I just can’t feel nostalgic about The Cloud

Do you remember where you were when you made your first music purchase in The Cloud? Just look at all these 45 RPM Beatles records. Takes me right back to Record Rendezvous in San Antonio, Texas. I think my sister bought most of them, but I wound up with them.
Do you remember where you were when you made your first music purchase in The Cloud? No, I didn’t think so! But just looking at all these 45 RPM Beatles records takes me right back to the old Record Rendezvous store in San Antonio, Texas. I think my sister bought most of them, but somehow I wound up with them.

I was having a conversation with my daughter the other day. It wasn’t a real conversation, mind you, but a modern-day back-and-forth via text message, which I initiated when I asked her what would happen to my large, impressive and eclectic music collection once I kick the bucket.

As a child, I spent huge amounts of time listening to Jan and Dean sing Surf City.
As a child, I spent huge amounts of time listening to Jan & Dean sing Surf City.
So they tanned his hide when he died, Clyde ...
“So they tanned his hide when he died, Clyde …”

Despite the inordinate amount of time I spend in cemeteries these days, I’m really not worried about dying anytime soon, but I am worried about my music, which I think points to a real generational difference. You see, I’ve spent years collecting things and trying to make them last, only to discover that none of that seems to matter anymore.

My daughter pointed out that she really doesn’t need my collection because she can listen to anything and everything I’ve ever collected simply by subscribing to a service like Spotify. But how, I asked, will you remember what was important to me? How will you know what I liked if you don’t have physical copies?

The Ballad of Irving. They just don't sing 'em like this anymore.
The Ballad of Irving. They just don’t sing ’em like this anymore.
Telstar. An instrumental number I went crazy for as a child.
Telstar, another song I went crazy for as a child.

And therein lies the difference in how our generations think. She was joking, of course, but said something about putting together a playlist that I could listen to on my deathbed. I laughed, but that really wasn’t my point.

Just the way my parents could never quite grasp the concept of e-mail, I can’t quite wrap my head around “The Cloud.” I know you can buy music and listen to it on all your devices — in fact I’ve done so  myself. But where the hell is it exactly? You see, I don’t thinkThe Cloud understands sentimentality, and that’s me, sentimental to a fault!

I know this sounds unintentionally greedy and materialistic, but I’m from a generation where possessions meant something, and I find it curious that many people don’t think of things in the same way anymore. Yes, you can still listen to my old music, but you can’t touch it. That’s a problem for me, and it’s the same thing with books, movies, even photographs!

Being politically incorrect wasn't an issue back in the day ...
Being politically incorrect wasn’t an issue back in the day …
Then a miner shouted, "There's a light up above!"
Then a miner shouted, “There’s a light up above!”

I understand the convenience. I understand that The Cloud doesn’t weigh anything, and doesn’t take up any space in a young person’s tiny apartment. I contrast that with my collection of books, movies, CDs and vinyl records, and I realize that if I ever move again, I’ll need boxes and boxes to carry all this crap that I always believed someone would want.

Yes, The Cloud is convenient, but it’s raining on my parade.

Today, when I opened the tins containing my old 45s, I was able to touch them, smile at the titles and take a walk down memory lane before ever placing a needle in a groove. Can any of you do the same with The Cloud? No, I didn’t think so!

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13 Comments

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  1. I’m with you. I like spinning records. They sound better and they’re all there tog. You don’t have to search wherever they are in outerspace. I also worry abt my elves and my wooden shoes when Daniele gets a hand on them. No respect.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Not to worry, Glenn. When the time comes, gnomes will sneak into your house while the family is at your funeral, and they’ll carry away all your most precious things — the books, the records, those pink PJs with the feet and the butt-flap that you don’t think we know about, and any brown liquor you can’t manage to swill before that final Last Call. They already know where you keep everything, so it won’t take them but a few minutes. You might even say they’ll make short work of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have to agree; no musical cloud for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. quite an impressive collections of 45s you have there, sir. if i were you, i’d just put ’em on eBay and sell them. someone out there will appreciate them if your heirs aren’t interested. then you could buy some of that brown liquor aggie bill mentioned. i’ve got a lot of vinyl LPs, but i somehow lost my 45s along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I will take your 45s if you also leave me something to play them on!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love having a tangible copy of my favourite music—artwork and all. Unfortunately, the last two CD players I’ve purchased seem defective in certain aspects. I can’t help but wonder if it has anything to do with the market shift towards the cloud, and a lower standard of quality control on the newer, albeit, now dated devices.

    Maybe I need to go vinyl.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I still have about 100 LPs and think about digitizing them and selling them on GEMM. It’s too much work right now. I also wonder about my girls’ caring about my music. They don’t seem too interested in the turntable. I can remember my brothers and I getting my mom’s little portable record player and playing all 45’s we could get our hands on.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sorry, that should be 500 not 100, plus some 45s.

    Liked by 1 person

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