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“Dear Mr. Fantasy”

Posted by purplemary54 on January 25, 2014

We got a much-needed new garage door a couple of days ago, and I’ve been rustling through some of the junk that’s currently taking up space in there.  A lot of it isn’t ours.  My dad arranged to let our yard guy keep some stuff in there in exchange for a discount for mowing our yards, etc.  And either my late uncle or my aunt’s complete waste of space ex left some old furniture and ephemera in there.  (There is a pretty nice console table I’m thinking about claiming, and a really squeaky tea cart that could be fun if I cleaned it up.)  I’m mostly only interested in my childhood leftovers that I know I stored in there at some point.  But I made a fortuitous discovery right away.

When I got some decent bookcases and set up the office in the extra bedroom, I was dismayed to find that some of my Rock & Roll books were missing.  I figured they must have been damaged or stolen, but I was thrilled to find them in a box near the front of the garage.  Both my late uncle and the wast of space ex lived in the house at different times, occupying the room that used to be mine.  I’d left some things in there, and I guess one of them moved the books out to the garage without telling me; I know I didn’t put them there.  Fortunately, they were dirty but mostly undamaged, which is great considering that I’m pretty sure they’re all out of print now.  I happily rediscovered some Rolling Stone anthologies of articles and interviews, and a number of nice photograph collections of U2.  But the real treasures were the only two books I had specifically missed when I stocked the shelves.

One was The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, which was the first present BFF ever gave me (it was for my 16th birthday).  It’s a fanciful collection that I still thoroughly love.  The other was a collection of photographs by Ethan A. Russell.  Dear Mr. Fantasy features much of the work Russell did with the Rolling Stones and Beatles, along with a lot of his other famous photos and album covers.  It also features his recollections of his life from the mid 60s though John Lennon’s death in 1980.  It’s one of my favorite books, and I was a little heartbroken to think I’d lost it forever.  I’m so freakin’ happy to have found both these books.

I’m not just a music fan, I’m a collector–although my collection doesn’t really add up to anything of monetary value.  I’ve got a lot of books and CDs, a small amount of vinyl, and a couple of posters/prints that are pretty awesome.  Mostly, I have ticket stubs and programs from concerts, candid photographs found at record stores, odd little ephemera, and some old magazines.  These things mean the world to me.  They’re my little attempt to keep track of this world that I love.


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