A while back I reflected on the first CD I ever purchased but have been thinking today on the first album I ever purchased, in any form. And it's really hard to remember. I wish it was as simple - and cool - as claiming an early Kiss or Van Halen album or some obscure gem appreciated way before its time. Instead, I have the haze of childhood in which a few lousy music purchases stand out, none of them anywhere close to essential to the bedrock of rock-and-roll-history but all of them somewhat fond, mostly embarrassing memories regardless.
The first LP I remember owning that wasn't a child's record purchased for me or that didn't involve R2D2 beeping to indicate it was time to turn the page was Queen's The Game. And I didn't get this one at any retail outlet but instead on a garage sale outing with my grandparents. This same garage sale, by the way, also produced a horrid 8-track cassette of Star Wars songs - but not the original soundtrack. It seems there were lots of knock-offs of those scores in those days and this had to be among the worst of those. Regardless, I bumped the "Cantina Theme" in the Mercury Marquis every chance I got, i.e., every time we drove to Montgomery Ward which, for some damn reason, seemed to happen more frequently than a reasonable person would expect.
This same neighbor also prompted the purchase of the only vinyl single I ever bought until I rediscovered vinyl in the early '90s during college. On a visit to our local Heck's store he convinced me that if we only had the "Axel F" theme we could certainly become the next breakdance sensation. So I laid down my allowance for the 7" and we tried. We tried hard. He moved away at summer's end and I was left with an overplayed Harold Faltermeyer single and no desire to breakdance solo (that I would admit though, if necessary, I have moves sufficient to last through both the single and its flipside, "Shoot Out"). To this day no situation has ever come up that has required utilization of all the skills we developed, so well-honed over the course of a couple summers that, when the communists finally do parachute into town, I will be more than ready to stun and subdue them with a combination of doo-wop and windmilling that has heretofore only been known in the Western world.