Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Matter of Records

I’ve been told that once you acquire three of anything, you have a collection. It all started innocently for me, but grew into an obsession as soon as I got into the business.

I guess it all started when I worked on a college radio station. It was a rather new station so it didn’t have much of a record library. The library was the recipient of all sorts of new promotional albums from the big companies, but even back in 1973 there were independent labels out there with stuff well worth listening to. So every week I’d go out and buy ten or so new albums that the station would never get, making my radio shows a little more underground than the other shows on the air.

Word got out that I was spinning the unknowns, and soon I was getting all sorts of promos sent to me at home. By the time I got out of radio all together I had amassed a collect of nearly 2000 albums, AKA expensive wall paper.

One of the disadvantages with the old 12 inch vinyl was that not only did they take up a lot of space, but they also weighed a lot. So when I decided to move all the way across the country to Oregon, I had to figure a way to get 2000 records out here with me. I knew my Subaru wagon couldn’t handle it, besides I had all sorts of stuff like bicycles, skis, computers and other stuff I had to drive out.

I gave away all my furniture, so all I had to worry about were books and records, which I decided to mail to myself. Fourth Class Book Rate was actually reasonable. I didn’t have my own address, so I mailed to my then love of my life who lived in Vancouver, Washington. A month later I bought my house here, so I had to pack them all from her house to my new home where I built shelves and had them in my living room.

Ten years later, she who is now my wife moved in with her two children. We called it the occupation. Just about all of my stuff was given away and replaced by her stuff. She didn’t like the ghosts of my former women acquaintances in the house with her, so any chair they could have possibly sat on went. I did get to keep the art, though.

So my house, no longer being a singles pad, I had to move all my records to a room upstairs that would now be my office. It was a cramped space with all those records. After her kids moved out I was able to take on one of their roomy bedrooms as my office, so the records moved again.

After that move I decided to sell a lot of the collection. The records were really getting in my way, so a collector from Seattle came down and took about 1500 of them leaving me with only 500.

This weekend my wife wanted to move her office down stairs into one of the guest rooms. We still want to have two guest rooms on the main floor, so I moved my office back up stairs, so all 500 records had to be moved once again. Now I’m thinking I should sell the remainder.

I would like to copy some of them onto CD. There is some rare stuff in the remaining collection, rare British imports and boot legs. I have a recording of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Johnny Winter jamming together. I have the works of Philip Glass on the Chatham square label. Almost everything Zappa ever did on vinyl. All vinyl works of Brian Eno, and I mean all, even things he produced in the early days like Lady June. Amazing Blondell…I could go on.

It’s such a hard decision, but I will never move them again.


Blogger Boo7 said...

You could have opened your own retro-album store at some point!!!

This is such a great post and brought back some cool memories of albums I have and have probably not listned to in 20+ years....mainly as I have not had a functioning record player in probably that long!!

There are some I would dearly love to put onto CD's and listen to again......hhmmmmmmm I feel an internet search coming on!!!

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Love, Anon said...

When the current love of my life was with the previous love of his life she gave his vinyl collection to Goodwill. He came home one day and it was gone; including a rock album his brother recorded in the 70s. When this "rock star" brother gave up music he became a lawyer; then he helped the love of my life with the divorce.


6:23 AM  
Anonymous portosan said...

Hmm... yeh. I have learned that I just got'ta get off stuff.

I have grown to a level of appreciating the relief in the freadom that I experience when I can let go.

I heard it said:

"I only let go of something after I have left claw marks all over it"

I am glad I don't have to do that anymore. Still it takes me awhile before I realise that something may not be worth the effort and costs associated, and, it's got'ta go.

I am glad you are hoarding LP's rather than puppies, Guy.

Sounds healthy and possitive, what with considering the farmers almanac archive and now the records. I am inspired.

After all, if I can let go of something, that provides room for something else. To get to where I need to go I often have to let go. Consider yourself encouraged.

It would make my year if I could hear the recording of Hendrix, Morrison and Winters. Any way we could get you to archive it here?


p.s. anyone want a puppy?

8:15 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Boo, I'm not one who should be in any sort of business because I tend to give things away. I often hear, "You gave it away???" I had to put my wife in charge of product sales this year. I'm just aweful, and yet I still gave away hundreds of dollars worth of product already.

Love-anon, I find it so odd that she did and still does things to piss him off. She is possessed and obsessed. She really needs a life in another part of the country.

Port, I'll add that to the list of things I need to do. It really wasn't worth listening to more than once. It was loud, distorted, and Morrison moaned a lot.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous portosan said...

ooh'whao - oohhhh_oh

That's my Morrison moan. O.K. Guy, save it. err I mean take it off your that off your list

9:05 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

I will be buried with my record albums...make that creamated....
...and my $1200.00 turntable...
..hell, the entire sterio system...
..bury me in a container.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it could be worse, Guy, you could have, like, FOUR dogs!

Seriously, I am old enough to have gotten Men at Work on vinyl for my 16th birthday (along with the GoGo's Vacation). Sometimes I miss them. My Styx "Paradise Theatre" had the raddest hologram thingie on the record.

We have over 500 CDs, but it's not the same. They are in wallets that take up the same amount of space as about 50 albums with covers.

I try not to collect. This leaves room for my children to mercilessly collect. Little Ponies. Like 50 of them. It's crazy.

10:07 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Gearhead, I'm afraid I'll be burried alive with all those records if I keep them. Are you looking for anything I might have?

Mom of 3...Trust me, I would never have four dogs. Nor do I condone taking 4 dogs to the Sunday Market ; ). You have 500 CDs? Nice collection. I wonder what it is in humans that make us gather much more than we need or could possibly use.

10:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home