I got home the other day, well I guess it was like a month ago - from Denver. We’d played a Specials Sauce show there for the Sam Adams Octoberfest. Oh man, we opened for George Clinton, and yea it was cool, though I’m not trying to stay out partying all night these days . . .
Anyway was just kickin’ it, in my sunny room. I finally played side two of Aja, it’s been sitting on my turntable for a while now. I put away a whole stack of Steely Dan sides, and looked to see if I had any Tom Petty on vinyl. Nope. That’s a damn shame.
I always considered him a kind-of classic rock guilty pleasure. Too popular to be cool I guess. My record collection isn’t that well curated to be honest. It’s more a symptom of hoarding than a reflection of my listening habits. I have hundreds of CDs, and most of my pop listening is streaming and from my wacky collection of mp3s spread out across hard drives and defunct computers that may or may not have been copied originally from Napster.
I listened to Damn the Torpedoes on my earbuds/phone. (I actually do a lot of listening on my phone when I’m walking my dog.) It’s a killer record. I really dig the LP record as a form, if you know what I mean. Back in the days of terrestrial radio the DJs would play a ‘perfect album side’ usually at midnight. I used to record them on cassettes, you know, for further study.
All the records I bought though were blues and jazz - I guess “serious music.” I didn’t start buying the classic rock records ‘till I got older. A lot after I had moved out west in the mid ’90s, and I was like, making a living in Rock & Roll, and I was like, hey, maybe I should check this out on a deeper level. Like Fleetwood Mac, like Sabbath, shit I dug, but couldn’t admit it! It was too lowbrow. I guess Petty was in there.
Alas but not in my collection. So I flipped right past, past the Psychedelic Furs and a terrible compilation of Billy Preston, then there it was. It’s a vinyl I must have picked up at Amoeba records in Berkley CA, probably for $3. The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed.
I know I had a cassette - recorded off the radio in the ’70s and man, well, I just love this record. And it’s still on my turntable, even though I did need to listen to some Rolland Kirk and that Sonny Rollins record with Monk on piano in the interim.
Anyhow, it’s warm and more than familiar, like a classic rock blanket. Music takes me so many places so many exotic sounds and more and deeper ways to hear, both directions in time and space, well, you need to return home on occasion, to a sonic and harmonic reference spot. Sometimes you just gotta put on the Stones.