Saturday, February 13, 2016
When I started writing this blog five years ago, I had no idea that listening to music on vinyl was about to be catapulted from a thing of the past to a wave of the future. For me it was chance to wander through my record collection enjoying a few gems that had gathered too much dust while I went from cassettes to CDs. My trips down memory lane were prompted in part by a belief that the sixties and seventies were a golden age for rock and roll and the recent spate of books and movies about musicians and their music would seem to confirm that.
But I never expected that vinyl would become the mega-trend in music that it has. I have a relative who sells albums on the internet from Front Royal, Virginia. My friend John (who lives in Marin County...the Sun City for retired music people) sent me a story this week about the grand opening of a record store in Billings, Montana. The owner figured it was the only way he could clean out his basement with a clear conscience.
Other friends have sent me stories about how the demand for vinyl records has brought the pressing machinery out of mothballs. The New York Times did a story on Luis Vuitton travel bags that included a box built specially for carrying LPs. Its profile of Sir Elton John reports that his vinyl collection has reached 3,000.
The next tidal wave in this trend will break on February 14 when HBO premieres a new series, "Vinyl," co produced by Mick Jagger, who has been working on the concept for more than a decade.
HBO is bringing out the big guns for this one. Martin Scorsese directed the two hour pilot episode and the show runner is Terence Winter who did "Boardwalk Empire" and produced for "The Sopranos." Set in the 1970s in New York City, the show promises, in the best HBO grittiness, to capture all the sex and money and drugs that went into fueling the rock and roll juggernaut.
No doubt there will be extensive analysis about how accurate this portrayal is; but it seems that HBO and its producers have made a major commitment to recreate the music of the era. The Times reports that there is a soundtrack album for each episode.
In other news about those rockers who came up in the '70s, the Indiana General Assembly (not usually known for its good works in recent years) has a bill pending to rename a section of Interstate 65 as "John Cougar Mellencamp Highway." The sixteen miles runs from Austin north to John's hometown of Seymour. The Indianapolis Star is sending a reporter to look for Little Pink Houses along the route.