Wednesday 13 July 2011

Play it again Sam

Do please take a moment to encourage this newbie here.

In amongst the furore, the financial crisis has been knocked off the front pages. Interesting given that really and truly Murdoch's escapades are a sideshow. Or a freak show. So you may have missed that the bastard credit agencies have degraded Ireland to junk status, and they've now set their sights on Italy. Spain is a forgone conclusion it seems...destined for a bailout. The market is in suicide mode, but not without a fair bit of death and destruction elsewhere too. It really is time that the global authorities...governments and international financial institutions act decisively to put the brakes on the markets and bring them into line to create stability and avoid a scenario which would make the Lehman Brothers failure a teddy bear's picnic.

It's fascinating when the old meets the new.

Earlier this year I hooked up my hi fi system again - it had been in storage whilst the flat was being refurbished.

I hadn't really thought about the history of it all.

On the right hand side is my first CD player...I was a late comer and this one lets me play five in one go...well one after another really...hours of pure unadultered music pleasure. I suspect I got it in the mid-90s. Above it is a cassette deck - I had this when I was at boarding school! I'm sure it would still work if I had any tapes left. When I left the school, the headmasetr's wife said they would miss my music blasting across the quad. I think she was being nice. Above that is a new acquisition. It's not new. It was a gift to The Cat's Mother's ex. He left it behind, and it sat gathering dust in the corner, so it's good to get it spinning again. On the turntable is David Bowie's greatest hits...a K-Tel record. If you know K-Tel you are older than you admit.

On the left hand side and starting at the bottom is another cassette deck - a Nakamichi....and at the time, the finest you could buy. Above it is a tuner which I'm sure once picked up Radio 1 in the days of Tony Blackburn. And finally, on top, is a valve amplifier. A modern amplifier. It's beautiful in a bleak sort of way and was bought with some of the proceeds when I sold a flat to buy this one. Valves are not the most stable of things, and I've been known to rush across the room from where I've been seated comfortably to pull the plug on it before it explodes as one of the valves turns white hot.

The Boy is fascinated, particularly with the records (of course, vinyl to him). He couldn't wait to put one on...and then asked how you selected the next was a skill to lower he needle into he shiny groove. He's spent ages on line now just seeing what of his favourite groups he can get on vinyl!

We spent the evening playing albums of groups that were mostly half-forgotten...crackle, crackle, crunch before a track we barely recognised played out. Absolutely brilliant!