Recently, Joy and I had dinner at The Crow’s Nest on Manchester in Maplewood. We were both pleased to see they found a way to honor that old album cover art by using the folding and double LP covers as folders for their menus. I requested the Fleetwood Mac, but I couldn’t order a Fleetwood Chili Mac or a Chiliwack Chili Mac.
For years City Diner on South Grand has featured old album covers on their walls. They make great art and are easy to frame. Rik Anthony at WIL tells me you can actually buy picture frames fitted to album covers at Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge. Good to know for when I retire and become the 500th person in St. Louis to start selling them framed at swap meets.
If you’ve ever been to the Broadway Oyster Bar downtown, you know they glue their 70’s album covers to the ceiling. This gives their patrons a more pleasant experience as the night goes on and they’re on the floor, flat on their backs, looking up. The Piccadilly at Manhattan (please don’t ask me where it’s located) adorns their table tops with 70’s album covers. They’re all protected under glass. We go there for the great food and ask for the Elton John table. Okay, it’s located at the corner of Piccadilly and Manhattan. Get your GPS out if you like outstanding fried chicken with the biggest chicken wings you’ll ever see.
No doubt, there are other restaurants in St. Louis following this trend. It’s an inexpensive way to add art to a restaurant. So expect to see other creative ways for restaurants to recycle those old albums in the near future. For example:
70’s albums make great serving trays. I asked Killian Wood at the Fountain On Locust to serve me their classic Chocolate Brownie Cake In A Cup on the classic Springsteen Born To Run LP. Can’t say the Brownie tasted better -- it’s alway great -- but it’s the first time I’ve had that Springsteen album out since ‘94.
I’m thinking you could also serve a plate of spaghetti at Rigazzi’s on The Hill right on the vinyl. Probably served best on a Sinatra LP. (No meatballs from Rigazzi’s were harmed for this illustration, as they are sacred. Same for Sinatra, so I used an old Budgie album. I never really liked that band.)
Then, when you use the restroom, dry your hands on whatever 70’s album cover is hanging from the towel rack.
I’d love to believe the music I grew up on will live forever. It won’t, of course, unless they keep finding new ways to repackage songs we’ve already bought on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD and digital downloads. But with those classic album covers, we can at least squeeze a few more years out of our fading memories.