FLORENCE — Every record has a story for the musician who wrote it, the person who hears it and a future story for those who have yet to listen.
On a Tuesday night at Pegasus Records, a vinyl record, “Cold Roses” by Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, is poised to tell the musician’s story.
But first Eli Flippen tells the story of what “Cold Roses” means to him and why he brought it to share with the other Vinyl Junkies.
And when it is your turn to pick a record, that’s the point.
“It’s not just, pull something arbitrary, completely out of left field,” Flippen said. “All the records that I’ve pulled have pretty strong sentimental memories to me and that’s why I pull them to begin with.”
The Vinyl Junkies, a group that meets the first Tuesday of every month, love the stories, the music and especially the way the musicians’ stories sound on vinyl.
Some of them admit they still buy CDs, but as Craig Perry describes it, true vinyl junkies will always stay loyal to what gives them their fix.
“Imagine if I gave you a good book and I ripped out every fifth page and handed it back to you then asked you to read it,” Perry said. “You’d still be able to follow along and get the general gist of the story and you might enjoy it, but clearly information would be missing that you would really like to have. That’s what an MP3 file is compared to a good vinyl record.”
The group, which began meeting almost five years ago, started with Chris Roberts, Mark Sandlin and Alan Turpen. They’d been record buddies for 30 years and at first met in the basement of Turpen’s house.
Slowly they started to expand. The group became large enough that they outgrew the basement as well as outgrew one person per meeting sharing a record. Now they split turns, which allows for more stories to share and a wider variety of music.
“It has been so varied,” Turpen said. “It’s rock. It’s folk. It’s pop. I mean, it’s all different kinds that you can imagine in five years.”
As this night’s alt-country record spins, you can hear mention of opera on vinyl, the “new vinyl” section in the store and friendly hellos to a first-time vinyl junkie, Dana Specker.
“I collected vinyl for several years now and I just have not really ever gone to anything like this,” Specker said. “I kind of wanted to check it out because it is interesting to talk shop with everybody.”
Specker, like the others in attendance, are always on a search for something new. Sometimes that is hard to find on your own, but in a group with such a range in age and musical tastes, the search becomes easier.
“There is always stuff out there that you like, but you just don’t know it is out there,” Specker said. “I think it is great that everyone’s different tastes are combined together.”
Just over a half hour later, the story of “Cold Roses” comes to a close. Seconds after the record stops spinning, Turpen grabs the attention of his peers by sticking a thumbs up in the air.
Gradually each person does the same, signaling that within the group, “Cold Roses” was a story well told.
Allison Carter can be reached at allison.carter@TimesDaily.com.