When I was a teen, my sister brought home an album entitled `Some Girls’ by the Rolling Stones. I gave it a listen and was permanently hooked. From that moment on I have always agreed the group was and is the greatest rock n’ roll band in history.
I have seen the band three times. The last time I saw the boys my mother said she wanted to go. Surprised, I agreed but then realized my mom isn’t much older than Mick Jagger. I will never forget Mrs. Guyatt the former teacher, rising to her feet and singing and dancing when the show ended with one of their anthems called `Start Me Up.’ Cool, huh?
Not long ago I was cleaning out a closet and found a big box that contained all of my Stones records. I hadn’t listened to the albums in nearly thirty years but had hauled them to New York and Los Angeles, and back to Canada again. I took a stroll down memory lane as I looked at the jackets. I wondered how many albums I had and how many I needed to complete the collection.
The Rolling Stones made thirty-three studio albums and I had twenty-six. I decided to begin the quest but first I needed a record player and purchased a vintage-looking Victrola.
I called every record store in the Hamilton area and tracked down six (new) of the seven I needed. I was astounded at the expense but we all know the Stones are paupers and they need every cent they can get.
The last album I needed was simply called `The Rolling Stones No. 2’ which of course was their second album.
I hit the internet. The chase for this record was proving more difficult by the minute. I found a man in Italy who said he would sell his copy but it wasn’t an original and was well-used. The price was nearly one thousand dollars. I renewed my internet search and discovered another gent in Texas who would sell me the original in poor shape for seven hundred American dollars. Was this worth the money?
I slept on this for several nights and frequently stared at my collection neatly arranged in a cabinet. I just had to have the final album! What is the point in collecting if you cannot complete the journey or is most of the fun to be found in the search? No! I must have that Rolling Stones No. 2!
Back to the information highway, I went. This time I stumbled upon a record dealer in England. Lo and behold he had one copy of the album that was an original and in excellent condition. I gritted my teeth and asked what the price was. My heart skipped when he told me it was only $70.00 including shipping as long as it was in the United Kingdom. A cold sweat broke across my brow as my mind scrambled. How was I going to get this prize? I bought the record and then confronted the task of exactly how I could attain this elusive treasure. Perhaps I could fly to England. No. I could have bought the record from Texas for less. Once again, I slept on it figuring the dilemma would be solved with a clearer head after my excitement abated.
The next night I had a comedy show and ran into a pal of mine. We chatted and he mentioned he was going to see his girlfriend in London in a few days. My eyes bulged and I caught my breath. I gave him all the details and he said he would be glad to pick up the record.
One week later I met him in the parking lot of Tim Horton’s in Burlington and he handed me the package like it was some kind of drug deal. We exchanged pleasantries and went our separate ways. I raced home, opened the package, and withdrew the album. The cover was immaculate. Next, I took out the vinyl. Perfection! Now, the real test. It had to be played. My hands shook ever so gently as I carefully placed the needle. Every song was crisp!
The Rolling Stones No. 2 stood in its proper place and I beamed with pride. The fact is I did get some `Satisfaction.’ Oh, and for the record (pun intended) I will never play it again.
I meticulously placed the record in a clear vinyl sleeve before sliding it into the jacket which was blanketed like all my other Stones albums in a plastic sheath.
Ben Guyatt is a comedian and published author. Visit his website at www. benguyatt.com