When I was a kid, nothing was as glamorous to me as a record store. Other 10-year-olds would drag their moms to the video arcade; I would take mine to Bleecker Bob’s in Greenwich Village.
It was in those early days when I identified the one thing I was born to do, songwriting. And I discovered I was a good storyteller. I could dream up wild, improbable things that people wanted to believe were true. As I grew I learned that stories help us become who we want to become.
But enough about that. Back to Bleecker Bob’s.
It was a magical closet you escaped through, a museum, an art gallery and a private clubhouse all in one. It was a place to uncover hidden gems you didn’t know about, and to meet someone cooler than you were.
I believed my musical heroes had touched God and known every truth, and that I could make my life the way I wanted it to be if I only listened closely enough. They agonized over everything from artwork to packaging, from the track running order to songwriting credits, to the thoughtful artist essays in the liner notes and the moment of anticipation when the vinyl finally slipped out of its cotton sleeve and you placed it gently on the turntable spindle and let it take you away.
For hours straight I would listen, not with my ears, but with my heart, to the beauty and clearness of the sound while the diamond rode, up and down, over the bumps in the cutting grooves on the lacquer disc. I followed along with the lyrics on the sleeve and entered a prism into a different life: at times fantastical, but often prophetic and real.
I do cool grown-up things these days, like this blog and sharing my gift here and now and then live and in person with people who really want to hear me.
Secretly, I’m still 10 years old. I will always be that little kid in the record store. Happy Record Store Day.