Papa’s Ear Wax

Papa’s Ear Wax

My grandpa gave me his vinyl collection, I’m going to listen to it and write about it.

I’ve always loved music. I have my favorite bands and songs, but for the most part, I burn through music relatively quickly.

For a long time, that kept me from delving into the world of vinyl. Standing on the outside and peering in, it was a money pit. Take what you can stream for free online, and then pay money to get the same music in a cumbersome and less convenient format. I’ve had an iPod since it was invented, this seemed like a huge step backwards. Plus it was a huge commitment – how many albums are there where you love every song?

It didn’t make any sense to me until I heard my first record. There’s just something about it, the ritual of loading the record, the warm sound, even the clicks and pops as the needle slides through the grooves. I took the plunge after a less-than-gentle nudge from a friend (“If you want this album you have to buy it right now because it will never be on sale again.”)

After getting some LPs over the holidays, I started talking with my grandpa (affectionately known as Papa) about vinyl’s resurgence. I found out that we both loved listening to jazz, and that he enjoyed classical music on top of his “country western.” Then he dropped the bomb on me –

“I’ve got a ton of records in the garage if you want them.”

Apparently my grandma, the stereotypical packrat, had saved their collection. Without anything to play them, a few decades worth of albums were sitting in boxes. It was a christmas miracle.

Digging through the boxes with Papa, there were some classics –  Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Willy Nelson, Elvis – and some definite oddballs, like the Jack LaLanne workout records.  

As I loaded 100+ 33’s and god knows how many 78’s and 45’s into my car, my grandpa laid out his only condition. “If you sell them,” he told me “I want half.”

I’m going to do him one better. I’m going to listen to every album, and I’m going to write about it. Welcome to Papa’s Ear Wax.

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