Thursday 28 June 2012

Big Ass Record

I have been concerned with a tiny little plastic thingy-ma-bob for the past couple of days. It could have something to do with my wanting to avoid work, but be that as it may, I am still intrigued.

The little plastic thingy is or should I say was used to play 45 RPM records. I have been trying to find the official name for these once very useful and now very useless items. So far, what I have come up with is “45 adapter”, “Spider” and as I have mentioned, “yellow thingy”. It doesn’t seem as if there was ever a universal name for them, even though they had a universal use. I know that the manufacturer would have had a name for them, if only so they could be listed on the order forms.
Bigger mono record players came with a spindle adapter which would fit over the spindle which was used for playing 78’s and 33 1/3 RPM records. This way, you could stack a bunch of 45’s on the spindle adapter and kind of make the fifties version of a mix tape. You might be asking yourself why the holes on 45’s were so much larger than on the other records. Well children, it all boils down to greed just like almost everything else in life. It seems that in 1949 RCA wanted their new technology to compete with Columbia’s LP’s. People would have trouble playing both 45’s and LP’s on the same machine. Blood sucking, corporate bastards!

I am old enough to remember carrying the adapters around in my pocket, just in case you ran into someone with a portable record player and another person with a mittful of 45’s. Surprisingly, this happened far more often than you might think. We would get together and have an impromptu dance party. Well, it wasn’t a dance party because there would never be any girls with us, so I guess it was more of a listening party. I went through an Elvis stage and picked up his music on the good old 45’s. I think the first Beatles song I heard was on a 45. I still have some of those down in the basement getting all warped. The records are out of shape, but the memories are just fine thank you very much!

I have a baggie of the “Spiders” in my work room and I will take one out from time to time and think about how much things have changed. I was doing this last night when I decided that I would make a wooden replica to stick on my wall. I have the tools, the wood and an example to copy. I made it about five inches around and drew it using a compass and freehanded the parts that weren’t evenly curved. I cut it out on the scroll saw and it turned out not too bad. Just a little light sanding and it was ready for the first coat of paint today. I decided that instead of yellow, I would paint it gold to represent the golden age of music. I hope it turns out, and if it does I will put a picture of it on the blog later on.
Now, I just need a really big ass record to go with it. 

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