to own it. I did see Peter play live when I saw David Bowie’s Serious Moonlight tour. It was an added bonus that he was in the band for that tour.

Last, but not least… this one.

The first time I heard this LP was when the guy in my Astronomy class recommended it. I believe that he may have used it in conjunction with mind altering chemicals, but his enthusiasm and love for the album was evident. Surprisingly, though he barely knew me, he brought it in for me to borrow the next day. This of course forced me to carry it around all day after 2nd hour Astronomy and protect it all the way home on the bus. He gushed about “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” which he assured me was about the former lead singer of Pink Floyd: Syd Barret. I couldn’t be sure that that was the case, but it was amazing. I played it that night as I went to bed. I loved it. I carefully returned it the next day and bought it soon after.  This album was like a gateway drug for the rest of the Floyd catalog. I think this led the way to “Meddle” and then “Animals”. Floyd has been with me ever since.

I don’t remember the Floyd lenders name, but his willingness to borrow to me out of pure love of the music is a characteristic I have tried to apply to my own life.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond from the class of ’83. Shine on.

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