Yesterday I wrote about the one flaw in MP3 players. Today, let’s talk about vinyl. Now I know everyone’s talking about it — Record Store Day was just a couple of weeks ago — but I want to tell you about a device that might blow your mind.
Back when vinyl was the only way to listen to your music, and when having a sweet collection of 45’s made one a chick magnet, my brother got himself a Chevy Super Sport. (He’s considerably older than me.) And to mount under the dash, he bought an automobile record player! Now that may sound like the worst idea ever, and it was, but you have to remember that if you wanted to listen to rock and roll, it was either AM radio or records. Most people stuck with the radio, but imagine how cool it would be to be able to play your own records out on the road! Here in the 21st century, it’s no big deal to bring your own music with you, but back then, forget it.
Unless you were cool enough to have a record player in your car! You mounted this thing under your dash, and it could play a stack of five 45’s. It played them upside down, a little like a juke box. The needle was held up on the record by springs in the tone arm.
This was by far the worst sounding music player I’ve ever heard! And I was a little kid! You’d think I wouldn’t know the difference! When functioning at its best, it still made AM radio sound like a live symphony. But whenever you’d hit a bump — well, remember the springs in the tone arm that held it to the record? You’d hear those springs big time. Every time the car hit a bump, you’d hear a “boi-oi-oing” through the speakers!
If that was the only way to have your own music in your car, I can sort of understand why people embraced 8-tracks. As stupid as those were, they sounded so much better than an underdash juke box!