Hello Surf Reporters! I know I’ve been gone for far too long, and apologize for that. I could attempt an excuse, but won’t bother. Even if there’s truth in it, it’s still an excuse. And people don’t care for that. Right? Right. Today I thought I’d power through some random notes from the ol’ battered notebook of stupidity and bad ideas. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
— Are you familiar with the behemoth pictured above? If you worked in a record store during the 1980s or earlier you undoubtedly know exactly what it is, and probably experienced a full-body shiver at the mere sight of it. It was called the Phonolog, and featured all sorts of information about LPs, CDs, cassettes, etc. You could check it to see if something was still in print, for instance. And it had the label name and catalog number, in case you needed to place a special order. It was basically the authoritative reference tool for music retailers during the pre-computer era.
The problem? It had to be updated constantly. The store would pay a subscription fee to Phonolog, and they mailed updated pages rapid-fire. Every day, it seemed, we’d get another packet from them, and they would be tossed into a wire basket until someone was forced to deal with them. It would be pages 647 through 671 or whatever. Or sometimes just page 421. And you had to break that bastard down to swap out sections. It was quite an ordeal. “Jeff, can you update the Phonolog tonight?” was one of the most-feared sentences in the English language for a few years. No! Please God, no!! Anything but that!
Another thing I hated about it, was trying to track down a specific jazz or classical album that someone wanted, as they stood beside me waiting. I know very little about those genres of music, so it was like I’d entered a hall of mirrors. Just a complete overload of information… none of it making any sense to me. I might as well have been staring at the Arabic section of a food processor owner’s manual. Using that big-ass thing was almost as bad as being cornered by a woman in legwarmers who hosts an aerobics class, seeking new songs with specific beats per minute. Arrrgh!
Anyway, the Phonolog is further evidence that I’ve lived in two distinctly different worlds. Can you even imagine such a thing in 2022? Today there would be no record stores, of course, but if there were the person would just tap the screen of an iPad attached to their left hand and have the info in three seconds. You wouldn’t have a hundred pound book in the middle of the floor that is outdated every four or five hours. Ludicrous.
— Speaking of music, I got some possibly exciting news yesterday. I’m always listening to the Beatles Channel on SiriusXM, which is great. Whoever runs that thing does a fantastic job. Among the regular features there is something called My Fab 4. Listeners are allowed to pick four Beatles songs that they especially like and tell a brief story about each, explaining why it’s important to them. I hear it from time to time, and some of them are really good. Others… not so much. But I filled out an application a few months ago, and yesterday received an email from a guy at SiriusXM. He said I’d been selected to record a My Fab 4, and sent me a loose script I need to follow. I have to keep referring to myself as “Beatles fan Jeff,” which is borderline douchey. But the script is very open-ended. There’s plenty of opportunity to put my own stamp on it, so to speak. I just have to keep announcing the names of the songs, can’t use my last name, and repeat “the Beatles Channel on SiriusXM” at specific spots in the recording. I have about two weeks to send it in. I’ll keep you guys updated. I guess there’s a chance they won’t like it for some reason, and it’ll never air. But I’ll let everyone know if it does.
— And speaking of the Beatles, Surf Reporter Joe T. posted this article today on Facebook. It’s from two days after their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. He said it reminded him of the comments in his feed about this year’s Super Bowl halftime. Ha! That sounds right. I’d never seen that article before, and it’s outrageous. They all look like Moe?! He’s got a lot of nerve. Look at that guy’s photo! He has a stick jammed so far up his ass… Here are some more reactions to that 1964 program. The phrase “wrong side of history” jumps to mind.
— We purchased a really nice treadmill recently, after a couple of YEARS of hemming and hawing. We sprang for the “white glove” delivery, which means they delivered it, put it together, and removed the trash. Just the way I like it. I’ve used it several times since Saturday, and it’s great. It feels solid as a rock, and it’s huge. Very similar to the treadmills at Planet Fitness. I’m loving it so far. I put on some headphones and listen to podcasts or music, and it clears my head and lowers my level of bitterness and anxiety. Today, in case you’re keeping score at home, I listened to NRBQ At Yankee Stadium. One of my all-time favorites. And it got my Log Cabin syrup blood a-pumpin’ a bit, and my big beleaguered heart a-movin’. It’s good stuff. I’m happy with it so far.
I better go now. I need to be at work 38 minutes ago. I don’t think I’m going to make it.
I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
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