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LP's: My Gateway to Real Life

Updated on August 5, 2016
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

And LP or long playing vinyl album
And LP or long playing vinyl album | Source
This is a 45. It is also a vinyl record, but only has two songs, one on the front and one on the back
This is a 45. It is also a vinyl record, but only has two songs, one on the front and one on the back | Source
The evolution of LPs and record players. This is a turntable that plays lp's until one's heart is content
The evolution of LPs and record players. This is a turntable that plays lp's until one's heart is content | Source

For me, time stands still

Sometimes, some time in a rare moment of leisure, I take a look at my tall stack of vinyl records. LP's for those connoisseurs of records in this special time frame that I will forever view as "my" few moments of happiness on this earth.

I can hear the unbridled laughter already. LP's? What's that? The younger music lovers are asking in a stunned voice.

Simply put, and not necessarily for your I.Q. level, LP's were (Long Play) albums that came in a sleeve, or jacket, and sold in music and department stores as well as by marketeers who branded themselves as "Vinyl Pirates" selling "bootlegged" copies of live concerts of KISS, Peter Frampton, Allman Brothers and others. Oh, these entrepreneurs did make bales of cash, but most were jailed. Some made plea deals and vanished.

Wally Heider had one of the most-lucrative businesses in the day of LP's. Heider would set-up his complex taping systems in one of his vans, sometimes more than one depending on size of the concert, and tape every moment of the show for the record company who had contracted him for the work.

Going to the local record store to search for the latest releases was our favorite past time
Going to the local record store to search for the latest releases was our favorite past time | Source
As the 1960's progressed record producers began incorporating the use of psychedelic artwork into the album covers of their recording artists
As the 1960's progressed record producers began incorporating the use of psychedelic artwork into the album covers of their recording artists | Source

The fact still remains

How I love my LP's. Not just for the fading price stickers barely hanging to the record jacket. Even this sticker that reads $4.95 tells me how affordable LP's were in a time that I would never end. I have to tell you that when I deal with a topic such as LP's, I wax philosophic. If you are waiting for an apology, get a copy of War and Peace, read it from cover-to-cover, and when you finish, you will be as close to receiving an apology as when you started reading this literary masterpiece. Not even close.

Of the few things in my life I attach a "serious" tag, my time with LP's and the priceless memories they gave me. Silly thinking at my age, you are whispering. That's cool. You are a free American with free speech, so no comeback from me. But I still love my LP's.

This is Peter Max. His colorful, psychedelic artwork gave him a great living, but his work was used on a lot of LP covers
This is Peter Max. His colorful, psychedelic artwork gave him a great living, but his work was used on a lot of LP covers | Source

LPs: Not just for keepsakes

My bold capsule verbiage says it all. My LP's are more than just a keepsake to look at, shed a few silent tears at the moments of "what if," or "If I had just . . ." and even those "I hate myself for not . . ." and for every memory painful or sweet, there is an LP to go with each memory. I am not boasting, but I know pretty much where I was and what I was doing when a certain LP was popular. To make this memory more plausible, I can tell you what few songs people loved from each LP.

That was our only problem: Having to buy an LP to just get the one or two songs that our radio stations plugged and we learned to sing. I still think that there was a hidden conspiracy involving record companies and radio stations to "hook" us teenagers to get our money from mowing lawns to buy their products. You are free to try and disprove my thinking.

 Killer by Alice Cooper. One of Cooper's best album creations
Killer by Alice Cooper. One of Cooper's best album creations | Source
This is NOT Patty. I published this pretty girl's photo to show you the hoop earrings that Patty, my then-girlfriend, wore on our dates
This is NOT Patty. I published this pretty girl's photo to show you the hoop earrings that Patty, my then-girlfriend, wore on our dates | Source

Question:

Were you a collector of LP's?

See results

LPs gave us hot girls

If you had a stack of current LP's, a turn table and a wardrobe of smooth clothing, your chances of landing a date with the hot girl in your class were excellent. There was just this magical attraction about listening to an LP with a hot girl and sharing what each of you were feeling. I only got to share one LP with one girl, but was she worth it.

Her name was "Patty." No need to reveal her last name, but what a beauty. The first time we met she was wearing those gorgeous hoop earrings with her long blond hair cascading down her back and with just the right amount of eyeliner, well, you get the picture. It was lust at first look.

On our first date I took her to my house. My timing could not have been better. It was on a Sunday night and my folks were at church (where I should have been) and I had the house all to myself and "Patty." She loved rock music. So my natural choice was "Killer," by Alice Cooper. "Patty" was quick to tell me how she appreciated my LP choice. (Would I part with "Killer?" Sure. If the price was right. I may love Alice Cooper and his music, but I am not a fool).

Okay. We made out a little, but both of us decided to not "go all of the way," and that was a very wise decision. We talked a few times after that evening, but went our separate ways. I confess that sometimes even today I still think about those hoop earrings.

My hub cannot be complete unless I publish one of my "other" favorite music references: Rap Music. Kool Moe Dee (not in this photo) was my favorite rap artist
My hub cannot be complete unless I publish one of my "other" favorite music references: Rap Music. Kool Moe Dee (not in this photo) was my favorite rap artist | Source

LPs: Great ice breakers

If you spied a hot girl (like "Patty"), and wanted to "make points" with her quickly, all you had to say was, "do you have the album, "Electric Ladyland," by Jimi Hendrix? I kid you not. From that question on it was (mostly) smooth sailing.

I cannot explain this almost-magical tool that put so many couples together for long-lasting relationships. Some couples married. True fact. Some didn't. Having an updated LP collection was like being the "fastest gun in the west." There was always some other gunfighter who was a bit faster and with LP collecting, there was always someone lurking in the area record shops just waiting for his chance to show you up (behind your back) with the hot girl he saw you talking to with his LP collection.

I really can't lay all of the blame on the hot girls who went from LP collector to the other. Girls wanted to be with the "best," and coolest guy with the most LP's. So no harm here.

"One More From The Road," by Lynyrd Skynyrd, was responsible for my "out-of-reality experience" when I played the long version of "Free Bird." (R.I.P. Ronnie Van Vant and guys).
"One More From The Road," by Lynyrd Skynyrd, was responsible for my "out-of-reality experience" when I played the long version of "Free Bird." (R.I.P. Ronnie Van Vant and guys). | Source

"Hey, LP fans, you just have to listen to the guy in the video above talk about LPs, records and things. It is very educational."

Kenneth

In closing

LP's I found out in the mid-1970's, were great to escape from reality. No. I did not smoke weed and listen to LP's. I didn't need to. I did though later on, drink cold beer while listening to "One More From The Road," by Lynyrd Skynyrd. On this particular night, my wife's cousin, Linda, was visiting and the two of them went to our bedroom for "girl talk," and let me lose myself with "Free Bird," one of Skynyrd's best live songs. Actually I think their best of all time.

Since that night, I have not experienced another night that much. On this night the music, brew, and my metabolism were in sync and well, I truly believe that I had my first "out-of-reality" experiences.

And as for my critics, you may think what you please.

Good night, Columbus, Ohio.

Wally Heider 1922 - 1989.  Photo taken at Jubilee Auditorium  in Edmonton, Alberta during the album recording of  Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Philharmonic
Wally Heider 1922 - 1989. Photo taken at Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Alberta during the album recording of Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Philharmonic | Source
Heider in 1978
Heider in 1978 | Source

If you bought a live album

During the late 1960's, odds are, Wally Heider had his hand on it. Heider as a young man, worked as a studio technician for a recording studio, but soon ventured out on his own to form his own on-location recording company via vans where he had that day's most-sophisticated tape systems, track dividers and able to provide the record company who had contracted him for the concert, a quality recording without costing the record company a fortune.

And now, Alice Cooper

© 2016 Kenneth Avery

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, dear bravewarrior,

      Thanks so much, dear friend, for such an honest, warm comment.

      I love your comments so much.

      Now to share (briefly) something about me that I've never told you.

      I am Christian, but I am not perfect. This is not to imply that I intentionally hurt people, steal, lie, abuse others-or animals, do my best to serve OUR GOD and I confess that NOT all music from OUR generation was wrong.

      The group, Bread, with David Gates was probably the most romantic music that I can recall. Grand Funk Railroad with Mark Farner was clean and did not blaspheme God in its lyrics.

      "Killer" the song and lyrics is not cursing, but a song Alice Cooper wrote from a reptile's point of view.

      Oh, I helped my dad mow lawns in the evening and out of that money, he gave me a small allowance and I too spent it on albums too.

      Fact is, sweet friend, I still have a stack of LP's about four feet tall that I am leaving to my grandson when I leave for Heaven.

      My other belongings, which are few, are going to my granddaughters.

      Now you know something about me.

      Keep in touch with me.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      I still have most of my albums, "Killer" being one of them. I gave them to my son a few years ago for Christmas and bought him a turntable to play them on. He still lives at home, so I still get to enjoy them.

      When I was young, I spent all my babysitting and, later, part-time employment earnings on albums and shoes. In fact, that's why my mother made me get a part-time job while I was in high school. Guess she got tired of footing the bill for my addictions. :-)

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, John, SFO/SVDP,

      I concur. My hub was not based to "get with" any girl. Just one girl or two in my dating career. The girl, Patty, well, she was very special. We shared a lot of philosophical discussions on the phone and in person.

      The most interesting conversation I had with her was when I had to explain the meaning of "The Pusher," and the chorus, by Hoyt Axton.

      I won't use "the" profanity here, but you know which one, the "hook," in the lyrics.

      Thanks for your very intelligent comment. Write me anytime.

    • profile image

      John , SFO/SVDP 

      2 years ago

      I enjoyed LPs also back in the day. As for hot girls well the places I was sent to were not really where you would send Girls back in the day. Women were to be cherished, protected and respected. In my time and place. Even though I can empathize with your Nostalgia, I needed something over the good looks back then. Intelligent conversation and loyalty come to mind and not fickleness. I do have some Nostalgia for those times past though.

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