Spring cleaning at 33 1/3 RPM
It might have been the Monkees. Led Zeppelin. The Pointer Sisters. The White Album.
The exact album doesn’t matter as much as the notion of there being an album at all: a weekly spring tradition of opening the windows, sliding the screen into the front door and turning on the turntable as we cleaned out winter’s dusty remnants.
I was five. And it was a real turntable. A Marantz, the needle popping and scratching, still years away from being mangled at the hands of two overanxious punk rock fans listening to Avail 7”s.
(Though, let’s face it, the record collection was already a mangled mix of styles – my mom and dad’s varying tastes pressed up against each other but never quite mixing; Phil Collins-era Genesis nestled up against Black Sabbath, the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack sharing space with Fleetwood Mac.)
And it was through two high-end stereo speakers that my introduction to music was staged in marathon sessions, the sound of a vacuum and the smell of carpet sanitizer meshing with Paul’s bass, John and George’s guitars, Ringo’s drums, and a cacophony of acid-induced lyrics by way of some guy named Sgt. Pepper.
I still remember that album; an original, complete with paper-doll like accessories tucked inside the album sleeve. With the Parlophone logo spinning in circles as horns and sitars and songs I know I’d heard before on classic rock radio soaked into my head, I cleaned my room, my own pathetic attempt at being an adult and helping around the house.
But that’s merely one album of many. Another day, and it could have been The Power Station. Or, it could have been The Concert for Bangladesh.
All I knew at the time was that this was music, and I was getting a chance to decide which types of music I’d hold on to for the rest of my life.
Needless to say, The Pointer Sisters didn’t make the cut.