Monday, August 3, 2015

Vinyl Adventures Redux

The hit parade of vinyl continues, and consequently a Mood Room is developing.  I enjoyed the first couple of weeks of vinyl as played through my Eighties era Sony, when I suddenly got the hankering for analog knobs and buttons and the blue glow of Non Specific Warning Lights.  As luck would have it, a 1978 vintage Sansui G-6700 showed up on Craigslist and in two shakes of a lambs tail, said knobs, buttons, and NSWLs were mine.  It now serves as a 100 watt per channel traffic cop for all the audio signals my growing 70s and 80s record collection can produce.

Finding the Sansui was fortuitous for another reason.  As I was driving home from the purchase through an unfamiliar neighborhood, what should I spy but the often-replicated (often poorly) Eames lounge chair, waiting to be picked up by the bulky item sanitation crew, in a condition that can best be described as Not Quite Ready for the Dump.  It's sumptuous naugahyde was only a little sunbaked and cracked.  Shook that lambs tail again, a screech of the brakes, and it was in the back of my truck.  Only made the neighbors a little nervous.

Now, I know this particular chair was nowhere near an original example of the mid-century masterpiece by Charles and Ray Eames, manufactured by the Herman Miller Co., and extant in the dens of Mike Brady, Don Draper, Tom Corbett and his son Eddie, and Maj. Anthony Nelson and his Jeannie in a bottle.  It's armrests and base were all wrong, and the quality of the materials was barely residential grade.  In fact, I already have another one, also a copy, of much better accuracy, which I keep as a placeholder for when I have a spare five grand laying around for a real one.  So I could've taken a pass on this one.  But in an instant an alternative vision developed in my mind for this dumpster find.

Sometimes, with good fortune comes the blessing of freedom; the departure of limitation that zero overhead affords.  This vision fit in perfectly with my idea of the Mood Room, where I was already doing my most profound thinking, whilst listening to vintage New Wave.  The iconic lines and proportions of the Eames chair would serve as a framework for something edgy, and "out there" at least for the Reagan Era.  Something graffitied and hot pink, maybe, and that goes well with the post-apocalyptic simulacra of Billy Idol music in its very prime.  Something that the Warriors wouldn't be afraid to hide behind during their odyssey across New York's deadly five boroughs, while fleeing the Baseball Furies.   Something that Lord Humongous of the Wasteland could use as a campaign chair while laying siege to Mad Max and his friends.  You get where I'm going?  Something that rocked.

So I resurrected some long dormant graphic design skills.  Wielded them poorly.  Took my time.  Two weeks later, I have this, the listening throne to go with my crown jewel Sansui.

Reduce.  Reuse.  REBEL YELL!


M.Lane said...

"Sometimes, with good fortune comes the blessing of freedom; the departure of limitation that zero overhead affords" ....Perfect!! And your re-creation of the chair is WAY COOL.

Sansui....what a name rush. I think mine was a Pioneer. Those dials and lights sure do look comforting. I wonder how long before someone starts making a fake 80s stereo system that just has bluetooth inside?

Party on...


Ben said...

Pioneer made some absolutely gorgeous receivers back in the day. I would be proud to have one. And, as always, thanks for your compliments.