One of the benefits of what we’re going through at the moment is that it gives one time to appreciate all that you have accumulated, but have never had time to properly appreciate. Everyone has their own little box of treasures and I’m no different. For me it’s a wardrobe of well pressed work shirts that aren’t getting crumpled any time soon, a few dozen shelves of books I’ve either read more than once or not at all, some fine Cuban cigars that will need to go one way or another or they’ll just curl up and die, and then of course there is the music. Thousands and thousands of CDs and boxsets, spread out all over the house and probably what I’ve wasted the most money on in my life (several things run it close, but that’s for another time). Not that it is a waste really and if it is then it’s a glorious one. At least the CDs get an airing, unlike the vinyl; and it’s the vinyl I’m looking through right now.
There are few greater ways of wasting your money that buying music on vinyl. It consumes not just money but also time, space and lots of oil, and if you know anything about the world you should know that we shouldn’t really be wasting oil. Vinyl is also extremely unreliable. If Elton John says music sounds better on vinyl than any other format then I believe him, but every purchase has the potential to be a dud with pips and hisses and jumps and cracks and then eventually it will not just be unplayable but it will also have ruined your vinyl player. I hesitated for a long time before I cracked and let Wifey buy me a simple turntable for Christmas a few years ago. I hesitated because I knew that once I had one I would just start another expensive addiction of buying all my favourite albums on vinyl: an addiction just like those shirts and books and Cuban cigars were. Oh dear.
Up until very recently I had considered jacking it all in. Over 3 years I have bought dozens of pristine new records, most of them still un-played because I have them all on CD and CDs are just so much easier to fiddle about with. Besides, why would I want to risk damaging the vinyl when I can just stare at it in awe; the artwork, the credits, the stories, the love – and then just play the music in my head? There are four flight cases with about 25 albums each, plus another 50 odd scattered around the house, plus a few fat box sets (the complete George Harrison album collection, for instance, is a thing of pure wonder: it is what I imagine The Taj Mahal at sunset must be like), plus all the vinyl that comes in other multi format boxes and then finally my vinyl collection from 20 years ago which by comparison is tiny but I would say still perfectly formed. Even then it is still a minnow of a collection compared to some – vinyl is big business again and for a few there is vinyl and then nothing else in the entire world.
What’s my point, I imagine you’re asking. Who ever said that anything I write has a point? Well the point is that everyone else seems to be suggesting all the things you could be doing indoors at the moment and so I’m going to extend you the benefits of a life spent spending too much money and never quite enough time on music, and I’ll be doing it by wafting through my vinyl and maybe branching out elsewhere if I get bored (I always get bored). This is The Coronavinyl Revival (see what I done?) and if it doesn’t sound like your kind of thing then don’t worry: rather than learn something about great music you can just watch a few episodes of Poldark on catch up, or the entire Game Of Fucking Thrones on Blu-ray whilst wearing the t-shirt and limited edition helmet, drinking from the tankard and naming your next child something absurd like Lord Ballbag The Slack or Queen Quinilingusly the Vivid. Give me a good tune any time.
G B Hewitt. 28.03.2020