There was a smaller, but none less heart-wrenching, purge in 2000 when I left Sonora, CA - the place I had planned on spending the rest of my life with the soul mate I met on match.com. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. We broke up and I loaded my car with records. I made $5000 this time because the merchandise also included CDs and books. (At least I wasn't traveling 3000 miles this time.) Backstory finished, the very important decision I made the other day is not one I took lightly.
I am through collecting records. I am through scouring the record aisles looking for that elusive CD. That one platter, if you will, that will change the course of history. That phenomenal collection of Shirley Bassey 1960s B-sides. Pylon's first album. Lani Hall Classics. A complete collection of Melanie (between LP and CD). Lucille Ball in Wildcat.* No, I'm not through listening to music. And, I'll always buy music. But I won't troll the aisles anymore. I won't go out looking for the Holy Grail of record collecting, the one platter on which I have yet to lay these puppies: a CD of Buckingham Nicks, the record Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham released right before they joined Fleetwood Mac and made music history. I've had the vinyl but it got lost in the '92 purge. It's a beautiful album full of soon-to-be Mac-esque songs. And it's the Holy Grail because it never existed.
Despite the enduring popularity of both of its key contributors, Buckingham Nicks was never officially released on CD. Bootlegs dubbed from vinyl have circulated since the late 1980s. It has become one of the most requested titles for CD release. In 2003, Rhino Records announced the album's pending release as a deluxe CD with bonus tracks; however, the CD was never released. Buckingham and Nicks share ownership of the album. Though Nicks has expressed some willingness for a CD release, Buckingham has not.**
See? Holy Grail. And I was retiring from the game before it was mine. (Oh my lord, record collecting is an addiction.)
In celebration of my decision to stop, I decided to spend a last blow out day. (Don't we all?). I got myself ready, picked myself up, and took a bag of CDs I was selling to Twist and Shout in the city I sometimes call home, Denver. I was hoping for a $50 credit so I wouldn't have to put out cash. That's always a big thrill when stricken with this addiction.
So I start down the rock/pop aisle alphabetically. Historically, I would forget to check Buckingham in the Bs and only remember of the Holy Grail when I get to the Nicks section in the Ns. Too lazy to walk 12 letters back I would laugh to myself that "this was the time I was indoubtedly missing my copy of Buckingham Nicks." Well, here I was flipping the keepers*** in the Bs when I saw a card with the name Lindsay Buckingham.
"Hmmm. At least I remembered to check this time. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha."
(None to pleased with my maniacal laughter, the guy flipping the C keepers moved down to the next letter.)
I reached for Buckingham. "Looks like there is one CD there. Probably that most recent one from '92. I always see that." I pulled the CD up. The Buckingham CD keeper was momentarily stuck. I pulled a bit harder...it came loose and...gulp...I always forget my glasses...gulp...I feel light-headed...and...ohmigoooooddddddddd!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!! This is it...
(This was internal. The guy now flipping the D keepers was unaware.)
There they were Stevie Nick's breast and Lindsay Buckingham's hair. Yes, I was holding in my hand a copy of the Holy Grail of record collecting: Buckingham Nicks on CD. When I leave this store, for $19.99 (cheap at double the price), I will be an owner of the non-existent CD version of Buckingham Nicks. As I calmed down, I realized this was the universe telling me something.
"Yes, Michael. It is time to stop. You've got other things to do. And because it's time to stop - here is Buckingham Nicks. There's nothing more to search for. You've grabbed the golden ring of record collecting. You've reached the apex: Buckingham Nicks on CD."
You're right, Universe. Between my guy, my dog, my cat, my house. My health. My job, my plays, and all the other my's that everyone tries to juggle, I have other things to do.
* All in my collection
** Copied from the Buckingham Nicks entry on wikipedia.
*** keeper plastic contraption in which a CD, DVD or video game is put by a store employee before the item is put in the racks to sell; as in "Joe, put this new stock in keepers and get it out on the floor now!" (overheard at Second Spin).