Researchers announced a major discovery today after a treasure trove of classic rock albums were uncovered in the backseat of a local dad’s used Jeep Grand Cherokee. Ethnomusicologists from around the world are now descending on the man’s garage, and early reports rate the collection as one of the most extensive and important of its time.
“I’m just glad someone is finally recognizing how significant this collection is,” says Rick Ramsey. “I always knew that eventually the world would come to its senses and realize that ’70s classic and blues rock represent the absolute high point in the evolution of Western music.”
The cataloging began early last week when researchers started excavating the top layer of CD jewel cases littering the backseat of Ramsay’s 2008 Grand Cherokee. Teams of unpaid grad students have already extracted an estimated six dozen albums, including the entire catalog of ZZ Top, Styx, and The Eagles––and that only represents the CD portion of the collection. While they’ve been careful not to disrupt the lower layer of albums, researchers have spotted a strata of cassettes and, below that, even some 8-track tapes. “The wife has got on me about keeping those 8-tracks around, but always tell her: technology is cyclical,” says Ramsey.
Despite the fact that there are 1,035 terrestrial radio stations catering to this exact era in popular music, Ramsey’s collection is being hailed as “the most culturally relevant thing ever discovered” by white men age 50 to 75, academics, and dads who admittedly haven’t listened to any new music for the past 37 years. “Not only that: many people don’t know that the entire concept of satellite radio was designed solely to broadcast Steely Dan albums. Eventually, we figured out it worked for other artists too, but in its early days, it was just a way to make sure as many people as possible were exposed to the brilliance of ‘Aja,’” says Gary Rosenbaum, an ethnomusicologist at Stanford University.
Archiving work was briefly paused when researchers discovered a Black Keys album among the collection, potentially tainting the horde’s integrity, but upon listening to the album, it was declared an appropriate inclusion despite its more modern release. “These guys basically act like they invented blues rock and then immediately licensed all their songs out for car commercials. It doesn’t get much more Boomer than that, so I’d say it qualifies,” says Rosenbaum.
When asked about the blues influences of the genre and the debt owed to the African-American musicians who pioneered the guitar-driven style of music, Ramsey gives a confused look. “I’m not so sure about that; I’m pretty sure Clapton invented it when he joined The Yardbirds in 1963,” says Ramsey while tending the grill in jean shorts and a Hawaiian shirt.
Ramsey’s family is also delighted that the collection is getting some attention, but for some distinctly different reasons. Melissa, Rick’s wife, say’s she looks forward to once again having a usable backseat, which hasn’t had decent legroom since Rick discovered the $1 bin at his local record shop. “I estimated that if you removed Moody Blues albums alone, his Jeep would get about seven more miles to the gallon,” says Melissa.
Ramsay’s son wants to use the opportunity to finally break Rick of his dated reliance on physical media, a move that’s historically met with resistance. “I tried to tell him that he could just download Spotify and listen to any of this crap whenever he wants, but he just mumbled something about ‘data protection’ and ignored me,” says Daniel Ramsay. “This is the same man who signs up for every sketchy promotional credit card he’s ever encountered because, in his words, ‘you should never pass up a good tote bag.’”