Monday, March 17, 2008
Any comics geek over say 30, will tell you there's something to the smell of the comic's pages themselves--the ink on the paper that takes you right back to the proverbial simpler time and place. We all do it--crack open a comic and with one whiff you're twelve and it's 7am some Saturday morning and before there's any stirring in the house, you've already been to the Negative Zone with the Fantastic Four or fighting the Hellfire Club alongside the X-Men. It's pretty amazing stuff the memory bookmarks in seemingly innocuous ways.
As a kid I collected not only records but comics too and poured over every page. The records stayed forever hip...but the comics? Well, not so much. By about 16 or 17 they had run their course with me (and honestly themselves!) but records were ever present. Scratch that - MUSIC was ever present and the medium was vinyl. So, I was about 16 or 17 when my dad gave me a lift to some comics store (I truly forget where) and I traded all of my comics in for about...75 bucks, I'm thinking. Not much--but I had moved on, casting my lot with the teen years that certainly wouldn't include any more trips to the Negative Zone or what have you. In the meantime though, I lugged my records around with me for YEARS--to college and maybe about ten residences thereafter.
But a funny thing happened around 2000 or so...ebay. Why, all of these comics I came to truly miss over the years could be had for a song, along with some of those records that were "borrowed" and went missing forever. I started to recollect everything I owned as a kid...it became an addiction and one that's certainly in its advanced Winehouse-like stages to this day WITH a rather nice ebay score, thank you. But I have a confession...I can't honestly say whether this addiction is fueled by the comics themselves or the memories that reignite. These really are placeholders and bookmarks of some very wonderful times I'd have forgotten if it wasn't for their (re)purchase.
And the same is true with the vinyl--placeholders and bookmarks. Little triggers set off the synapses and there I am, recalling the place and time of their arrival in my consciousness, be them gifts or personal purchases. And as some long-time readers might recall, my dad--that wonderful guy--spent more time than any other, giving me lifts to the record store most every week--at first for 45's (which are LONG gone) and then later LP's. And when I flip through the stacks, pull them out of their sleeves, drop the needle...I'm almost there again with my dad, riding shotgun, and tearing off the plastic on a new purchase right there in the car.
My dad would have been 78 this Friday and to remember him ever so fondly, this week we'll ride shotgun with some of my memories of hitting the record stores in Neptune, NJ with him. And of course, they'll be some fine music along the way.
This Beatles 'White Album' was purchased with KISS' 'Hotter than Hell' -- a coup it seemed, cuz well, the back of the KISS LP actually had a bit of nudity. But where WAS my brain that I'd want to purchase the 'White Album' along with 'Hotter Than Hell?' Well, I guess it was in the head of a 10 year old, downstairs in his play room--dad's in the garage tinkering, mom's up in the kitchen drinking coffee and screaming for me to lower the volume, on a sunny, early summer afternoon I fucking miss like you have no idea.
The Beatles - Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey (Mp3)
The Beatles - Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Mp3)
The Beatles - I'm So Tired (Mp3)
The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Mp3)
The Beatles - Yer Blues (Mp3)
Posted by Jon at 9:38 AM