Someone sent me a photo the other day of a plastic insert that we used to use to put into a 45 record so it would play on a regular turntable. One of those little round things.
I am thinking that what I just said might not make any sense at all to someone under 40 years of age. They might know about a 45 record, but did they know about a 33 or a 78? Or a Victrola? I think not. They might not even know what a turntable was. Hint: it was a mechanical device used for playing vinyl recordings of various sizes.
Then of course we moved in the eight-track phase. Those and cassette tapes were so much fun. You could never find a song in the mix unless you pressed forward or backward and stopped in just the right place. Which never happened. Then you had to use a pencil to move the tape into the correct position if you managed to get it tangled up or twisted. I am not making this stuff up. This really happened.
But we did have sounds, lots of sounds. We had lo-fi, hi-fi….stereo …woofers, amplifiers, mixers, tweeters and speakers the size of garbage can lids. We could shatter glass if we wanted to do so. We were live and we could dance like crazy with 110 decibels blasting away until the neighbors or the cops shut us down. Long live rock n’ roll.
Ah, but then we got the Walkman and then I-Pods and we were off to the races or at least we thought we were. Now all of those old long-playing records were tossed into the trash and we downloaded or uploaded our entire collection of music into a device no bigger than a cigarette box. Then when we dropped this little jewel into the toilet (tell me you haven’t done this at one time or another) Puff- there goes our stuff. And to make matters worse, long play vinyl records are now in style and the ones you tossed are worth more than you paid for them. Go figure.
Now everything is on a MP-3 or a MP-4 or a flash drive or in the ‘cloud’. So, my music is everywhere. Spotify, Amazon, Google Play and who knows where else? I think I saw one of my songs float across my window at the office….must have dropped out of the cloud.
If I want to find some old record, I have to ask Alexa to do it for me….and she isn’t exactly easy to deal with ..is she?
Last month, I asked her to play “White Christmas’ ..she threw out a version by someone with a band called ‘Velvet Garbage’ with instruments I failed to identify. Sounded kind of like someone banging on a trash can..someone in my office told me ‘it’s heavy metal.’ Whatever that is.
The other thing we have to put up with is how to listen to something. First we had just the speakers….so you simply turned your device up or down, depending upon whether you wanted it louder or softer. Then came headphones. Big, bulky things like fighter pilot’s wear. Then we got little ear plugs that were attached to a cord hooked to your device. Then we got wireless ear phones that might stay in your ears or might not. The you had to figure out if the little stick points up or down. Then once you get them into your ears, you have to pair them to your device via Bluetooth. Now if you have 3 or 4 devices, it becomes a challenge to unpair the ones you don’t want just to use the ones you do want. This is a chore in and of itself since you cannot find or remember the name of your blue tooth wireless hearing device since they don’t have real names like…’red ear buds’…no they are jbob470 or zozho2.1.
By the time you get all of this synced and ready to play, you find that your wireless device has no battery and is thus unusable. By then you are no longer in the mood to listen to anything.
You just want a beer or more wine.
Besides how can you dance with someone when only one of you can hear the music through your blue tooth enhanced wireless hearing devices?
Give me a Victrola, give me a turntable, give me anything, just let me hear some music and relax without the hassle I seem to have created for myself.
Oh, and another beer.