June 13, 2014

Retro Is The New Broke

I was participating in a conversation with the guy who runs our mailroom and our local snail mail carrier the other day. The topic of choice was old things that are now hip, or rather, old things that are now new and thus wickedly draining on the purse and/or wallet.

We first got to talking about music, specifically geezer rock featuring Rod "The Mod" Steward & Jeff Beck, which soon dovetailed into vinyl, specifically how vinyl is making a serious comeback.

What? You don't believe me?

Well my friends, feast your eyes on this. Nowadays, you can be the envy of friends by going retro with your music. How? By purchasing vinyl. Some major alternative bands as well as a few mainstays have released some of their music on excellent high quality vinyl, the likes of which the past two generations haven't seen before.

How does this fit into the statement of "Retro is the new broke"?

For those of you above the age of 40, you probably remember quite well when new vinyl LP's would cost you anywhere from $9 to $12 for a single and a double would run you roughly $15 to $16. 45's would run you about $1.50 or so.

In today's world that same single vinyl release will run you anywhere from roughly $20 to $25 at respectable retailer (i.e. Urban Outfitters or Hot Topics) to $40 to $100+ from Amazon. Double the price for a double LP and triple for a box set. So theoretically you could drop roughly one to three Benjamins buying new vinyl. Oh and those 45's? New and reissues can run you roughly $3 to $5 a pop. Cheaper if you buy used, but still, you can drop some serious coin on that kind of vinyl as well.

Pretty expensive purchase for that retro chic lifestyle, eh?

Another example of the retro chic lifestyle is spectacles. You know, those silly little things you wear on your face so that you can actually SEE what you're doing.

Anyways, back in the day when I was my daughters age, I wore plastic frames. The going price at the time (late 70's) was roughly $45, not counting lenses. In today's fashion conscience world, those same plastic frames would melt a hole in your credit card. How much you may ask?

Let's use me as an example of how to improperly spend money. I decided about three years ago to switch from metal frames, which ran me about $130, to plastic frames. My first pair of frames cost me about $225, roughly five times what my parents paid for them in the 70's. Those lasted until 2013, when they snapped in half while I was cleaning them. My second pair was a bit cheaper as they cost me about $100. The reason for difference is that pair #1 was bought at Lenscrafter while pair #2 was purchased locally.

I can come up with a myriad of other examples (Chuck Conners Converse All-Stars, anyone?), but suffice to say, nostalgia is thriving business to be in. Why in no time at all you'll be pulling out those dust bunnies and those melted blobs of unidentifiable plastic from your wallet and purse. Just think, so long as you want to act on reliving those good times from your childhood, your answer to the popular question "What's in your wallet?" will always be...

Absolutely nothing.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I still have my stereo component system with turntable - recently updated with new smaller Bose speakers. I retained about 100 vinyl LPs (the cream of the crop.) Interesting to see the resurgence in vinyl.

  2. Lynn: I spent gobs of money on stereos too. I bought a one piece that allows me to burn c.d.'s directly from the LP and a quality turntable to play them on. Roughly cost me about $400 total.

    It's very interesting to see the resurgence in vinyl. Some things just never go completely away, they just hibernate until their time comes again.

  3. I have mixed feelings about seeing everything old be new again. I'm always happy to hear 80's music, and some of the fashions really were pretty cool, but on the other hand sometimes the past seems to be repeating so thoroughly that it creeps me out.

  4. S.R.: This is very true.

    Having grown up with 80's music, I'm not a major fan of it by any stretch of the imagination, but some of the fashions I can still deal with.

  5. It's all a play by sony who wants to sell record players haha

  6. Bearman: Could be, could be.

    And good record players nowadays cost almost as much as what they did when we were kids.


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