Saturday, December 20, 2008

Browsing for Records With my Son

I spent many many hours in my youth browsing through record stores. Big stores like Tower in Hollywood, small ones like Field of Zaad in Venice, looking for new records, imports, cut-outs, boot-legs. The rhythm of flipping through the records, pulling one out, showing it to your buddy, shoving it back in... out of one store, on the road to another... the enjoyable or awful music blaring over the store P.A.... friendly and helpful or snotty and obnoxious clerks in the stores... it's a memory of a time that has certainly passed. Tower is gone, Rhino Records is gone, nearly every decent "record store" is gone.

Fortunately there are a couple of decent ones left in LA, and oddly enough my 17-year-old son A. actually likes to spend time in them. We started out this afternoon at Rockaway Records in Silver Lake, where he picked up an Electric Light Orchestra album and one by XTC. "If I'm going to get music, I'm either going to buy it on vinyl or pirate it," says A.

Later we ended up at Amoeba Records in Hollywood where he picked up another ELO album. He'll add it to his small album collection that includes a couple of Zappa albums. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the Voxtrot EP he wanted. As we were digging through the records, he commented that "if it wasn't for the Internet, this would be REALLY fun..." We managed to have a good time anyway.

A. was never really that interested in baseball, or hiking, or many of the other things I did with my Dad and I had imagined sharing with him. I certainly never imagined watching my son buy an ELO EP. You don't know where the connection is going to come, you just have to be ready to let it happen when it does.

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