Spring cleaning comes early this year

We had a routine building inspection a couple of weeks ago. The city inspector peered cautiously through my front door, gritted his teeth, and muttered “fire hazard.”  He then walked — quickly — through the rest of the apartment, still muttering.

A few days later, I got the official edict: get rid of most of my records or get the hell out. Or both.

I’d been thinking about it for a while: since my partial hearing loss, it actually pains me to listen to live music, and I hardly ever play any of my thousands upon thousands of CDs (not to mention vinyl) any more. Nobody’s going to offer me a radio show where I can choose the music I play (did that, years ago; it was fun), and nobody’s going to ask me to pretend I’m Clive Davis and select material for people to record. Apple just announced that I can get pretty much anything I want from iTunes for a decent price, now with no digital rights management attached.

On the other hand, the market for used music is very down.

I’ve started dumping stuff, and will be lucky if I get a couple thousand dollars for a few thousand albums. It’s rough to see it go (about twelve file boxes full so far), but I can’t even name more than a few items that are already out the door.

It started with my thinking “Well, I’ll just let it all go.” Then “But I’ve got to keep the country records. And Ray Charles — I can’t let Ray Charles go!” And so on. It’ll be interesting to see how this works out. I also have too many DVDs, which is ironic in that I never bought, and hardly ever rented, VHS movies. I used my VHS recorders a lot, virtually entirely for time-shifting (as I recall having read somewhere, most VHS users never learned to time-shift and used the players almost entirely for movie-watching).

Getting to the Brits, it was fairly eay to dump Freddie and the Dreamers, Cilla Black, Honeybus, and so on — though remember: in most cases I paid good money to have them in my collection. But the Beatles? Hell, those (original) records are imprinted on my mind, and they’ll eventually be reissued in better sound. Or so we’ve been led to believe. But the Anthologies? I’ve had ’em all for 12 years and never really played any of them. But, reading the liner notes last night, they may be interesting On the other hand, I don’t much relish the idea of living in my car.

And so on.

On the positive side: if I keep this up, I may be able to see the floor in a week or so.

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