A modern day dilemma rocks our household. The stacked cardboard boxes tremble. Days from moving out, we are at odds over what to do with our respective CD collections. My husband announces he has gotten rid of everything but his “core four”: The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan and…ahem…The Waterboys. Turns out what remains amounts to sixty CDs.
“But we agreed we are going to live a stylish, uncluttered existence together,” I say. Well, actually, he said it first. I’ve been trying (ever since we first met) to meet his monastic standards. I spend the morning adding stacks of music to my iTunes library. Compact disc-less, my music collection will travel ten blocks north occupying no space in the mover’s truck and requiring no heavy lifting.
My collection of Vanity Fair magazines, now, that’s another story.
But I’m forced to consider the nostalgia of some of the emotional heavyweights of my collection. Pulp’s A Different Class powered the partying that occupied my gap year before I got serious (well, serious-ish) and embarked on this fashion career.
And the artwork of the CD sleeve. Alexander McQueen was art director of Bjork’s Homogenic. Isn’t that piece of history worth holding on to?
Skin from Skunk Anansie looks so 90s London on the CD cover. That reminds me: I almost used one of their songs for my graduate fashion show… chose The Velvet Underground and Nico instead–speaking of which, what about that yellow banana? Most people would consider Warhol a keeper. Or what about The Best of Fleetwood Mac, which I discovered during my A Levels inspiring me to let off exam pressure by dancing like Stevie Nicks, a big-sleeved whirling frenzy on a small-town dance floor,
I recall the cool factor that was awarded to me when I handed over fifteen quid to HMV for that Mercury Music Prize Winner that everyone was talking about. No one’s talking about them now. Okay, that can go.
I agree to donate Beyond Nashville:The Twisted Heart of Country Music to charity. “That’s two down!” I announce.
I go off to find my husband, no longer by direct route but by bouncing off walls of jutting boxes like a drunk in a topiary garden. “I don’t have a core four,” I tell him. “I’m not sure what system to use for what goes and what stays.” After a couple of hours of head scratching, I decide they should all go. Relics from the past, CDs look ugly in our Apple world and no one ever dusts them.
“We won’t have that much cupboard space. There’s Spotify. We’ll back up our computers. And I should get rid of the CD player too. No stylish room nowadays has one of those perched grimly on a shelf.” Instead of a mounted moose’s head from a hunting trip, it’s like a decapitated robot’s head from another era.
“But I really like the radio on that,” he says.
“You can listen to NPR online.”
“Some things are part of your growing up, like photographs. There’s no way I can part with George Harrison’s double album All Things Must Pass.”
“See, though? Even he predicted it…all things.”
And remember, there are koi fish in the garden. Koi fish and CDs don’t go together. Not even CDs from The Waterboys.
My debut novel, set in the stylishly appointed salons and studios of the international fashion industry, is now available. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.