Telefunken Gramophone

My old Telefunken HIFI system

When I saw this old German record player in a hotel room, it reminded me of my all-in-one stereo system from Telefunken.

In the States, all I owned was a tiny transistor radio with a corded, mono earpiece. But when I moved to Sweden in 1978, all of my friends, at least my male friends, had their own stereo.

I was living with aunt Lillemor and her fiancé Karl-Erik at the time, and I think some friend of theirs donated the all-white Telefunken HiFi system to me. It was really wide and had a ton of knobs and levers. It also came with a hefty clear plexiglass cover which if you didn’t close slowly enough, would come crashing down and make the needle on the record player jump two or three tracks.

I never used the built-in cassette player much, or, even the radio. I did play the few LPs I owned back then quite a lot, one being a picture disk version of Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive“.

I don’t really miss not having a record player and I’m definitely not glamorizing the old cassette era. What I do miss is listening to entire albums instead of randomized playlists. Especially thematic albums.