Monday, 24 September 2012
Sam the Record Man
Another touchstone of my mis- spent youth runs out of time. Now it was not Sam the Record man the person I have fond memories of. It was his unique creation, or his take on something wonderful my progeny will never experience, a record store. Ironically my requited love of music was consummated mostly in the analog version of Amazon.com,The Columbia record club.
My small central Ontario town had no record store. The closest one was in Lindsay close to 100km away. My parents loved country music, and I used their subscription to buy all my early albums. My first was the best of the Guess Who 1973, I was 15. My collection of vinyl remains at 4 milk cartons or about 200 discs. LP made the Record Store. Due to their size they took a huge amount of floor space, and album covers made every record store the equivalent of a fine art museum. I can’t remember ever buying an album at Sams, and was in the store no more than a dozen times. However like everyone from that era my single experience was life changing. My most vivid memory was a standalone display for the Tales of Mystery and Imagination by the Alan Parson project. It was a mannequin wrapped like a mummy in thick reel to reel or computer magnetic tape. I don’t regret the demise of the LP. I have always had a reasonable audio system. My first real paycheck in my first grown up job was spent in Orillia at a store that no longer exists. Magneplanar SMG1 Speakers , paired to NAD 3020 Integrated Amp feed by a Dual turntable. The NAD still powers my I-tunes off my hard drive. The sound of these digital files massaged by powerful but subtle silicon chips hands down and far away exceeds any LP or CD sound. However I if given the choice of never experiencing the Sam the Record man universe, or never progressing to the digital world, I would chose to live in the past.