“Ebony and Ivory”


Today I bought a copy of “Ebony and Ivory” sung by Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder (who would definitely have a “Sir” in front of his name if he were British). I paid 99 cents for the record, but when I peeled back the tag, I found two matching others beneath it. The oldest tag marks it at $4.99, the next at $1.99, and finally the mere $.99 that I paid. Who knows how long this record has been sitting around, enduring continually depreciating value until I saw it today.

Five bucks is a lot to pay for a used 45 from 1982, but this song hit number one in both the US and the UK and it features two of the most important musicians of the 20th century. This song gets at the most important social and political issue of the last two hundred years. It’s written by the same person who wrote “Blackbird” and sung with the person who wrote “Pastime Paradise” and “Livin’ for the City”. I’m no market expert on records, but I think it’s worth more than a buck.


Hey Jude

photoToday I bought a 45 of “Hey Jude” at a place called “In Your Ear” in Cambridge, MA. There’s a sticker on it was a picture of an old-fashioned phonograph spouting cartoon notes accompanied by the words “This record belongs to Melissa Jones”. From the amount of wear on the record, I realized that Melissa and her comrades must have played it to death. This record has seen better days. It’s been dropped on the floor. It’s been scratched by fingernails and wayward phonograph styli alike. I get the feeling this record belonged to a young kid who wasn’t necessarily in the business of taking care of her things.

I think about the stories my mom used to tell me about finding out about the Beatles and “Hey Jude” from other kids on the playground when she was little. I think about all the good times I’ve had with my own friends over the years listening to great music. I don’t know much about Melissa Jones for sure, but I can’t help but think that she’s someone like my mom, who witnessed Beatlemania first hand as a kid, who probably saved up her allowance to go down to the record store and buy a copy of her favorite song, and who played it half to death in the company of good friends.

So Melissa Jones, if you happen to stumble upon this post, thank you for loving this record. Your love has turned a lifeless plastic disk into a story, a time capsule, and a record of much more than just great music.



Greetings everyone!

Since I got a record player last December, I’ve been steadily building a record collection mainly by perusing used the used vinyl bins at record stores and thrift shops. Some people nowadays are practically giving away old vinyl. For three bucks each or under, I’ve found “Draw the Line” and “Rocks” by Aerosmith, Boston’s self-titled album, “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” by Stevie Wonder and perhaps a dozen others.

When you buy anything used, there a lot you can tell about it from its previous owner. Everything has a story to tell, and records tell stories the best of any inanimate objects I’ve encountered. I hope you enjoy the stories my records have told me as much as I have.