Dec 282012

I succumbed to the lure of a photo. A friend posted a photo of the bright pink Crosley Portable Turntable (with built-in speakers) that was offered through his store, and I decided it was time to get off my duff, take the bull by the horns and all those other anti-procrastion messages, and get me and Mr. Royale a record player. I didn’t order a pink one but instead, a respectable mellow blue one.

So yesterday morning, Mr. Royale opened the parcel and his eyes lit up. We both started to do the Hustle, the Madison, the Electric Slide, and the Pony around the room realizing the joys that were in store.

Today we gave our new little turntable a spin. We started with my K-Tel Super Bad album. Not only was it wondrous to listen to the crackles and pops of Isaac Hayes’ “Theme From Shaft” but the nostalgia of the whole playing records process was overwhelming. Honestly, I haven’t touched a record player in at least 15 years, so it was a surprise to me to remember that weight of the tone arm, the process of aligning the tracks, the dialing up and down of the volume knob. It’s a hardcore drug.

Sure the sound is not the greatest: it’s tinny and I could use much more volume. The records that I have here at home, which I toted from one end of the US to another, could use cleaning. But I’m already dreaming. I’m thinking of all my vinyl, still in storage at my parents’ home just down the road from here. It’s time to give a new listen to Live At Budokan, Fly Like An Eagle, Nursery Crimes, True Colors, Yes Songs, I Remember Tommy, and the assorted cut-outs that I picked up when I worked at a Scottsdale record store in the early ’80s.

I’m already thinking of some better speakers, some good record cleaner, and which records I want to listen to next.

The thought of this brings me immense joy.


  20 Responses to “A New Record(player)”

  1. Bravo! Real records rule.

    My musically relevant gifts include Neil Young’s autobiography, the title of which perfectly lives up to my dream of the Peace Warrior.

  2. trigmogigmo

    That’s a cool xmas gift, LMKR. I can almost hear the crackles.

    I picked up a turntable & USB converter a couple of years ago to start A thru Z converting my old sitting-on-shelf vinyl. It’s a tedious process, but it’s actually great to have some of that available on the car iPod. I think I only got from The Alarm thru Berlin and Burning Sensations (don’t laugh at those) to a couple of Cure 12″ singles and Dire Straits … so far.

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, LadyMiss —

    Something else you can do with your new wreckaplaya: bring it on road trips, set it up in your hotel room, and play any music you find along the way as a soundtrack for the time you might otherwise spend with the teevee on. For me, the portable turntable was a definite enabler/enhancer for my musical thrift store/flea market addiction.

  4. Excellent! I’m not an audio-snob about it but there is something that’s comforting about busting out the vinyl every now and then. It’s usually on the weekend mornings. Maybe it’s that it is a tacit acknowledgement that I’m settled in and am not going to be rushing off somewhere.

    By the way, HVB, big breakthrough in our house yesterday. My 7 year old son was listening to his new iPod when he turned to me and said “Dad, I really like ZZ Top!” I popped Degüello on the turntable and for the next 20 minutes we discussed Frank Beard’s hairless face.

    Then he added that he really liked the Four Yorkshire-men sketch by Monty Python. (

    Warms my heart…

  5. hrrundivbakshi

    cdm, I want to commend you on your excellent parenting. Well done.

  6. Thank you. He is already well into ACDC (in fact, I told him that the guitars in Live Wire reminded me of ZZ Top and that’s how we ended up with the Zeez). He’s even kind of disparaging when he mentions the new, non-Bon Scott, singer for ACDC. And although I’m not much of an ELO fan, I put their greatest hits on his iPod as well. Now that I think about it, it almost seems like you and I are musically co-parenting this kid. Prince and the Upper Crust are going to have to wait though…

  7. ladymisskirroyale

    Thanks for the great idea. Next trip, I’m packing (it).

  8. ladymisskirroyale

    I’m going over to my parents’ tonight with the plans of lugging back the first crate of vinyl. Some Mystery Dates may be in store. Jon Anderson solo album, anyone?

  9. Bring back some ABC — Fifteen Storey Halo always sounds better on vinyl!

  10. ladymisskirroyale

    Oh, it’s there alright.

  11. 2000 Man

    How great for you guys! Unfortunately, that lack of bass probably can’t be rectified with the record player you have, but like HVB said, you can take that one with you, so there’s a lot to be said for that. If you guys keep enjoying records (I bet you will), you can get something to hook into what Saturn calls “The Mother Ship” and your bass problems will be more than solved. But that can get complicated, depending on your equipment. I think record sides are the right length of time. A few songs by one band, a few more by another. 80 minute cd’s by one band are so seldom 80 minutes of something worth listening to. They’re usually about as good as a regular lp, but with another lp’s worth of shit I didn’t need to hear.

    Go get those crates!

  12. Here’s the Christmas gift that’s gotten me as excited as maybe I’ve only ever been once before: probably Christmas of 1975, when I got my George “Boomer” Scott first baseman’s mitt. This guitar is Man Toy 2012:

  13. Holy Cow! You got a Gretsch Duo Jet for Christmas!?! That is REALLY freakin’ cool!

    Ladymiss, there’s no audio out jack in the back of that sucker, to enable you to get a little more audio oomph by hooking it up to a stereo receiver or amp? Seems a little short-sighted of the manufacturer…unless they’re selling another model with that capability.

    Jeez, I must be one of the few people on the planet who never stopped spinning the wax. Apart from the “real” turntable connected to the stereo, I’ve got two old portable turntables…well, one of ’em is only semi-portable, as it’s the size of a suitcase (I got it mainly because it looks cool), but the other one is about the size of the Crosley…and they both work (though I’m not playing any of the “good” records on those two).

  14. ladymisskirroyale

    There is a place for plugging in speakers, so we’ll give that a shot.

  15. ladymisskirroyale

    Holy crap, this is like an archeological dig from 1988! I stopped buying vinyl in 1988 (and had moved on to cassette tapes) when I moved to RI and left all my vinyl in CA. It’s been sitting at my parents’ since then and I periodically have gazed wistfully at the records.

    Today, I brought home the first crate and will make my way through the records. I’ve currently got Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Trilogy” on right now, and let’s say that I’m enjoying…some of it. Here are other recently unearthed “treasures” some representing better rock taste than others:

    The Rolling Stones “Some Girls” in the original peekaboo cover
    3 Mike Oldfield records
    Donald Fagen “The NIghtfly”
    Don Henley “Building The Perfect Beast”
    Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy,” “II” and “ZOSO”
    Jean Michel-Jarre records “Zoo Look” “Concerts in China”
    A ton of Yes albums
    ELP “Trilogy” and Greatest Hits
    Beatles “Abbey Road,” “White Album” “Revolver” “Rubber Soul” “Sgt. Pepper”
    John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
    Kraftwerk “Electric Cafe”
    Yello “Oh Yeah” 12”
    Foreigner “Head Games” “Foreigner”
    Cheap Trick “Live At Budekan”
    The Nails “Mood Swing”
    Queen “A Night At the Opera” and “The Game”
    Abba “Greatest Hits” and “The Album”
    U2 “Unforgettable Fire” and
    Genesis “A Trick of the Tail”
    Fleetwood Mac “Rumors”
    Wall of Voodoo EP
    Sade “Diamond Life”
    OMD “Crush”
    Split Enz “True Colours” (Laser disc!)
    Rush “Permanent Waves” “Moving Pictures”
    Steve Miller “Fly Like An Eagle”
    The Cure “Standing On the Beach”
    Joe Jackson “Beat Crazy”
    Wang Chung “Points on a Curve”
    David Gilmour “About Face”
    Robert Palmer “Clues”
    Visage “Night Train” dance mix
    Thompson Twins “Into the Gap”

    I’m probably boring you all to tears, but it’s sort of like finding a diary from long ago and laughing at what’s in it.

    If anyone would also like to admit to the crap that they were listening for the first 20 or so years of their lives, I would welcome the company.

  16. Great stuff. Maybe we could have a week in which we’re each assigned a letter from the alphabet and we have to list all our albums by artists beginning with that letter.

  17. Moderator your record player reminds me of how technology is changing. I remember reading in High School “Planned Obsolesence” by Van Packard. It feels to me that virtually every advancement in manufacturing is ultra popular until something new comes up. And then what was so exciting is discarded for the new. Not only that its not even manufactured any more. For example Walk Man is now replaced by Mp3 plaers and other similar items.

  18. 2000 Man

    Let’s not start with “S,” or we’ll all get tired of typing!

  19. bostonhistorian

    I highly recommend for for compiling a list of albums. You simply match your album to their database and add it to your online list, which is private. The best part is you can export your list as a spreadsheet, which I have saved in case I ever need it for insurance purposes.

  20. 2000 Man

    My only complaint with that is that I hardly ever seem to have the pressings that Discogs has, so I have to make a new one. That kind of makes things take a long time. But when I have the right one, it’s pretty cool.

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