Monday, May 23, 2005

Wally's Old Record Collection

Ever since I got my first job (it was at McDonalds) I’ve blown most of my disposable income on records. I started working in the spring of my senior year in high school and it has been 20 years since I graduated from Riverdale (the class of 85…our class slogan was “Alive In ‘85” to which I would add “Dead In ‘86” since I was fancying myself as a nihilist). I’ve been wrestling with all sorts of ways to commemorate that time frame here and I finally decided to just put up a list of all my records that I made early in 1986. This first of many, many entries will cover The Bangles to The Clash. I’m holding this list to just vinyl – no tapes, if you wonder why you don’t see things I’ve waxed rhapsodic about in the past it’s probably because I had it on cassette. A few comments will follow the list below.

1. The Bangles – All Over The Place
2. Battered Wives
3. The Beatles – Rubber Soul
4. The Beatles - Revolver
5. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
6. The Beatles – Reel Music
7. Chuck Berry – Johhny B. Goode
8. Big Country – Steeltown
9. Black Flag – Everything Went Black
10. Black Flag – Damaged
11. Black Flag – My War
12. Black Flag – Slip It In
13. Black Flag – Loose Nut
14. Black Flag – In My Head
15. Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality
16. Black Sabbath – We Sold Our Souls To Rock And Roll
17. The Blasting Concept II
18. Blondie – Parallel Lines
19. Blondie – Eat To The Beat
20. The Breakfast Club Soundtrack
21. Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady
22. Camper Van Beethoven – Telephone Free Landslide Victory
23. Joe “King” Carrasco – Party Weekend
24. Cheap Trick – At Budokan
25. Circle Jerks – Group Sex
26. Circle Jerks – Wild In The Streets
27. Circle Jerks – Wonderful
28. City Without A Subway
29. The Clash
30. The Clash – Black Market Clash
31. The Clash – Give ‘Em Enough Rope
32. The Clash – London Calling
33. The Clash – Sandinista!
34. The Clash – Combat Rock

The notables: Rubber Soul was and still is my favorite Beatles album, the British version. In the summer of 1985 I took it to a party the assistant manager of McDonalds was throwing and Linda was nice enough to put it on. It was the Beatles after all, but soon the crowd of college students grew restless, the record was removed and Prince’s Around The World In A Day replaced it. I was dressed like an idiot (I was wearing a prep outfit I had bought to impress a girl…green pants and a golf shirt) and I quickly got tired of people asking me what my handicap was on the fairways so I took my Beatles and split. My fragile ego was always taking a beating but I had Black Flag to cheer me up. Everything Went Black may only be a compilation, but it’s a blast of anti-authoritarian songs and the commercials for shows on side 4 made me wish I was on the West Coast getting to creepy crawl the Westwood. I may have been feeling rotten some in 1985, but in 1982 I was perpetually depressed. High school was a mortal drag with no end in sight so Black Sabbath was called upon night after night to bring me solace, some moral clarity in the abyss of teenage life. It’s all an incredible over reaction to me now. High school isn’t worth agonizing over at all, but agony was sweet with Black Sabbath’s Master Of Reality rocking the house. That hacking cough that begins the proceedings, the Geezer Butler bass run on “After Forever”, the maniacal sludge of “Into The Void” and the apocalyptic “Children Of The Grave” are burned into my brain to this day. Blondie’s Parallel Lines has been in my collection a long time. I got the record as a birthday present the year it came out. I had seen Blondie perform “One Way Or Another” on the Mike Douglas Show and I was hooked. The one record on this list that I liked okay, but was yet to really love was Singles Going Steady by the Buzzcocks. It grew on me over time until it’s definitely on the desert island disc list. I’ve got two copies, once I had three. One of the great things about buying records in the mid-80’s was all the amazing mid-line records you could find like The Clash. I bought it one night at the local Sound Shop for 3 dollars. I went home around midnight as usual, put the record on and I was amazed. This couldn’t be the same band that had just had a hit with Combat Rock, could it? The sound was so raw and I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. I instantly loved it and it has only gotten better over time. I can even understand the lyrics now.

There'll be more of this list next week. Probably be seeing bits and pieces all summer since I had way more records than most 19 year olds should have.


elliott said...

Nice post, Wally. I had a similar party experience. In '84 I somehow got tapped to dj a school dance. I'd never done one before (or since)but I brought my collection of records and proceeded to thrill the party-goers with rare Paul Revere and the Raiders tracks! It didn't take long before they revolted and forced me to play the Footloose soundtrack over and over and over.
I was way into the Beatles in high school (in the early 80's). I was known as "elliott - the man born 20 years too late". When I was about 15 I must have begun to develop a resemblance to Paul McCartney because people began to approach me on a regular basis telling me this. Most notably two girls followed me from a record store to my dentist's office to talk to me and tell me how much they liked Paul. I was super shy in those days and it embarrassed me to no end (especially with my mom sitting next to me). I decided that Paul must never have gotten laid because I never did. I went to a Beatles-type thing commemorating the 20 year anniversary of the Ed Sullivan Show. It was held at the Rainbow Music Hall in Denver. There was some band playing Beatle covers and an Ed Sullivan look-alike hosting. I got entered into a Beatles look-alike contest and won.
The prize was $500 in tickets to any concerts at the Rainbow.
Since the Beatles weren't likely to show up anytime soon I used the tickets to explore other types of music. The first band I saw was Black Flag. Black Flag and that show were my gateway drugs to punk rock. Through them I discovered the Ramones, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys etc...
I look forward to seeing the rest of the list.

Wally Bangs said...

One of my most lasting memories of high school was a dance held in the spring of 85 (the student council if memory is correct). My friend Conley had arranged for a bunch of us to take turns dee-jaying the event. I brought a bunch of my records from home, some more mainstream fare like The Breakfast Club, but I also brought The Rocky Horror Motion Picture soundtrack so I could play "The Time Warp for the unwashed masses. It made me a hero to the drama club. It was pretty neat seeing much of the dancefloor doing the dance. To top it off, I made $20 on the night for about an hour and a half's work.

Mo said...

It's o.k. baby. You have more Lp's than a 38 year old should too.

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