As a guy who has not only written about, but also obsessed heavily — and some would say rather unhealthily — over rock and roll for the better part of five decades now, my own personal record collection has long been a source of personal pride to me. So much so in fact, that I consider it to be a unique part of my identity. But the truth is that I'm also guilty of that worst of music-snob crimes. I actually judge other people by their record collections.
Think I'm kidding?
There are a lot of reasons that at 53 years old I'm still single, most of which are probably best left unexplored here. But I'm reasonably certain that at least a few of them have to do with the numerous times I've gone over to a potential Mrs. Right's house for dinner, only to be promptly chased out on a rail for snickering a little too loudly at the Kenny G or Sting CD's sitting proudly atop her stereo.
Hey, I love to get lucky as much as the next guy. But all the candlelight and expensive wine in the world just can't warm me up to a woman who actually wears her Phil Collins albums on her sleeve like some kind of proud badge of adult-contemporary honor. Something about all that Su-Su-pseudo-hipness just really dampens the mood for me, okay?
Beyond my love life (or lack thereof) though, this affliction has likewise negatively impacted my professional career. The fact that I spend my unemployed days sleeping well into the afternoon, and my nights toiling endlessly over articles like this one, is no accident. Word of advice to the still employed: Never tell your boss his record collection sucks.
There is a true story I can now recount, about how I was once physically thrown out of the home of a former employer for making a snide comment about his choice in music. I believe the offending quote was something along the lines of how the seventies had called and wanted their 8-tracks back, once I examined his music collection and found it more than a bit heavy on artists like The Steve Miller Band, Styx, and Supertramp.
That guy who goes straight to your sound system when invited over for the big game on Sunday? Yup, that's me. Guilty as charged.