Jonas Martin, The TVD First Date and Premiere, The Color Scheme

“My dad loved technology and was always interested in the newest thing. I remember being the only weirdo on my block with a computer when I was a kid. Just amber dots on the screen but there were still cool games on it.”

“I remember that he got us a LaserDisc player when that was a thing for about one day. When it came to music, we had cassettes, CDs, and eventually he had a library of about two terabytes on his PC. So, I actually don’t remember ever listening to vinyl when I was growing up but they were there, in the house. Shelves and shelves covering all sides of his office. Some of them framed on the wall above his desk. Some just stored in the garage alongside a pile of old turntables. At least 6-800 albums that he refused to get rid of even if he wasn’t utilizing their unique richness of sound. For years I wondered, “What’s the deal with these gigantic discs? Why keep them?”

One day after I had left the nest, my girlfriend came home with a turntable and some vinyl she picked up at a thrift store and I started to understand the appeal. This big beautiful jacket with so much more to engage you. The tender sonics of the linear sound recording coming out of the speakers. Even the limitations of the thing were interesting to me, especially when I began to design my own vinyl records years later. But that’s a different story. Anyway, I went to my dad and asked him to give me all that vinyl I knew he wasn’t even listening to. “Nope, sorry.” “Pleeease…” “Ok, maybe you can have a couple.” This went on for years.

I’d talk him into giving me a few every time I’d visit him and my mom. In fact, the very last time I saw my dad, he was letting me go through his vinyl as we talked about the different bands. I remember very specifically asking about all the Bread albums he had. “You wouldn’t like them.” He was right, sorry Bread. Well, he passed away unexpectedly the next day. It was a tough time in my life but I’ll always cherish the fact that our last conversation was about music.

It took me at least four car trips to get all of my newly inherited vinyl back to my place. Boy, was it a collection. Practically everything you can think of spanning three decades, the ’60s through the ’80s. A lot of them had notches cut into the corners or a “FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY” stamp on them, signifying that he had taken them from a radio station at some point (did I mention that he was in radio?).

But some very special albums, like Pipers at the Gates of Dawn, Sgt. Peppers and others had his teenage handwriting on them: “PROPERTY OF GLEN MARTIN” or just “GM.” To be able to pull these discs out and literally listen to the same recording my dad listened to as a starry-eyed teen on the verge of a life-long love affair with music is one of the greatest gifts I could have received in this time. To touch the cover and read through the liner notes. It was all part of a legacy that he left for me.

That is the true power of vinyl in my opinion. It’s so much more than just an audio file or a compact disc with binary code. It’s material with the sound waves physically etched in and a jacket that ages and carries signs of love like an old book. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand why my dad had hung onto those records for so long but I think I get it now.

Those albums meant more to him than just the music they held. They represented an entire era of his life. And to me, they became the physical manifestation of his spirit after he was gone. Those records are my dad and through them, he is still with me. I didn’t keep every album from his library but I will shelter and love and build onto the collection that is now mine until the day that I die. And hopefully before then, I’ll have a son or daughter that will curiously stumble into the world of vinyl as I did and I can pass on the love, perhaps with a little more sentiment, as my father did to me.”
Jonas Martin

Jonas Martin’s The Color Scheme arrives in stores tomorrow, August 26, 2016—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: CINDERBLOCK SESSIONS

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  • Joe Como

    Perfection. This is *exactly* the appeal that vinyl has, the physicality, the artwork… and yes, the ability to hand down an heirloom of music. Try doing that with your RENTED MP3s!

  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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