Finding The Prodigal Sons

Music is a very personal thing. That explains why there are so many genres and differing types of available music. If twenty years ago someone had asked me if I thought I would ever like classical music I'd have told him or her they were crazy. Yet just the other day I was listening to the Richter performance of the Bach B Minor Mass. Just like the vegetables my parents told me I would one day eventually like, musical tastes change. Still, however, we all have a musical past.

AR-Prodigal-Sons.jpgSo it was about three years ago I had a crisis of sorts. I suddenly discovered that I had lost about twenty of my more notable albums. I always thought they were in my storage room but I could never find them. Every so often I would tear through the closets in the house knowing full well they HAD to be somewhere. I'm not in the habit of loaning out LP's, particularly not twenty or so of them, and some that were, at least at one time, my absolute favorites. Despite my exhaustive and diligent efforts I just could not find them. About a year ago, I had consigned myself to the belief that they were forever gone. I told myself I had mistakenly thrown them out somewhere along the way.

Storage rooms are a wonderful thing. Most of what we decide might have some future use is generally consigned there. Such as the usual assortment of tools and life's "stuff." Since the last cleaning out my storage room had become quite crowded and woefully disorganized. Something I found intolerable and had to correct.

With renewed enthusiasm the other weekend, and when the weather was at least tolerable, I decided I would tackle the storage room once again. Time to clean out the spider webs, discard the old "stuff" I knew full well would never be used, and re organize. I tossed out and pitched away things I had bought for "projects" long ago completed. I bought a large storage cabinet to provide an organized way to house the various paint cans, drop cords, nuts, bolts, power tools and all those things that were previously all over the place. I asked a good friend help me to get the unit home, assemble it, and move it into place.

AR-Storage-Rooms.jpgAs we were filling the storage cabinet my friend happened to mention, "Hey, you know you have a whole stack of albums here don't you?" What? Could it be my lost albums? Na, that is impossible. I had been through that storage room too many times to no avail. As I pulled them out I realized to my great joy that indeed, the lost albums had been found.

All of these albums have or once had some sort of meaning. I'm not exactly sure when or even why I separated them, or why I chose to put them in the storage room. I certainly know better than to keep LP's in a place where the Southern summer temperatures and humidity can be positively brutal. Maybe I put them there in the winter with the plan to remove them before summer. I just don't know. I only know I am thrilled beyond measure to have found them.

Some may have some collectible value. One with such potential is the original November 1, 1971 release of Billy Joel's Cold Spring Harbor (FPS 2700) album. Produced by Artie Ripp the mastering was done incorrectly and Joel's voice is slightly too fast and has a high pitched sound. Joel hated this album and the original release was very limited. It was remastered in 1983 at the correct speed, accurately portraying Joel's voice. While this LP may not have any significant monetary value, it is one that had very limited distribution and one of my more treasured albums.

AR-Cold-Spring-Harbor.jpgOthers include The Who - Quadrophina, Ten Years After - Recorded Live, The Velvet Underground - VU, The Style Council - My Ever Changing Moods and Batdorf & Rodney - Life Is You. Admittedly, not all of the albums hold the allure they once did. A few of them may never even see the turntable. My tastes have changed and passed some of them by. Nostalgia aside, and while I'd love to like them as in past times, some will just not get much of my attention.

That fact is just fine and hardly concerns me in the least. Because my prodigal sons have come home. They will take their rightful place in my LP collection once again. I also feel somewhat redeemed because I didn't foolishly throw them away as I once thought. It made cleaning out the storage room even more rewarding.

Moral of the story - don't stick albums in a storage room and pile three years worth of junk on top of them. Because as a buddy of mine once said, "that dog don't hunt..."

Happy Listening.

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