My first record: Supertramp's Crime of the Century. What was yours?

What was the first album you ever bought? I'm old enough, of course, that my first record was on vinyl. I'm certain it was a 7″ 45-rpm single likely bought at Rutledge's Music Store, then in St. George's Square in Guelph, Ont. (Rutledge's — or perhaps Routledge — sold drums, guitars, pianos as well as sheet and recorded music. Today, if you know Guelph, there is a Canada Trust in that corner of St. George's Square) As this was very early in the 1970s, I'm sure my first vinyl was likely a pop hit of the day — perhaps something like Gilbert O'Sullivan's “Alone Again Naturally” which, being all of eight or something, I thought was tremendously clever.

But the first album I ever acquired was purchased up the street from Rutledge's at Records On Wheels. R.O.W. was a regional chain that is no longer in Guelph, so far as I know, but when it was, it was the hippest record stores in the city. For most of its life, R.O.W. Guelph's home was on MacDonnell Street but when I was 11-years-old Records on Wheels was a second floor walk-up on Wyndham Street across the street from the Odeon Theatre.

Guys with long hair and vests — they might have been bikers to my 11-year-old sensibility — ran the place. Later, as a 19-year-old DJ spending a few hundred bucks a week at their store, those guys with long hair and vests became my friends.

Anyhow — sometime around Christmas 1975, I walked up the stairs with a few dollars I'd earned delivering Toronto Stars, and walked out with Supertramp's Crime of the Century. I remember it was the Christmas season because I was supposed to be spending that money I'd earned on gifts for my family but I was just so nuts about the single off that record, “Bloody Well Right”, that I had to have it. And so I did.

Now, more than 30 years and about 5,000 albums later, I still get a kick out of that record. It happened to be on the digital turntable tonight and YouTube had the video of Rick Davies and his friends performing it a few years after its initial release.

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