I was listening to the radio

Time is a funny thing.

I found myself listening to the radio.

This was actually what started my thinking process, ”I found myself listening to the radio”.

It doesn’t sound like an odd thing to say, does it?

And yet, I asked myself, knowing what the answer was all along, “Will this too be a thing of the past?

Take heed Millennial’s and Generation Xers, you may not know what I’m talking about now, but as sure as shit, this will happen to you too.

Maybe not in regard to a radio, it’ll be something like a cell phone, your social media, crypto currency, who knows, but one day you’ll mutter something like “I found myself……”

If you’re a boomer like me you may remember waking up on Christmas morning looking under the tree for a square thin package.

My first package contained a Beatles album, I think it was called “Meet the Beatles”.  

Opening it was like a dissection.

I would carefully take the wrapping paper off so as not to have any tape rip the cover.

Then, I’d make a small incision in the plastic, just along the seam so I could get the album out.

Any misstep could spell disaster.

It was a ritual, akin to a tea drinking ceremony in Japan.

And all this before the record had even been spun.

The first time is always exiting (there’s a punch line here), most of the songs would be new to you.

Placing the album on the turntable was like trying to pour nitro from one beaker to the next. A scratch on the album was not something you wanted.

Once this maneuver was done, however, you still had to place the needle onto the record. If you did it right, the first sounds produced would be a slight crackle as the needle guided its way into the proper groove.

A good album would result in someone yelling, “turn it down!”.

You knew the equipment well.

If you were unfortunate to have a record that skipped you knew that placing a dime or a penny on top of the needle head could solve the issue, temporarily.

People were very serious about their album collection.

None more serious than my Uncle Doug, he was fanatical about his collection and treated it like a museum exhibit, just shy of the white gloves.

He would have these album “gems” that were so hard to find, I’m not sure how he got them. He’d carefully spin a new song and watch the expression on your face with a grin, knowing you were about to be floored.

Visits to Uncle Doug’s rock n’ roll album museum were a real learning experience for me, he taught me a lot, it was him that got me involved in music and I’ll always be grateful.

It was a sad day when I lost my uncle, but I keep telling myself that “If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand.

If there’s a rock and roll heaven, well you know they’ve got a hell of a band….and Uncle Doug is up there partying with them all I’m sure….

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there’s a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they’ve got a hell of a band. Jimmy gave us rainbows
And Janis took a piece of our hearts
And Otis brought us all to the dock of a bay
Sing a song to light my fire
Remember Jim that way
They’ve all found another place
Another place to play. If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there’s a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they’ve got a hell of a band, Remember bad bad Leroy Brown
Hey Jimmy touched us with that song
Time won’t change a friend we came to know
And Bobby gave us Mack the Knife
Well look out, he’s back in town
They’ll all be there together
When they meet in one big show …..If you believe in forever…RB

Through the years the album covers got more artistic and some opened like a book to reveal lyrics and/or other goodies.

You could spend days enthralled in all the details inside albums like Sgt. Pepper or Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road.

Lyrics were always great to have and many bets were settled because of this small gift, no Google Search in those days.

I was on the wrong end of many of these bets myself.

FYI Jimmy Hendrix does not say “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” the real lyric is…”Excuse me while I kiss the sky”.

In those days, they both kind of worked, don’t you think?

It’s kind of a shame that young people, and older people for that matter, don’t have these little thrills anymore.

Most music today is downloaded piecemeal. Nobody downloads full albums to my knowledge anymore.

Albums were a complete storybook on a piece of vinyl.

Just look at Pink Floyds “The Wall” or Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell”, it wouldn’t make sense to release albums like these in today’s culture.

Records were special, you could actual hold an album in your hands, they weren’t virtual.

If you were lucky, you were able to snag a milk carton container, they were the perfect size to store your valuable collection, and much easier to lug around.

They say albums are coming back again, but I wonder if that’s really true.

I think that once you open Pandora’s box you can never get it closed again. Pandora being digital downloads in this case.

Don’t get me wrong, I know progress is a good thing, it’s brought about some fantastic inventions that make life so much easier today.

But I do have to wonder if mankind is moving just a bit too fast.

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was buying our first VHS machine and tucking my little boy into bed.

Time sure does go fast.

The song I was listening to on the radio that day was “Yesterday” by the Beatles.

It just got me thinking, and I wondered, with all this wonderful technology making our lives so much better, did we ever stop to consider if we are giving ourselves enough time to stop and “smell the roses“?

Maybe this would be a good time for all of us to just stop, just for a minute, and look around…..I think we’ll find roses everywhere, we just need to look.

Do you have a favorite Vinyl Album that you would love to revisit? Click the album cover above to bring you to the record page at AMAZON

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4 thoughts on “I was listening to the radio

  1. This article brought back many nostalgic memories and emotions. Your writing brings everything to light, so clear and precise. Thank you for capturing the essence of Doug. He asked before he left us, what will his legacy be and from your memories of him and those of others it will be his mind, compassion and kindness. Thank you for this touching article.


  2. I loved reading this. I grew up on my Dad’s records (I still play so many of them today) and I certainly picked up his love of music and finding something new and fresh so I can share that gift of sound with others. Music brings me the kind of joy that you can’t quite explain…music makes you feel seen, understood, part of something greater than yourself. Some of my most cherished moments in life, those that I felt most alive and present, took place when I truly carved out time to experience music. Staring at the ceiling in your bedroom listening to an album the whole way through…or sitting in a comfortable chair with headphones and playing the whole album reading each lyrics and trying to find out what they mean…more importantly, what they mean to you!

    Incredible post…your writing is a gift. Your memories of my Father are a gift. ❤


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