(Plinky.com sends me an email everyday with a question or other instruction meant to inspire a blog post. Occasionally I take the bait.)
This morning’s Plinky asks that maddening, old chestnut: If you had to listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
And, rather than fall into the obvious trap, trying to answer a question that can often paralyze a person with indecision, a question that so fills a music lover with anxiety that he forgets that, if he was on a sinking ship or crashing landing in an airplane in the vicinity of a desert island, he would of course have his iPod, containing hundreds of albums, along with a solar-powered charger and earbuds in a waterproof container, on his person, hence rendering the sadistic question moot.
Seriously, I’ve fallen for this before, I’ve blown hours and hours trying to think of the “one album”, and if not the one album the Top 5 or Top 10, and fortunately I learn from my mistakes and won’t go there anymore.
Still, just the other day, my 13-year old son, Julian, reminded me that I promised him over a year ago that I’d buy a turntable so that he could explore the 200 or so vinyl records that I’ve had stored in our basement, untouched, since before he was born. As I wrote about at the time, we had just visited a Bellingham institution, the wonderful hole-in-the-wall, late night eatery Pel Meni, and Julian, for the first time, got to see vinyl records in action, on the turntable they offer up for use there to any customer who wishes to make a selection from their extensive collection.
Embarrassingly, I never kept my promise, but Julian was recently given a vintage copy of The Who’s Quadrophenia as a gift, and although he already has the album on his iPod, ripped from my CD, he wants to play his record and try out the other records in my collection with a renewed sense of urgency.
And so, we’ll soon be off to Goodwill and checking Craigslist for a used turntable, and then, just maybe, one of those glorious old records of mine might take me so thoroughly back down memory lane, reminding me of just how sweet that old scratchy analog sound is, that I’ll decide that there is one album amongst them that could keep me happy for the 40-50 more years I plan to have left on this planet. (After that, of course, I’ll for sure have my iPod in heaven, so I’m covered.)