Well, at least of a rocking record player. After only 26 years of continuous service, my Scott direct drive turntable is spinning its last. Wow and flutter are exceeding acceptable parameters. I’ve taken it apart and cleaned it before, but this time I think the motor is finally failing.
I bought it at a sale at Gordon’s Electronics in Syracuse in 1980. It was $99, plus probably $45 for the cheapest cartridge known to man. The salesman was snotty in the classic manner of stereo salesmen — he was obviously beneath selling me something this inexpensive. Unfortunately, it was all I could afford, and would eat up more than a week’s pay.
Other than my Mamiya camera, I don’t think I have another working device from my college years. The other pieces of stereo equipment are all long-since dead, and our old rotary phone is, well, rotary, no longer an option in our digital world.
In other music news — Meat Loaf. I mean, what is it with “Bat Out of Hell,” possibly the corniest album of all time, that every now and then I still like to listen to this giant hunk of Jim Steinman cheese? I was driving Hannah home from dance the other night and “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” came on the Sirius, complete with the revered voice of the Scooter, whose broadcasts I still miss very much. And I was completely digging on this old chestnut — because, no matter how musically progressive you get, the songs that were hits when you were 18 are always going to be the biggest hits of your life — and we pulled into the driveway. I sat there and continued to listen until Hannah announced from the back seat, “I’m getting out of here before I go completely insane,” and she proceeded to jump out of the truck. Her punishment? When I got inside, I put the album on the turntable and she had to listen to it all over again.
In yet other music news — Joan Jett. What the hell? Why didn’t I like her when I was 20, and why do I like her so much now? It’s not just her show on Underground Garage, because everything there rocks and I reserve my worship for Andrew Loog Oldham. But all of a sudden, there’s something about her stuff that I just love, that just reeks of a kind of beer-and-leather rock that doesn’t exist anymore. When I was young, I thought she was kind of posing and just wasn’t into the image, and so I didn’t go for the songs even though they were exactly the kind of straightforward stuff I loved. And I completely didn’t dig her remake of “Crimson and Clover,” because I loved the Tommy James original, so who needed a remake? At that point I kind of tuned her out, which seems to have been a big mistake. Her covers of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and “Time Will Come Today” are brilliant, and her slashing of the Mary Tyler Moore theme (“Love is All Around”) is not to be missed. And, courtesy of iTunes, she teams up with L7 for a scorching re-do of “Cherry Bomb” which makes any responsible father want to lock his daughters in a closet and keep them there until the world invents a vaccine for alcohol and lust. And isn’t that what rock ‘n’ roll is all about?