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Book: Turntable Stories

Chapter: Restricted Other

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.46300


This chapter is a piece of creative nonfiction which tells the story of my first record player but in doing so positions the experience within early family dynamics, the formation of an identity connected to an emergent music taste, and the desire to differentiate from my older sibling.

The Ferguson 3006 Mark II was given to me by my parents on my 8th or 9th birthday in the early 1980s (neither of them is sure). It was a classic, black vinyl suitcase record player with a Garrard turntable. It represented freedom from my father and sister's domination of the turntable in the living room. It presented the opportunity to make my own choices and develop my own musical tastes and fascinations away from the - admittedly perfect - musical foundations laid by my young parents. Seeing that record player, decorated with a single bow, in my parents’ bedroom on the morning of my birthday, was revelatory. I spent the next few years, until I tired of it, enjoying its crunches, its clicks, and the whirring, grinding sound of the turntable getting up to speed, as though two plates were moving just a little too closely to one another. I built my vinyl collection using pocket money, birthday record tokens, and the generosity of Simon Frith, who was a passing acquaintance of my father and kind enough to let us rifle through hundreds of ‘not for resale’ albums he’d been sent to review.

The Ferguson 3006 Mark II was an early entry-point into adulthood, gave experience and understanding beyond the family, and a blistering sense of individuality.

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