Today, my last day as a 40 something human being, I decided to listen to my favorite LP of all time.
There were a few contenders for the title… my favorite band in high school, my most frequently listened to record, my coolest LP or album cover… but there was really no competition. For sentimental, artistic, historic and all other reasons, my selection for today was to dust off my minty copy of the Beatles album Abbey Road, from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs:
My first recollection of this music was in grade school. An infrequent “music” class guest instructor… a hippy lady with an acoustic guitar, tried to explain the whole Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window sequence to a group of 3rd graders! She was clear that the “silver spoon” reference was an allusion to drugs… but we should not go down that path! OK…
My next encounter with this album was in the early 1980s. My music sensei, Brent had a copy from his dad. We listened to the thing over and over until we knew every line… every word… every note of this album.
Fast forward a few years… I enlisted in the military and was at home on leave. I had accumulated many components for my first stereo, but lacked a power amp or receiver. A local hobbyist sold stereo gear… amps, receivers, speakers… out of his garage on Airway Ave. in Lewiston, Idaho. Mostly Onkyo… the dude spent the time matching his gear with the components you owned into a proper system for veterans and newbs (like me).
Secondarily, he had a rack of vinyl records for sale. I took home and Onkyo integrated amp and my MoFi copy of Abbey Road.
I played the thing a few times… mostly to record to cassette, mine, Brent’s, others… everybody wanted a copy of this record! After that was all said and done, I bagged the vinyl and the sleeve and stored it away until today.
I’m guessing this record has been played a dozen times or less.
As an album, Abby Road is flawless. My “Desert Island Disc” Beatles choice is always the White Album, but that’s only because it’s a double album… and if I’m faced with the prospect of one Beatles disc or two I’ll always pick two… but Abbey Road is my favorite Beatles record.
Recorded to cassette, purchased on CD, downloaded to an IPod or a smart phone… the album has been a constant companion and confidant of mine for 30 years. I love this record and am happily spinning it now through my almost 50 year old stereo and listing to it with my almost 50 year old ears.
For the record, here’s a picture of a vaguely-Sasquatch-like me (circa 198?) Crossing the famous Abbey Road crosswalk in white shorts whilst not being killed by speeding traffic:
I did get honked at. Was it because I was an annoying tourist? Or, was it because I looked so damned good in those white shorts!