I'm 52. During vacation in the 6th grade, I had $5.00 to spend at the end of a week vacation with parents. We stopped in a Grace Dept. store in Raleigh, NC, 130 miles before we got home. Figured I should drop the bucks somewhere and this was it.
$.88 each got me a Rolling Stones "Between the Buttons"
(Mom hated their appearance on Ed Sullivan and even better, this one had "Let's Spend the Night Together" on it, but I'd never heard anything by these guys except "Satisfaction" on AM radio). I almost didn't, but the cover of "Fresh Cream" was too cool and I'd heard this guy in there was pretty good with a guitar, so I dropped the big money on that, too.
We got home and the first thing I drop the needle on is "I Feel Free". To say my world, at that moment, changed is an understatement. No more Monkees albums for me: I had to dig that old guitar out of the attic. Christmas that year was more Cream, Hendrix and even Grandma bought me a Stones album!!
37 years later of trumpet (major) and guitar and bass, music has been indispensable. (I'm taking a short break now). Music keeps me sane while I practice law.
That was MUSIC. Now "Stereo" (as we called it) was quite different. I was shopping for new horn for High School graduation and in that Music Store were some type of panel speakers by Fisher and a 504 reciever (SQ 4-channel, anyone?) Some "Brothers 4" or other "collegiate" type group was singing a version of "Never my Love". That was when the emotions of a system (even not so good) related to my life (gorgeous new girlfriend, etc.) The Bach trumpet stayed (I got a ton of them and others later), but a Fisher 304, a Quad 1218 turntable and Shure M91 cartridge, with KLH 33 speakers were the ticket. I've moved, erratically, due to school and family, etc., up-market ever since.
Every once in a while I need to ask that question that you did...when the "resolution thing" or the "imaging thing" are praying on my mind and my wallet, I need to ask "how did I get into this crazy hobby?"
Music then and now takes me places I otherwise would never go or have gone. College without Steely Dan? Law school without Arrowsmith? Love without Phil Collins? (Just kidding. Wondered if you were still with me or not!) How about love without Michael Franks and "Sleeping Gypsy" or at times, Ted Nugent?
If don't mean a thing if it ain't got that certain je ne suis pas.