Everything comes full circle. Jon and I stood there in Grimeys Records the other day, on Eighth Avenue South, and he gently pulled out an LP from the liner, and said, “You know, there’s just something about holding a large record like this. Holding it in your hands, and reading the lyrics off the liner, and having a large 12″ piece of art to look at; it’s just so different from downloading a record off of iTunes”.
I’m 52 years old. Of course I knew what he was talking about. I can remember vividly one of the first records I ever bought — it was a Carly Simon record, from Taylor Drug Store, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Not sure the year — probably about 1972. I loved Carly Simon at that time, but the main reason I bought that particular record was because of the nipples sticking thru her blue T-shirt. Let’s not forget — I was probably 14 years old at the time, and in 1972-repressed-Southern-Baptist-Kentucky, that album cover was pretty scandalous. (I can imagine that panicked scene today, in some record company conference room, when the film was delivered — that look of panic on the publicist’s eyes, saying “We can never send out these pictures; we’ll have to Photoshop them out!”) I guess I justified buying it to my mother because it had “You’re So Vain” on it, which was a huge hit at the time.
Fast forward to about 1976 or so. I was a redneck goofball, about to graduate high school. I made this deal with the local record store (and Head Shop), to drive to Nashville and pick up a stack of concert tickets for every show at Municipal Auditorium. I think the name of the shop was Headquarters. Hint, hint. And yes, those bongs under the counter were meant for tobacco. Right. I’d ride my father’s Harley from Bowling Green to Nashville, pick up a stack of concert tickets, turn around and ride right back to Bowling Green. For this service, I was paid two concert tickets. I loved it. I felt important.
So Mike Grimes is preserving this period of time. I can’t imagine that vinyl has a chance to compete with iTunes on any large scale, but maybe there is enough market share there to at least stay profitable. I completely understand the tactile quality of a 12″ record, that Jon mentioned. There’s nothing like it — even the pops and cracks and skips. I can still remember when Physical Graffiti came out, and the record was die-cut, and the title of the record showed through the window frames of that building.
I heard the other day that there’s now a guy trying to bring back the eight-track tape as well. Vintage is nice, but some things just ought to die, for good.
Edit/Update: I received this note from Mike after posting. He wanted to add this to the message of the video:
If you don’t mind, perhaps place this at the end of your piece:
‘Grimey sometimes gets nervous being interviewed on camera, when viewing please
replace the term Contemporary Country Music for Traditional Country music, he loves
Hank, Ernest and Buck, not as crazy about Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, you get it.’
Would really appreciate it.