“Years ago, I found myself standing at the exit of Amoeba Music in Hollywood, pondering my purchase and wondering how exactly I would listen to my first ever vinyl record.”
“I had just purchased a used copy of Joe Walsh’s Barnstorm, an album I had never heard, and was not sure if I was feverishly searching for it because it was really good, or just really hard to get my hands on. It appeared impossible to find in fact, before magically digging it out of the massive used vinyl section at Amoeba Music for a meager $1.99. I knew there was no turning back, what a score. Ya Dig? So what if I did not have a record player I thought, as I exited the store wondering if people were looking at me and my orphan album.
Days passed as I watched the record staring back at me in my room, feeling the eyes of the band’s serious faces looking at me through the gatefold, making me question what I had done. Two days later, I couldn’t stand it any longer, and went down to the local electronics store and spent next month’s rent on a new turntable and stereo system. It was official, I put the record on, that first needle dropped, that crackle. I was hooked before the music even started. Was that guy always smiling I thought, as I looked at the inside cover again, feeling like I had made an important discovery.
Today, the never perfect record collection stands front and center, with 250 or so more discoveries, coming from countless efforts to dig up the past. Where are my CDs from the ’90s I thought? Can I replace the battery for my iPOD? Where is that firewire 400 to 400 plug to my enormous 80 Gig hard drive? Or that AC adapter with that funny looking end that makes it work? Side 1, Side 2. Press play and enjoy says Joe Walsh. Ya Dig?
I think about what records I would grab in case of a fire. How much smoke could I endure before having to make a run for it. Would I grab the rare stuff? The Midas Touch (Pink Floyd), the unopened demos and studio Tracks (Tommy Bolin), the gateway album and now oddly ironic: Barnstorm? Would I grab favorites: Naturally (JJ Cale), Vintage Violence (John Cale), Apostrophe (Zappa)? Or the new additions: Lonerism (Tame Impala), White Pepper (Ween), Terror Twilight (Pavement)? Would I panic and just grab: Sticky Fingers, Abbey Road, Astral Weeks, Deja Vu, Zeppelin IV, and American Beauty before realizing I needed to also save the dog?
Whatever charred records end up in my possession, with my pissed off dog at my side, I watch as all my other worldly belongings burn to the ground. I imagine thinking to myself, having a couple of orphan records and nothing else is not a bad place to be at all. Ya Dig? You should.”
—Michael Sarno, bass
Echo, Hello Echo’s second full length release, arrived in stores in February.