Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Some things too precious to disappear

Wick's World


Sorting my collection of music reminded me of the game we used to play in youth league at our church. We called it Musical Chairs. I’m not sure if kids today have heard it. I’m not even certain if the game Musical Chairs still exists. Perhaps the pushing and shoving the game requires to obtain a chair would be deemed too violent for today’s pampered children. Better to arm them with a gun than leave a child with feelings of inadequacy. “If you’re packin’ heat, you’ll get a seat” could be the class slogan.

Remodeling a house often requires moving some furniture around. It can also require other items needing to find a new home. The latest renovation to our house allowed me to finally create a musical library. My wife gave me a Bose radio/CD player for my birthday about 10 years ago. She paid over a grand for her much-loved husband’s birthday gift. I put out a holler heard all the way to the hollows of Tennessee. Before I showed her my gratitude, I unfortunately expressed my miserly attitude that still finds me doing a lot of my shopping at thrift stores, Goodwill, The Dollar Tree, General Dollar, The Dollar Store or any other place that sells things for a buck or less. These are the type of places where I purchased the many CDs, DVDs, vinyl records and tapes that make up my musical library that numbers in the thousands.

Today’s digitally technological infused world we live in leaves me wondering if sometime in the not so distant future, libraries may belong only to antique collectors or the nostalgic, or the technologically inept where only a decade ago I found myself drowning in a world I no longer understood and had no desire to join. For the record, the computer is the greatest and most name-changing device discovered in my lifetime. Like many people, I, too, can now say I would be lost without my cell phone, laptop, GPS, etc. The knowledge available in today’s world was once confined to the wrist of a police detective known as Dick Tracy. Today, a click of a button can make you seem like the smartest guy in the world.

Some things will remain immune to computers and technology in general. I just read the other day (in an actual newspaper made of paper), a whole new generation is starting to collect music on vinyl. Phonograph players are once again available and some musicians are now putting out a single song or album sold exclusively on vinyl. I guess some things are too precious to just disappear. What has disappeared in my lifetime are all of my old vinyl records. I threw them away a short time before they once again came into fashion; all but one, that is. The album I saved had one worthy song, the type that can make a band known as a "One hit wonder." The vinyl I saved was a single called a "45." The song called “Surfin’ Bird” brought fame to the Minneapolis band known as “The Trashmen.” You could make a case for this surf music single as the defining song of 1963. You only needed to hear the song one time to deem it unforgettable.

A musician friend of mine attended the same Minneapolis high school as “The Trashmen” and he subsequently attended their 40th class reunion. Three of the four original members of the band were also in attendance. You have probably already guessed what comes next. Yes, indeed, they got on stage, borrowed the instruments from the band that was hired for the evening and played one song. It goes something like this:

“Everybody’s heard about the Bird” and “Bop Bop Bop Bop Bop Bop Bop Hmmm Mauw Mauw, Bop Bop Hmmm Mauw Mauw Mauw.”

Yes, children, this is what your parents listened to. The next time someone gives you any heat about your music, remind them of “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen.


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