Vital vinyl lessons

Jackie Mantey

It’s over, friends.

Winter break has officially left the building, and here we are, second-day deep in the second semester, and there’s no turning back.

If you have a semi-normal schedule, then you have at least been to all your classes. You’ve probably got your syllabi tucked neatly in your 10-cent Wal-Mart folders.

I’ve got one more syllabus for you.

As a compulsive record buyer, I’ve blown too much money on classic rock albums after spending too much time in seedy basements and smelly vinyl stores. I won’t lie; I love sitting Indian-style on dirty carpets going through crate after crate of music that most people forgot about after 1981, but it doesn’t do much for the “hip” image so coveted on college campuses.

However, I also won’t deny the many life lessons housed in my collection and in all of classic rock anthology. To help you get through the looming semester, I’ve compiled the best of those lessons.

• It’s all about confidence. If you work it and act like you know exactly what you are doing, most people will buy it. That’s the only reason I can think of to defend my inclination to buy one of the lamer Michael Jackson albums. You can’t take your eyes off of him when he does that knee pop, arm-up pose. And I bet Cat Stevens was made fun of before he rocked every hippie’s world. Meow.

• Don’t be ashamed of what you love. Embrace it. Mick Jagger and all his Rolling Stone buddies knew it was only rock and roll, but they liked it.

• The law always wins. Bobby Fuller was really trying to lend us all a hand in 1965 by singing about how he fought the law, but the law won, so don’t even try. If worse comes to worst and you find yourself caught under the long arm of the law, do it Marley and Clapton style, and just say you shot the sheriff but certainly not the deputy.

• Wrap the goods up. Sure, there’s always a chance that coffee could spill and make its way through my plastic slip covers onto my Who albums, but the quality of life is better for everyone if protection is used on such valuable items. I think you get what I’m referring to.

• If something’s broken – it’s broken. Nothing is worse than a scratchy record needle ruining your record as well as your enjoyment of your favorite song. The solution is simple: replace the stupid thing. Same thing goes for relationships. If you know it’s over and you aren’t enjoying each other anymore, it’s time to get a new “needle.” Visit new hangouts, pick up a new hobby, do something.

I suggest smelly record stores and milk crates ceiling high with music.

Jackie Mantey is a junior magazine journalism major and editor of the Forum page. Contact her at [email protected].