it was nineteen seventy whatever, the album animals had just been purchased & unwrapped, does anyone remember the smell of new vinyl? i don’t, and i consider this a loss. maybe there wasn’t even a smell? anyway.

i was over at my high school sweetheart’s parents’ condo, they were, as usual, out of town, and, teenagers will be teenagers. for a point of reference, the class of 1979 smoked more weed than any other graduating class before, or since.

anyway the absent parents of my HSS were audiophiles, yes, yes they were. there was a newish Marantz quadrophonic amp, and four speakers (two Marantz, two hand-built by the HSS’s grandfather). the hand-built ones were huge – four feet high and two or three in depth and/or width. i remember the phrase “80 pound magnets”. at around 1/2 volume, you could stand in the middle of the room, scream at the top of your lungs, and not be able to hear yourself.

this stereo would shake pictures off walls & lamps off tables. no idea why the neighbors didn’t call the cops, none at all.

so we had animals, and some serious bud. and everyone fell asleep but me (plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, n’est ce pas?) high school french: you recover, but you’re never cured.

so everyone fell asleep, & i sat crosslegged in front of the stereo as the music & i bonded on what i can only describe as a cellular level. reading the lyrics raptly, tripping hard on the trippyness of them. instead of the old-style bar-graph type of lit-up balance indicator, the quad had a 1″ green CRT, which expressed the distribution of sound waves with squiggly lines dancing erratically towards the four corners. which was , as i recall, really trippy. i can’t even describe it, it was that trippy. and profound. oh, damn, it was profoundly trippy.

and the HSS fell asleep on the couch. typical, me wide awake while people slept, no one available for me to tell them how trippy it was, so i’m telling you now. so there i was. tripping. and these lyrics which remain profound to me to this day, even unstoned, well… i sat in front of the stereo and read along with the lyrics and when it got to that bit with the lord’s prayer from a sheep’s perspective, it BLEW. MY. FUCKING. MIND.

and while i ache to once again be that young, that unworldly, that wasted, and that mindblown, it comforts me just to remember such wonder.

Pigs on the Wing 1/2 | Dogs 1 | Dogs 2 |Pigs (3 Different Ones) | Sheep

there’s a whole ‘nother story from that night, far far less transcendent. not that i’m claiming this one possesses all that much transcendence. it’s just that the other one has so much less of whatever that is.

you fucked up old hag, aha, charade you are.

2 thoughts on “animals

  1. Sadly the days of real stereo systems are over, killed by computers and all-in-one stereos. Big speakers make you feel like you’re getting hit in the stomach every time the kick drum hits. Everything about them, and records, were just so much cooler. Records are still alive and well, just selling to a niche.

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