Remember my recent post about the amazing 1970 cassette player I got at a flea market, which I named Colonel Mustard because of its predominant color? That prompted the following note from reader August Jose:
Longtime listener, first-time caller. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the pictures of Colonel Mustard. I immediately thought, “Paul, you need to see General Mustard!”
A little backstory: Nearly 20 years ago, when I was attending a private Jesuit high school, I was in a work/study program where you basically did manual labor with either the custodial staff or some other department to pay off part of your tuition. One summer we were clearing out the library storage room and came across a treasure trove of 1960s and ’70s teaching paraphernalia. There were old slide projectors, film reels, and record players. I asked if I could take some stuff and the librarian said, “Sure — it’s all junk!”
I remember grabbing a still film projector (which you fed film into and manually moved to the next frame), a ton of vinyl records that would be played in sync with the films, and this beauty of a turntable. Same brand, same color scheme, same typography! The speakers clip into the base for easy transportation.
You mentioned in your Colonel Mustard post that you thought the cassette player was probably meant to be used in educational settings. My experience seems to confirm that.
The record player is the only thing I’ve kept from that day. I remember my dad helped me find a needle for it, since it was missing one. (I believe he had to order it from a Canadian electronics supplier as we could not find a replacement in the States.) Once we got a new needle on it, it worked like a champ, although it’s lost a little pep in its step recently. This past year, my wife surprised me with a new record player, but I’ve held onto the General.
P.S. My uncle had an old speed boat when I was a youngster that was the same color, which he named “Colonel Mustard”!
Oh man — is this completely amazing or what? Such a great story, and an even better coincidence!
August also provided this video of General Mustard in action, playing August’s favorite Frank Zappa record:
Clearly, August and I need to have a Colonel/General Mustard summit meeting and listening party!!