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I usually spare myself of Jason Cherkis’ self-indulgent ramblings, but I couldn’t ignore reading or responding “Final Vinyl Days” (11/9).
I am also a self-proclaimed record geek, albeit one who does not drool over album covers, nor believe that walking out of a record store empty-handed is the loneliest feeling in the world. (Cherkis has led a charmed life if that’s the loneliest he’s ever been.) I’m also not so insecure as to snobbily disparage the music tastes of others.
I’m the type of geek who makes the Saturday circuit searching for my latest vinyl wants in nearly a dozen stores in and around the Beltway, never returning empty-handed, or “unrequited,” as Cherkis melodramatically wails.
And in fact, one of these stores recently had some of Cherkis’ most- desired vinyl: the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds in mono and Thelonious Monk’s Monk’s Music. I won’t tell him which one, so maybe he’ll actually peruse the stores and even ask for them. I’m never too timid or proud to ask Skip at Yesterday & Today, or Rick at Orpheus, or others with the knowledge and desire to help me find something I really want.
And true record geeks wouldn’t spin their “holy grails” on a “cheap Panasonic record player.” They’d buy a decent turntable! They’re more available than they’ve been in years.
Maybe Cherkis has found vinyl Valhalla in central Pennsylvania or New York City or Trenton, but D.C.’s selection of stores is better than those of many cities I’ve been to, including Boston, a metropolis otherwise generally richer in music than D.C.
Frankly, I hope I never find everything on my vinyl list, because the hunt is much of the thrill. But as long as I can find out-of-print vinyl treasures from the New York Rock Ensemble, Gallagher & Lyle, Donnie Iris, the Go Betweens, Gayle McCormick, Al Kooper, and Cheryl Ladd, all of which I’ve found in D.C. area stores in the past year, I’m encouraged to try.