This week, I confess to a crime.
This type of crime may confuse my younger readers, may even amuse them. In a world where one’s entire collection of owned music can be stored digitally on a device the size of a cassette tape and easily shared with friends in seconds, the very concept of stealing an actual cassette tape, or in this case, a record album must sound rather bemusing. But in the eighties, this was very much a risk to the host of any worthwhile house party. Oh hell, it was a risk to even inviting a friend over to hangout your room for a couple hours.
I’m smiling right now as I think back to the importance we placed on the subject of which tape or record to play at any given gathering of teens. Serious debates, dare I say even fisticuffs, were known to breakout over these decisions. Stacks of opened cassettes would litter the area around the stereo system leaving the homeowner a monumental chore the next morning of finding the proper cases for each tape, rivaled only by the mess of empties.
Anyway, at one such party, an historic event in the annals of my peer group’s adolescence, I committed one of only two genuine crimes in my life. The second was stealing a stupid, small stop sign from The Pinery campground in Grand Bend. The first was stealing this album at a house party. I’m not proud of these moments. The fact I remember them so well 25 years after the fact can attest to the unsuitability of my guilty conscience to a career as criminal mastermind.
As for that album I sold, “Centerfold” was the monster hit everyone knows from it so well, but I prefer the second, lesser hit. Let’s kick off the weekend with a tip of the hat to my juvenile delinquency. Here is “Freeze Frame” from the J. Geils Band album of the same name, released in 1981.