Mid-life crisis proves to be tedious

By Karl Terry: Freedom New Mexico columnist

I experienced a brief moment of regret wishing I had switched to another record.

But as I cued up the record and the sounds of The Guess Who’s “Clap for the Wolfman” came out of my computer speakers and Wolfman Jack howled “You thought she was diggin’ you but she was diggin’ me,” I didn’t care.

For Christmas I received the perfect mid-life crisis gift — a USB turntable that will connect directly into my computer. The nifty device will allow me to turn all those vinyl treasures gathering dust in the garage into take-’em-anywhere digital tunes.

The first album I attempted to record, a Creedence Clearwater Revival album, played through the computer speakers great on the first side and appeared to be recording but when I tested the tracks in iTunes not a sound was heard. I flipped the record and tried again. This time about two tracks in I started getting static and electronic interference through the speakers. Sure enough, the tracks appeared to record but still no music.

Of course it was after hours on the weekend when I finally called tech support for the device. I was told I would need to talk to a level 2 tech during business hours. Finally a few days later I get a guy on the phone who immediately knows how to make my turntable talk to my iMac. We changed one setting and he asked me to drop the needle on a platter. It worked fine after that.

It occurred to me later the young man on the phone was probably born after they quit pressing vinyl records. He probably gets a kick out of hearing old-geezer music in the background as he troubleshoots for people of my generation.

“Hey Bill, that guy actually had Wolfman Jack on record. Can you believe that?”

Browsing through the record collection brings a rush of memories. Some of the albums are really familiar and others — I don’t know how they got in there. Since my collection and my wife’s were merged when we married I’ll blame her for the really strange stuff. I know she has some Broadway musical albums and a television theme song record, even a good bit of obscure Elvis stuff. But it’s that Air Supply album that is troubling me. Could I have bought that thing myself?

The price tags are still on a lot of the album covers and they tell a pretty amazing story all by themselves. The lowest price I noticed was $1.99 (that’s a full LP) with the average running about $4.99.