Here Follows the Riveting Drama of How Today Jeff Snagged the Album Graceland by Paul Simon for Just Six Bucks

About ten or eleven years ago I stood in a Borders bookstore in Wichita, Kansas, and held two compact discs in my hand. One was the album Wax Ecstatic by Sponge, and the other was Graceland by Paul Simon. I bought the Sponge album (I’m such an idiot). I have only listened to the album all the way through once (if even that), but I keep it in my collection as a testament to my stupidity. I never bought Graceland. I hear it here and there and always wince when it comes up in conversation or I see it in a cd collection at a friend’s house. I tell this story, explaining that I should own but don’t blah blah blah. It’s kind of haunted me, like that day was fateful and has forever prevented me from buying it. I feel like I should be a Paul Simon fan but am not, like I should own all of his albums but don’t, and it’s all because I bought stupid Wax Ecstatic instead of Graceland ten years ago. (clarification: I’m talking about post-Simon and Garfunkle Paul Simon. I have heard enough of both to know that I like the solo version of Paul Simon better.) I am also vain enough to wish I had had the good taste in high school to make the better purchase, so I could say now, “Look! Even then I had such good taste!” (Of course for this to have any purchase you have to both like Paul Simon and think I have decent taste now.) I even once carried it around a Best Buy for nearly an hour while I wandered around, only to decide just before leaving that I didn’t have the necessary funds to justify a “spontaneous” purchase. A few years ago I bought a Paul Simon compilation cd that is really good, but it only made me think that I should own the whole album of Graceland for real, along with all his other ones (well, I’m not so crazy about most of the post-Graceland stuff). All that changed when I found Graceland at The Frugal Muse this afternoon for six bucks. So now I am the proud owner of this grand cd, only a decade late.

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6 comments so far

  1. derekryanbrown on

    You should have tried to get store credit for the Sponge album while you were at it.

    The Frugal Muse is the place we went to when I visited, right?

  2. Ryan Cordell on

    I have had this happen way too many times. At least you didn’t choose between Graceland and Some Gave All by Billy Ray Cyrus all those years ago.

  3. Kristi on

    It’s never too late for Graceland. Like the song would indicate, you’ve been on a pilgrimage all this time since that moment 10 years ago, and you’ve only arrived at your Graceland today, in that store, with your $6. It couldn’t have been any other way.

  4. jeffreimer on

    Derek: I have thought many times about getting rid of that Sponge album for some dough, but I for some reason tenaciously hang on to it, maybe out of ill-conceived stubbornness to claim my past, for better or worse. And yes, the bookstore is the same. I snagged a few other tasty treats as well — including a first edition Richard Ford.

    Ryan: I said it was a bad decision; I didn’t say I had been drinking.

    Kristi: You speak the truth.

  5. onedaylate on

    There’s a cover of “Graceland” by a guy who calls himself Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. It’s one of my top five covers of all time.

    …Although I suspect it’s not unlike the essay I described that one time and completely impossible to track down.

  6. jeffreimer on

    As luck would have it, I pretty quickly found the mp3 on his website, and I just listened to it.

    [audio src="http://www.cftpa.org/Graceland.mp3" /]

    I also ended up tracking down that essay (in book form) through interlibrary loan but sadly had to return it before I got to it.


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