My History of the 80’s

September 26, 2019

I was doing some cleaning up downstairs in the basement yesterday.  My goal was to clean out my storage area in preparation to make a little room for the NAS and new (but pretty noisy) webserver.  Like most times, my desire to clean off a small area moved in to completely cleaning out the entire storage area. 

I started pulling things out and placing them all over the basement floor, in effect making a much greater mess before I would re-organize and clean it all.  I decided to move these units there because this storage area is closed off behind mirrored doors, and this would remove most if not all the detectable noise of the fans from the NAS and webserver while I was making videos.  It would also clean up the area under and beside my desk where they are now.

It was while I was about half way through removing items from the storage area that I discovered a lovely golden nugget of paperwork in a old suitcase, items that my parents and I bought during the 80’s, centering around accordions and related musical items… all in a couple of plastic bags perfectly preserved!

There was nothing else to do… I just *had* to take out the bags, pull the contents and closely inspect each and every scrap of paper there.  What a documentation of history, and not just any history, but mine!

Reading these brought back memories long forgotten… wonderful surprises, bursts of good memories… and sad regret in the fact that here was physical proof of my parent’s love and devotion to me and my music, how they and I invested so totally in my accordion studies… yet just a few years later, that I would lay down the accordion, never to pick it up again for decades.

OK, confession time… I was a very stupid young man for stopping my accordion studies (as opposed to me today being the stupid older man, I suppose… ha-ha).

Looking at the bills, receipts, and other paper work, I can so see many things, but one thing pops right out at me… and that is that when I would want something (even at that young age), before making any decisions, I would research the crap down to the last Nth of information.  Not only were the resultant sounds of the accordions important, how did they compare, feature-by-feature to each other?  I see the notes of a young man on the brochures that lead me to my final choice, and I remember the feeling of support and guidance from my family in the entire process. 

For example, once we had decided that it was time to upgrade from the Iorio S3 to it’s predecessor, I see letters written to my father from representatives of Hohner and Excelsior replying to his requests for information, the included brochures and prices of their most advanced (at the time) electrical accordion offerings.  He chose Hohner and Excelsior because at the time, these (along with Iorio/Elka) were the world’s top manufacturers of these kinds of accordions.  I see my notes in red and blue ink all over the brochures, comparing features, one by one, and noting the winners.

My parents wanted to pull me away a little from the heavy-duty strict classical instruction of the conservatory and guide me towards more “palatable” styles of music to them, starting with the Iorio S3, and by then, I was taken in… hook, line and sinker.  So my dad and I researched like no one ever did before.  He got me the information, I would disseminate it down to the tiniest points of contention and created lists, opinions, likes and dislikes and in the end one accordion would reign over the others in our minds… and that would then be the one we did our best to find and purchase.  We did it initially with the Hohner Gola-cum-Morino (story on these pages if you want to read it) and yet again with the Elka 83.  The only accordions that I ever bought without his input and consent were the small Hohner Free Bass and the Roland… and only because he had already passed away, but my mother then because the recipient and participant in these processes.  I never made any decision that was  accordion or music related without my father and mother, not because I couldn’t… the final decisions were always mine, but because I felt it proper.  Strange, isn’t it? 

Well, that is how we rolled back then, and still do today… as a FAMILY.

Anyway,  I am getting a bit off track here.

The receipts are truly a time capsule, a look at the path I took and the choices I made in terms of the hardware.  I was looking at all the items we rented, multitrack tape recorders, amps, mixers, speakers, reverb units… and the items we purchased… the Hohner, Iorio, Elkavox, the Traynor amp, the upgrade to the Roland Jazz Chorus 160 amp, microphones.  The Wilgamat rhythm unit, to the Solton, to the Ketron X4, a Yamaha FB-01 sound module and so much more.  The pile is an easy 10 inches high!

Amongst these treasures I found a few that really surprised me… the tech manuals, brochures, spec sheets and electrical schematics for the Iorio, Elka 83 accordions, the Wilgamat rhythm unit… *all* the original manuals!  These are GOLD, because they are so hard to find… and I had them all this time and never even realized it!

Over and above all this, the fact is that it is just a pile of old papers… but this pile of paper represents the devotion of my parents, my devotion to the accordion and decades of amazing memories that are relived every time I look at them.  It serves as a reminder to me that I was blessed throughout my life because of the accordion and because of music and all the wonderful people I came to know… and that I continue to be blessed.

My journey, though, is far from over, and I look forward to the next chapter!

Oh…  this blog entry represents a small milestone… this is my 100th post on this blog/website! 

I am constantly amazed.  Never would I say that this blog would last as long as it did.  I’ve started plenty and continued very few as long as this one and near none came close to the passion and interest that this one generates for me.

Life is good.