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Big Joe and Phantom 33 1/3.

I’ve been having the oddest dreams lately.

Yeah, I know, it’s kinda skeevy to tell the world what goes on in one’s head at night. But these are harmless enough, plus they fit with my usual cultural fixations. So here goes:

Probably five times in the past three months or so, I’ve dreamed about record-shopping.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually shopped for vinyl, or consciously contemplated shopping for vinyl. But there I am, after lights-out, rifling through racks of records.

And not just any records. The cool thing is, the albums I contemplate — and sometimes pick up and examine — never exist in real life. A sampling of the phantom albums includes:

– A second Sex Pistols studio album with a cover resembling Women and Children First — dark blue border, lighter-colored center picture. (Of what, I forget.)

– An Elvis Presley album, recorded live in Houston, during a snowstorm, with a cover resembling the ’68 Comeback Special album.

– A double album called British Sea Power — not the indie band of the same name, but a Sixties-issued collection of old recordings of songs once sung by British sailors.

– A KISS vinyl box set in a big Kodak-yellow box, plus a KISS studio album called Lost In The Tears. (The latter title would work quite nicely for a Paul Stanley power ballad, IMHO.)

– A goodly dozen Eric Clapton albums, including one that was either Northern Irish rebel songs or Irish drinking songs, or maybe some of both — I remember Clapton looking a little out of focus in the back cover photo.

For what it’s worth, Elvis is the only performer on the dream-list whose music means that much to me in my waking hours … though I’d give that album of Limey sea chanteys a spin or two, just to check it out.

I never actually end up hearing any of the albums. I’m pretty sure I don’t even end up buying them.

In the most recent dream, just a night or two ago, I kept accumulating piles of LPs I wanted to buy; putting them down; and being unable to find them again.

It didn’t hassle me then, and it doesn’t hassle me now. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, nor was there any pressure to buy. Ultimately, there was no more emotional engagement than if I’d been walking between rows of rosebushes.

And that’s why I like these dreams: There is no stress or negativity attached. I go into stores, I see weird unfamiliar records, I turn them over in my hands, and then I wake up.

It beats the heck out of skipping class all semester and then going to campus the day before the final.


2 responses »

  1. Possible Non-Freudian Interpretations:

    1. Your subconscious longs for the good old stressless past, back when vinyl was king.

    2. You fear/realize your own sizable – maybe even massive – collection of recordings on all media is not particularly well-organized for easy retrieval (you pick records out but can’t find them again).

    No idea on the particular albums and covers!

    Have a good night’s sleep tonight!

    • Either guess is a fair cop, as the British say.
      Guess No. 2 is certainly true — and it’s only gonna get worse when you pass along (at least some of) your LPs.

      Someone on Twitter suggested the fruitless search for records was like the fruitless search for the meaning of life. I don’t really buy that ’cause it never disappoints me that I don’t hear the records.


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