Mirage, Fleetwood Mac
Warner Bros., June 23, 1982
Track Listing: 1. Love in Store, 2. Can’t Go Back, 3. That’s Alright, 4. Book of Love, 5. Gypsy, 6. Only Over You, 7. Empire State, 8. Straight Back, 9. Hold Me, 10. Oh Diane, 11. Eyes of the World, 12. Wish You Were Here
A dart sails toward a series of weathered boxes holding a decent collection of old LPs. A pained sigh follows, attached to deep regret. It comes from someone pondering a ridiculous amount of departed vinyl—gone with the wind—all those beautiful album covers, the double-records, and all those the glorious liner notes that seem today as big as posters in comparison to their modern day equivalents.
If the dart hits further up along the timeline, it could fall into a tangled mess of unraveled mix tapes or maybe somewhere beyond that, like in the Adidas shoe box that is home to a handful of doomed 8-track punch lines.
“There’s distance between us
And you’re on my mind”
-from “Wish You Were Here”
Back to the mysterious case of the vanishing vinyl … I am guessing it must have been one of those third floor moves—there are no elevators in these Chicago walk-ups—that registered the final say. As much as you wish you can hold on to it all, the pieces just slip-slip away. We are left with the vacant inevitability of forgotten worlds, a trail of lost love, and other memories that would be gone too if not for the feeble clutch of a middle-aged mind. Currently, attempts to secure the artifacts are done electronically on external hard drives. The choice seems logical when we glance over the at the ugly-ass IKEA CD storage tower (garage sale at noon).
“He remembers a melody
He remembers how good it can be”
-from “Straight Back”
Now playing: Fleetwood Mac. A mystery train is chugging along in reverse, many years before airport expansion rendered a quarantined eeriness along the outskirts of a suburban ghost town. I am transported straight back to high school, orange and blue and the land of bison, although if I go a bit further it would be panthers and the blue and yellow of a junior high along Wood Dale Road. Back then, picking a favorite Fleetwood Mac album would probably come down to a tug-of-war between Rumors or Tusk: pop perfection born from the tangled web of epic and public relationship disintegration versus the mad burst of Buckingham creativity that stretches over a double-record that forever holds a special place in USC marching band annals.
Sorrows from their sleep
I wanna go back
(Can’t go back, can’t go back)”
-from “Can’t Go Back”
For argument’s sake, let’s assume the entire catalog is here with me now (not that difficult an assumption in this MP3 day and age). From the band’s Peter Green blues-infused infancy on through the Buckingham-Nicks-era gold, there is certainly no shortage of wealth.
Maybe once … maybe twice
Oh … and it lights up the night”
I suppose it comes down to mood. In a second floor bedroom across town, high school sweethearts are ready to do their thing as a turntable needle rises and dips, rises and dips. A hiss and a tiny pop follow, and then, like a gun at the start of a race, a Mick Fleetwood drum emphatically kick-starts the scene.
“You’ve got a way of lifting me up
Instead of bringing me down”
-from “Love in Store”
As technology trends continue to alter the landscape—they are now predicting the phasing out of CDs soon—it certainly is reassuring to know you have an old friend waiting back at the dock, somebody who knew you when.
“I’m just around the corner
If you got a minute to spare
I’ll be waitin’ for ya’
If you ever want to be there”
-from “Hold Me”
Oh darlin’, some memories are well worth revisiting.