Darren Tunstall: The Player

Posted on March 27, 2011 by

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I’ve been listening to music for as long as I can remember. At first I was just hearing whatever happened to be playing: on the car radio, or my dad’s music centre, or the radio in the kitchen. But I must have shown an interest, because for a fairly early birthday – perhaps my seventh? – I was given a record player of my own. My first, but far from my last.

It was a small, bright red plastic box, made by Fidelity, and shaped liked an executive briefcase complete with its own carrying handle. There was a hidden compartment underneath which held the power cable and plug. The top – the lid, I suppose – lifted off to reveal the turntable and needle arm. In fact the lid had to be completely removed to play anything larger than a 45, as 33s and 78s stuck out over the edge of the player. And to start with, 33s, and a few old 78s, were all I had. My first record, which came on the same birthday (they thought of everything, my folks) was an album called Stewpot’s Pop Party, which consisted of various glam-rock hits of the early 70s interspersed with DJ Ed “Stewpot” Stewart orchestrating children’s party games. I think it was probably the low-tech Nintendo Wii of it’s day, in that it allowed parents to delegate responsibility for entertaining their kids to a piece of technology while they got on with something else. Not that I remember ever using it that way. To me it was just the first record I owned, so of course I played it constantly.

Read more at A Soundtrack for Life.

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