Back in the days of my youth, I was a bit of a music freak, and I’d beg my mom and dad to take me to the “record store” so I could buy 45s. (Those were the small ones with the big hole, not the big ones with the small hole.)
One of my favorite songs was Lobo’s “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,” which was a top 10 smash back in the era just before FM radio came along and squashed AM like a cockroach. My dad was also a bit of a music bug, so he had the 45 and I just wore that thing out, playing it over and over on my little Fisher Price record player that had one speaker and a clamshell case. If the following tragedy had not transpired, my dad must surely have been contemplating a “disappearance.” I can hear the conversation: “Sorry, son. You must have lost it somewhere. Use this as a lesson to keep an eye on your belongings.”
Well, one day, I took my record player and some discs over to a friend’s house. We listened to a bunch of stuff and then wandered off to play the day away. While we were gone, the sun moved around and shone right through the window onto the turntable,<em> warping my precious Lobo 45RPM.</em>
The disc now looked like a roller coaster, and sounded like one of those college campus demonstrations where a bunch of wild-eyed Led Zeppelin haters play “Stairway to Heaven” backwards and discover secret messages advocating devil worship. (Curiously, they also do the same thing with the Beatles’ “Revolution Number 9” which no one is ever surprised to find sounds better when played backwards!)
I was devastated. I was like Gollum without his Precious. My parents, however, were surely stricken with schadenfreude, the secret glee at the misfortune of others.
Someday I’ll tell you the story of another traumatic event involving 45RPM records, The “Da Doo Ron Ron Incident,” as it has come to be known…
Postscript: I was searching for an image of the old Lobo 45, and found something even better:
Ah, the endless wonder of the inter webs!