April 27 appointment in a class by itself
I was tremendously honored when asked by Sean Flanigan, assistant professor of low brass at Mesa State College, to speak to both of his History of Popular Music classes.
We decided on a date and, since my son Matthew is in the 10 a.m. class, I decided to open Triple Play Records a hour late that day.
Matt told me that the morning class could be kind of sleepy but the 2 p.m. class would be lively. He was definitely right about that.
Flanigan asked me to tell the class about myself and the store and then answer any questions the class might have. If there was a lull, then he would ask me some questions.
Whatever he wanted was fine with me as I was honored to be asked to speak.
On April 27, I went to the class with Matt. I must say I never saw that one coming!
I told the 10 a.m. class that I was born in 1957, the start of the rock ‘n’ roll era in my opinion, that record collecting had been a hobby since seventh grade and that my real name is Rock, therefore I felt destined to a career in music.
Since the only instrument I can play is the stereo, my music career had to be radio or retail, and I have been lucky to be able to do both.
Triple Play Records opened May 10, 1988, in part as a response to the record labels’ vow to quit producing vinyl records.
It was my belief at the time that there would always be a market for vinyl records in this country, and that has been proven to be true.
I also told the class I had been asked to put together a radio show and write a column for this newspaper as a direct result of Triple Play Records and that both the show and the column have played large parts in the business’ longevity.
Then it was time for questions. The first one I got asked why I thought 1957 was the start of rock ‘n’ roll.
I answered that in 1957 we had Buddy Holly with “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue,” Elvis Presley with “Jailhouse Rock” and “All Shook Up” and Chuck Berry with “School Days” and “Rock and Roll Music,” just to name a few.
Another question was about the price of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” LP. I explained that the different values for the same recording are based on its pressing date and label.
This led to a story about the Beatles’ “Butcher Cover,” which has sold for more than $25,000 and is a column in and of itself. It’s further proof of the Beatles’ influence and popularity to this day.
During a lull in questions, Flanigan said that he recently had played Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” to the class and they were “dancing in their seats in here.”
I then asked the class if they knew why that was. No one raised a hand, so I asked if the song had touched their minds. No one responded.
I asked if the song touched their hearts, and two students raised their hands.
“But what makes you move?” I asked.
After waiting a minute or so I turned around and wrote “SOUL” on the board, and this led to a long discussion about the ways we are moved by music.
Music can touch your head and heart, but it moves your soul.
The afternoon class got it with the first question, so I didn’t even get a chance to write it on the board.
Needless to say, I had a great time and I will share more of my experiences with you in a future column.
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