“The first record album I ever bought was a live recording of a Beach Boys concert. I ordered it from a record club my older sister belonged to. Ever forward-looking, I opted to order it in mono. (I don’t think there was a hi-fi in the house at the time, and I might have been concerned about compatibility. I wasn’t concerned about Brian Wilson’s one-deaf-ear purity.)
I’m not sure what year this was, but I’d guess ‘65. When it finally did arrive by mail, I played the hell out of it, studied the pictures inside, read and re-read the uncredited liner notes and sang along with it – particularly Brian’s falsetto parts.
I really didn’t feel the need to buy another album until Paul Revere & the Raiders’ ‘Just Like Us.’ And that held me until Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Are You Experienced?,’ which marked the real beginning of my record collecting.
I’ve gradually come to miss LPs less than I once did. But I do miss the sense of evolution that is album ownership. A record album will inevitably pick up cracks and pops and skips, so in a very real way, it’s always a work in progress. To listen to an LP is to re-live your own history with that album. That pop on the third song is from the party at my ex-girlfriend’s house. Somebody got too drunk and fell over the turntable and the needle bounced all the way across, etc.
And although Todd Rundgren tried to push the envelope in the mid-’70s with some albums that were entirely too long, I think a 40-45 minute time limitation is a good idea for any musical document. Maybe inner band distortion is God’s way of saying, ‘Enough already!’”
Little Jack Melody straps on his bass guitar to join his bandmates in Brave Combo for a free concert in Shepard Park in Lake George at 7:30pm on Wednesday (August 22). The two-time Grammy Award-winning band from Texas formed in 1979 and has continually spun a dizzying, absolutely delightful hybrid sound that melds salsa, meringue, rock, cumbia, conjunto, polka, zydeco, classical, cha cha, the blues and so much more. The free concert is sponsored by the Lake George Arts Project.