Love is recycled

2 Apr

This column originally ran in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
For the old Scene Now blog, visit the NEW Scene Now blog site.


“When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
— “Love Actually”

They say love doesn’t die. I say it’s recycled.
I came to this realization lately when Christmas came a little early in my corner of the world.
While my fish, Johnny Depp, got a new ornament for his bowl, I got a new stereo. Not just any stereo, but one with a record player, three CD changer, cassette deck and radio. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve hugged this stereo. It’s just that great.
With the purchase of the stereo, I dug out all of my old vinyl records. I don’t have that many, but the few that I have are like best friends. There’s my near-pristine copy of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles, Janis Joplin’s “Pearl” and the hilariously-titled Carl Douglas record, “‘Kung Fu Fighting’ and Other Great Love Songs.”
I got these records at various places. Some I “borrowed” from my parents, some I found in record shops. But many of them I bought from a man I called “the Record Man.”
The Record Man used to sell records, tapes, CDs and videos at the Tupelo Flea Market. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him, and I stupidly never learned his name. I could tell he loved the records, even though he’d part with some great ones for as little as $20.
Since I haven’t seen him in a while, but I did meet a new man who sells records there. I’ve also found other places to buy records. And in one of these new stores, I purchased one of my favorite albums – the Beatles’ “White Album” – on vinyl. It’s a pretty beat-up copy. It’s not really a ‘white’ album – the cover is more gray than white. The albums are worn, so they sound terrible and weak.
Then then it hit me: the previous owner of this record obviously loved it. They loved it so much that they literally wore the record out – something I’ve done with my share of CDs.
I really wish I knew the name of the owner, regardless of whether or not the person is still living. I’d like to think we’d share a connection of some sort. Just like I’d like to find the Record Man so I could learn more about him.
So, this love of “The White Album” – from the ears of the first owner, to the hands of the record seller, to my ears – hasn’t died. It’s just been recycled.
This is the same thing that’s happened to all of my other records. True, my copy of “Sgt. Pepper” sounds much, much better than “The White Album,” but that doesn’t mean the owner of “Sgt. Pepper” didn’t love it.
As a music lover, this is the kind of thing that’s important to me. I believe that if a musical love can last and be recycled, so can any other kind of love.
And, as the Beatles said, “All you need is love.”

2 Responses to “Love is recycled”

  1. popculturefairy April 2, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Ok, now I know you’ve GOT to come to our house sometime. We also have a stereo with record player and we have a decent collection of records!

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