Random Thoughts: Record Collecting and The Vinyl Community
So, I used to own hundreds upon hundreds of records. A lot were pieces I inherited from my father, which included a bunch of old jazz, soul and R&B records. A lot more were items I acquired myself over the years. From growing up a punk kid, I had tons of 7”s and LPs from all kinds of obscure bands that either I saw live over the years or sought out due to someone’s recommendation. I’m talking about stuff from old Turning Point and Pansy Division 7”s to rare Integrity and Instead LPs. Then, when I got really into metal, I started collecting any and all metal vinyl I could get my hands on. I had stuff from Destruction to Mercyful Fate to old Satan records. (What the fuck you know about Satan, huh?) When I got into experimental and goth, I had records from groups from Christian Death to Sisters of Mercy to a limited edition white Wumpscut LP that I would kill to get back. I, honestly, never really collected a shit ton of hip hop vinyl (I know…weird). I had some standards like 93 Til Infinity, Illmatic and By All Means Necessary, but nothing super rare. But around 2001 I hit a really rough patch in my life and was forced to move into a tiny efficiency apartment by Piedmont Park that had brown water coming from the faucets, a leaking gas stove and about six families of cockroaches residing in the walls. I had to make a sacrifice. Seeing as how I didn’t even have enough money to eat nor did I have enough room to house all of my records, at the time it seemed logical to get rid of them. Believe it or not, storing thousands of CDs is easier than storing hundreds of records. So, against my better judgment, I sold off a huge portion of my collection to survive. And fuck do I regret it.
Fast-forward about 5 years and, once I got back on my feet and moved into a normal sized apartment I started to replenish my collection. It’s nowhere near it was, but it’s decent. I still have about 10 times more CDs than I do records, but I’m pretty proud of some of the rare pieces of vinyl that I own. So this leads me into a conversation I had with one of my good friends who was in town from L.A. this past weekend. My homeboy, Henry, came to town and I had the pleasure of sitting around with him talking our usual shit about movies, people from the past and, most of all, music. He’s really one of the only people that I can honestly sit around for hours and talk music with. It’s also important to note that he’s the guy that really turned me on to true experimental music like Nurse With Wound, COIL and Throbbing Gristle as well as experimental neo-folk like Current 93, Sol Invictus and Death In June. He turned me on to the weird shit and I put him on to hip hop. It just worked out that way.
During our conversation, he started telling me about this group he belongs to on YouTube called The Vinyl Community. I’d never heard about this and was instantly intrigued. From what I understand, The Vinyl Community is a group of people on YouTube that post videos about all the dope records they find. There’s no acceptance process. There are no membership fees. It seems that all they ask for is that you be an avid record collector and that you be happy to show your collection off to the world. I just recently started watching them so I’m no expert, but I’ve seen videos of people who talk about hip hop, metal, folk, jazz and everything in between and beyond. Warning: if you’re a music nerd, some of this shit will make you infuriatingly jealous because it’s stuff you’ve heard about, have never seen and would castrate your first born to own. However, it’s fun as shit to watch.
I’m mainly writing this for all you music nerds out there that really get a kick out of collectables. For all you guys that said “fuck you” when people started selling off their entire music collection in exchange for folders on a computer full of MP3s. To me, there’s no better feeling than looking through a booklet for a new CD with the exception of the feeling of cracking open a new gatefold LP, looking through the credits and checking out the vinyl. Some people enjoy buying jewelry; some enjoy buying sneakers. No offense to my fashion junkies and sneaker heads out there, but I find spending $75 on a Jesus piece that will be out of style next year or $100 on a pair of sneakers that will be completely worn out within 6 months the epitome of stupid. But spending $175 on a piss-rare record that could provide you with enjoyment for the rest of your life? For some reason, that makes complete sense to me.
Shout out to Beezy who started his vinyl collection this past weekend. Maybe one day you’ll be one of these guys.
For info on The Vinyl Community click here or go to YouTube and just do a general search for “The Vinyl Community.”
For my boy’s page, click here. Trust me, if you’re a music nerd you will not be disappointed. You may even learn something.