I wrote this in 2015 as the opening essay of a in-progress collection.
My mother found my most prized possession a few months after my forty-second birthday. I thought it was long gone, sold decades earlier at a garage sale or perhaps a victim of one of the sewer backups that flooded my parents’ basement over the years. But it survived, and thirty-seven years after I first laid eyes upon it I was able to listen to Chuck Berry as I did when I was a new convert into the world of rock and roll.
Nothing compares to hearing music on vinyl. That crunchy sound is part of the experience. You can tell how often you’ve played a record, if you had kept it in the sun too long, if you unintentionally dragged the needle across those precious grooves. Your whole life with that record is written on it. I had most recently played my mother’s vintage 45 of Chuck’s 1957 “Rock & Roll…
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