Since this weekend is Father's Day, I thought I'd offer a tribute to the fathers of the world by pointing out how my own dear Dad unwittingly got me into this hobby oh so many years ago.
It was my twelfth birthday. As I opened the box, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Inside was a little, gray, plastic, Sony cassette tape recorder. At first I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. But, as time went by and I acquired my own little collection of tapes, I grew to love that little machine. And the hours of pleasure listening to music gave me. Of course, over the years my systems grew in price and complexity, but that's another story...
Does anyone else have any similar stories they'd like to share?
As a kid, I remember listening to my dad playing 1950's jazz recordings through a Heathkit tube amp and some speakers that he built the cabinets to, and thinking how it sounded like there were musicians in our living room. As a matter of fact, many a night when I was in bed, I would hear these sounds coming from downstairs in our living room and wondering when the musicians came over, and how come they only were there after after I went to bed. My dad is gone now, but every time I hear certain recordings, I think of him, smile, and thank him. I hope that one day my own two great kids will have fond memories such as those. Happy Father's Day everyone!
My dad had an old German console radio and record player, which my daughter has now. My brother and I used to listen to the short wave receiver quite often -- and I sure remember the old records, especially the musicals. A bigger influence on me, relative to being an audiophile, was my friend's father, who was an electrical engineer. He built Heathkit products and made sure his son, my friend, had decent equipment so I grew to appreciate good sound. I still remember my friend's Dual turntable and how it would continue to play records even when tilted at a 60 degree angle -- kids, don't try that at home ;-)
My story is very similar to yours, kensekd. My father also gave me a sony boom box when i was around 10. I still remember listening to miles davis reel-to-reels on his maggie mg1's when i was a kid. I still have the bug 20 years later with my 3.5's; courtesy of dear old dad.
I too salute my Dad for introducing me to this hobby when I was a child. Over the course of the years that I was growing up we owned several Dual TTs including a Dual changer that would have several LPs stacked & they would drop as the one playing finished. Don't think I could ever own such a device today - I'd be too jittery stacking my precious vinyl on the to-be-played stack!! ;-) I remember when he yielded to me when I was a teenager & bought me my 1st amp, floor standing speaker, tape-deck & direct-drive, linear tracking Technics TT (which is still there!). He also spoke very passionately (& still does) about Western classical music & how is used to revive his mental fatigue when he was going to college & had to study in the wee hours of the night. I now have most of his vinyl classical collection but a lot of it had to be discarded owing to mold growing on it! Unfortunately , I'm much less into classical music but his collection is of sentimental value to me.
Yep my Dad's love for this hobby when he was younger unknowingly set the stage for my now being into audio. I can distinctly remember my mom and dad throwing wine (and who know's what else!) parties in the living room of our bungalow on the south side of Chicago, and him spiining album after album (Grassroots, Santana, Fifth Dimension, Ramsey Lewis, Jefferson Starship...) on his Garrard turntable. I can still remember looking at his Stromberg-Carlsson amplifier and those beautiful glowing tubes, the inviting green glow display of his Kenwood tuner and that smooth, warm sound of those maple finished Fisher-Scott speakers with their window-paned grills.......
For the record, I am doing my best to pass some of this passion along to my kids. Both boys, ages 9 and 6, know the music and lyrics to about 80% of the Beatles entire song catalog....
You Bet!! When I was 14 (1963) My folks built a new home. It had a 28X60 basement that My dad and I spent the first Winter turning into what can only be described as a Night Club. He called it JUNGLE AL'S. it had a Pool table, Ping Pong a FULL BAR and most importantly a JUKE BOX. This thing had some kind of monster amp. (Tube) and 2-15" speakers, It COOKED!! It was stocked with everything from Classical to Nat King Cole to the Beatles. To my ears at that age it was an incredable sound like nothing I had ever heard before. Tons of bass and vocals that sounded like they were live. Needless to say my high school years were spent in that basement listening and dreaming of someday having a killer system of my own. These days My Dad is in his late seventies. He still enjoys music and is always blown away at how technology has changed the way we now reproduce music. That Juke Box cost him $275.00 (used). It cost me upwards of 50 grand and counting as of this writing, and I don't regret a dime of it. I love the gear, I love the music, and I LOVE YOU POP. THANKS T.
Good reply slipknot. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I am now a dad and listen to music just as your father did after you went to bed. My children never say much but I do spend many a night listening after they go to bed. I have never asked them but your comment makes me wonder how my listening is influencing them. They are both very musically inclinded my daughter plays both piano and violin and my son the piano. I also play piano and I know my practice habits have and do influence them. My daughter has a cd player / clock radio in her bedroom and she listens to it quite frequently so I perhaps have answered my own question.
A big thanks to my dad for having grown up in Motown. And for getting his life-long dream fulfilled in receiving a Rogers drum set for his 35th birthday. That's when I taught myself how to play the drums, listening to Stevie Wonder and the Temptations and mimicking the drummer on the record. I later played drums professionally for over a decade. Thank you, Dad. I'm still playing the same set today, almost thirty years later.
My dad is 84 and still makes mix tapes for the residents at the care facility that houses my mother. He visits her every day and always starts the music playing. Although an attack of viral encephalitis has left her unable to speak, she still moves to the beat.
When I was 9, he brought home a component stereo for the family on Christmas Eve. Within the hour, a dance party had broken out in our living room with Ella, Frank, Tommy and Jimmy in amazing stereo! The whole neighborhood partied until the wee hours.
For 11 years, he was co-owner of several bootleg supper clubs on the blues and jazz circuit. Many nights my sleep was disturbed to come to a club and hear amazing music. Ive sat beside Count Basie on the piano bench as my dad kept his glass filled. Ive watched my mother twist with Chubby Checkers. Ive seen my dad jitterbug on a table top as Louis Jordan blew down the house. I watched wild eyed from beside the band stand as Ray Charles rocked back and forth singing Born to Loose and You Dont Know Me.
During the day, my dad managed a laundry. He always kept a key to the back door of the GC Murphy across the alley from the laundry so he could easily enter the record department when the new stock was delivered on Thursdays. We had every new single that came to town!
When I was 11, he brought home a used piano and I embarked on an eighteen year journey that allowed me to play with some of the best musicians of my time.
My dad bought me stereo at an auction when I was eight. It had a radio and a turntable integrated in a free standing complete unit. I used to listen to my parents' old records on this system. They didn't have too much I was interested in but i sure did enjoy the Elvis records. I guess this was my first system. Sadly he died young (48) when I was eighteen. I am grateful for everything he did for me and the values and lessons I learned from him as I grew up. I lost a father and a friend. To those of you who still have you father, hoist a glass to dear old dad on Sunday. I'll be thinking about mine.
I remember the early years when my father used to play music on his Grundig Radiogram. The equipment fascinated me. Looking at the black shiny disks spinning fast and with a needle on top of it producing all the sounds always intrigued me. I had no idea why the system sounded so good; today when I look back I can understand why! It was a one-piece system; everything was almost perfectly matched and had the tubes! I had no way of comparing the equipment, but whatever was being reproduced had sounded very good.
In 1968 when I was 10 years old he bought a very nice little record player, Philips it was, with a diamond stylus and two speakers which would fold and become the top cover when not in use. For first few years he bought all the records for me and whenever there was an occasion he would give me an LP as a present. He got posted abroad and used to send LP's every month in the parcel. Whatever appreciation I have today of music is only because of him.
He passed away on August 30, 1999, 13 days short of his 65th birthday. I miss him greatly and so does my 14 year old son, who seem to have lost his best friend.
My story has a reverse twist about my Dad and music. I bought a HiFi Stereo in separate wood cabinets from a Furniture Store, after many, many lay-away payments, in the mid 50's (only place that sold them in those days). The only "Stereo HiFi" LP's available in those days were the heavy carbon Columbia House LP's, mostly of Big Band sounds, Nat King Cole and Sinatra, etc.
Once setup and playing, over and over, the only Stereo HiFi platter that I had...and enthralled with the soundstage this primitive Stereo system produced, in walked my Dad. He sat down and listened to the whole LP. My Dad was a tough man and old school for sure, but this day, he praised me for such good music with such separation. Always one who seeked my Dad's approval, this praise was a tremendous boost. He bought other Stereo LP's for me and even asked me to audition my system to family and friends when they visited...he beamed when their mouths dropped open at the soundstage. I beamed when his chest swelled from showing off his son's music system.
I was hooked by Audio from that pleasant experience with my Dad. He is gone now, but I still vividly remember his interest and praise for something so simple as sharing music together. I love and miss him and just maybe with all of the Audio gear I've owned over the years, I'm still trying to send him the best music he ever heard.