Saturday, October 15, 2011

All Things Must Pass

Wow. It's been a while.

I've been stuck on all things George Harrison for the past week since flipping through channels and catching the Scorsese documentary Living in the Material World. It's well done of course and the 4 hours are worth it just for the stories like Tom Petty talking about George with a trunk full of ukuleles and Harrison's son talking about how going to Military School was a form of rebellion in the Harrison household.

Ironically it reminded me of my father.


My Dad bought All Things Must Pass when it first came out in 1970/71. Looking back, this is like saying "My dad built a moon rocket in our backyard" or "My Dad was a spy". Unlikely.

I'd imagine he bought it because he liked the single My Sweet Lord but this seemed to be a period when he was trying new things like the group Chicago and The Moody Blues so maybe it was part of that too, I don't know - I was twelve.

In those days you bought music in a record store or the record department of a big chain store. I remember seeing that big boxed set in the record bins. Typically records were priced according to popularity and size with a letter code. I think "A" was cheapest. All Things Must Pass must have been a "EE" and cost a fortune in those days, something like $15.99!

This must have been because it was an unheard-of-before triple album. Well sort of. In 41 years I don't think I've ever listened too that third record of "jams" front to back but like the Yoko Ono tracks on a John Lennon album, they were included in the price of admission.

To listen to music, my parents had the obligatory TV/Radio/Phono Console. It used tubes, was only Black and White and I don't think it even received UHF channels. This is going to be shocking for any under 25 but you had to get up out of your chair to change the VHF TV Channel. FM may have been beyond it's capabilities too, but it played Stereophonic LP records and that was good enough.

I thought at the time that it was long enough to land a plane on it but looking back at pictures that include it, maybe that was just my imagination.  Here my brother stands in front of it and you can see "Days of Future Past" in the front of Dad's collection.

All Things Must Pass may have been one of the first albums I "taped" too. I had a Radio Shack cassette player/recorder and had an overwhelming desire to make perfect copies of the "good" records in Dad's collection. I have no idea why. I remember hanging the microphone of the recorder in front of the speaker, pressing record and starting to play the album. I recall that you had to be very quiet so there wasn't a lot of background noise and I have no idea how I did that in house full of younger brothers and a sister.

Right now I'm listening to it again front to back.

Instinctively I'm being very quiet.