Ground Zero

When I was about 14 my grandmother took me to Kresge’s Department Store in San Diego to purchase my first records. I had just just come back from a trip to visit family in Massachusetts where my cousin Steve turned me on to all this great rock ‘n roll music. Before that I had been listening mostly to pop songs on the AM dial. On that trip to Kresge’s I bought: Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies, Black Sabbath’sParanoid and the Beatles’Blue Album ‘67 -‘70. That was ground zero for me and even with my subsequent trips through all the different styles of rock, these are still among my favorite albums.

Unfortunately I purged much of my vinyl collection with the advent of the CD. Whenever I replaced a record with a CD I would get rid of the vinyl. What a dumbass! So back in 2007  I was in Lou’s Records in Encinitas to replace a messed up CD of Paranoid when the clerk, Jeremy, told me they had just got in a remaster/reissue 180 gram LP of the album. It had never occurred to me to get the album on vinyl as my turntable was in a box in the garage. So of course I bought the LP just like he suggested, went home and unpacked my turnable, got it all plugged in and listened to War Pigs roar out of the speakers. And that was that. Within a month I had a new turntable, amplifier and pre-amp to get the best sound I could out of those grooves.

I’m not sure what really pushed me back to vinyl (besides Jeremy). I imagine there is an aspect of nostalgia. I do know that I always enjoyed album cover art and the ritual of opening up a new LP for the first time.That feeling is diminished with the compact disc. And now there is talk that the CD is on its way out and all we’ll be left with are MP3’s or the cloud? No thanks.

As for these records: I tracked down the Red and Blue albums back in 2008. These are 1978 limited edition pressings on colored vinyl. Both are in virtually mint condition.

I found this 1973 first edition of Billion Dollar Babies also in 2008 as well – it was still unopened in its original shrink-wrap. It is in pristene conditon with the $1,000,000,000 bill and all trading cards intact.

The Paranoid LP is the 180g reissue I purchased due to Jeremy’s recommendation. I give him full credit for reviving my interest in vinyl records.

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