Vinyl Education

I had a bit of a dilemma this afternoon in that I had promised to be on “Dad Duty” so Kelly could sleep, yet there was a local Record Fair going on that also really wanted to attend; what to do…what to do.  Oh for those long ago days went the world was my oyster and I was a slave to no man’s (or woman’s for that matter) schedule.  Dammit.


Anyway, I casually mentioned it to the child to gauge her interest level, which I assumed would be somewhere between watching a Jean Claude Van Damme movie and, say, having flaming hot bamboo rods inserted under her finger nails and, really, who would blame her?  She’s nine years old.  But her response sealed the deal:  “What’s a record?”

Oh.  My.  Gawd.

That’s it.  Pack up your shit.  We’re going!


Nice choice…

I figured if anything it would be a great time to bond together over some dusty vinyl and begin her education in the cool, hip world of records.  On the car drive there I explained the in’s and out’s of shopping for vinyl such how they smell, feel, ultimately how they work and, no, they’re not like a frisbee.  That kind of thing.  I detailed for her how to handle them with care, how to seek out things alphabetically and how to simply appreciate the little things like the unique and funky album cover art and the silly names of lesser known bands and artists.  By the time she got there she was rarin’ to go and I simply turned her loose with the promise that if she found something that she loved – for whatever reason – she could have it.  Price pending, of course.  I’m no Daddy Warbucks.

So as I flipped and browsed through the stacks of records looking for treasures she wandered off to look for some Pink Floyd which she has recently developed an interest for (yay for me!).  Every now and again I checked on her to see what she was up to and noticed that she was getting into it…like, really into it…going around from vendor to vendor exploring.  Eventually she came rushing back absolutely flushed with excitement over something she had found.

“I found a Red Knuckles!”, she practically screamed so that nearly every pony-tailed vinyl geek in the place could hear.

I couldn’t believe my ears.


I had to be sure I’d heard her correctly.

“Red Knuckles!”

Yup, that’s what I thought she said.  Now for those of you rubes who do not know who Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers are, well, you’re a schmuck but I’ll educate you anyway.  Red Knuckles is the pseudo alias of band members from Hot Rize, who perform as a Western swing band complete with stage names, between sets of their own shows.  HRH‘s only familiarity with them is that I happened to play a Hot Rize concert in the car months ago where they also performed the Red Knuckles schtick.

A proud moment indeed!

A proud moment indeed!

“Are you sure?”, I asked hesitantly.  I will admit here that while I’m a fan of Hot Rize, I did not know that they also had albums out as their aliases.  Huh.

“Yes I’m sure!  Come see!”  She was absolutely giddy.

So of course I allowed myself to be dragged over by the hand to check it out and – low and behold – there it was.  Her cheeks had flushed red with excitement and she had a proud, beaming smile that spread over her entire face.  I swear, my small heart grew three sizes in that moment. I think I might even have shed a tear.  What’ya know?  She pays attention.

“Is that what you want?”, I asked.

The answer was a complete no-brainer and my record collection has now become our record collection, of which Red Knuckles is now a part.  And I couldn’t be happier.  Now, if I could only explain her new interest in Ozzy Osbourne…

God help me.

Leave a comment


  1. What a fun day, Terry. Sounds like you are playing “step-dad” well!


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