Is It The Music Or Something Else?

“…Well, you’ll probably have around 10,000 by the time we are 80” my wife said.  “If you keep going at this pace, you’re guaranteed to at least have over 8,000.”  The thought of this made me kind of sick.  Not only because of the ridiculous amount of money I’d be spending (over $40,000.00 if the average price was $5.00), but because I wasn’t doing this just to have a huge collection……right?

I don’t have an incredibly large record collection (roughly 325-400).  As far as “collectors” are concerned it’s probably small, but the question I have been asking myself ever since the conversation with my wife is “When is enough….enough?”

And honestly, I’m not really sure of the answer to that question.  Didn’t I start this to expose myself to other genres and time periods of music?  I can’t help but question my intentions at times.  I haven’t reached the point where I buy records in bulk, but I do tend to purchase vinyl I’m not really partial to when it is very inexpensive. 

I think about my recent visit to El Suprimo in Baltimore.  Jack’s business card said “Moving down in the world”.

But truthfully, after spending so much time at flea markets, antique shops, and yard sales…visiting a record store like this  made me feel as if I was moving up in the world.

When I walked up, the owner Jack was somehow fielding questions from two people about purchasing the same turntable, going through a stack of records that a woman was trading in for cash, and keeping an eye on the 8-10 people in his store…all at the same time.  Dealing with this every day had to get tiring, so I asked Jack why he did it, and his simple reply was “The music man”.  Was it really though?  Or was it just an obsession with vinyl in general?  Maybe it was the feeling that you need to have your arms wrapped around it all, routinely appreciating the purchases of the day only until they find their way onto the shelf.  Which always seems to be followed by a short period of day dreaming about what you will find next trip around. 

For the last week, I’ve been asking myself why I dig.  Why I visit the same crappy thrift store on lunch break at work 2 times a week hoping that somebody dropped off something worth my time.  Why I find myself in the hot, humid, and dusty upper levels of antique stores….and why I visit the same record stores to look at the 10 new vinyls they may have put out in the last 2 weeks.  This weekend…..I remembered why.

After stopping at a record store that I’ve passed 100 times and never gone into, I found the elusive Sex Pistols vinyl.  It is by no means rare, but in this area, it is tough to find.  I of course have been looking for a used copy in great playing condition, and I finally found it (TAKE THAT BROHAMMAS!).  I’ve seen this twice online go for over $25, and while in Baltimore neither Own Guru or El Suprimo had it in stock.

I finally had it.  A search that sadly had lasted over a year had ended.  It also helped end, for the time being, a week long debate with myself.  Maybe I had forgotten my purpose for doing this, but this particular vinyl brought me back.  I went home, and listened to both sides of “Nevermind the bullocks” while simply sitting on the couch and doing nothing else.  I thought about how the search makes it interesting, and actually finding the vinyl makes the search worth it.  It also made me realize that maybe I need to stop buying vinyls just because they are $0.50 each, and go back to buying only the ones I want to listen to.  I need to remember this is my collection, and it should be filled with things I want to listen to, not things that makes others think it is a good collection.  However, the question that still stands, when do I stop?  For right now, I’m not thinking about it.  I am going to enjoy the sounds I have been searching a long year for.



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6 responses to “Is It The Music Or Something Else?

  1. Either the kid who bought that record was discovered by innapreciated parents and made to trade the record in, where it lay buried till now. or some lameoid dude who didnt actually like the Sex Pistols bought it to look cool for a girl and he never actually listened to the record.

    Both ways I still stand by my statement. When has proof ever swayed an opinion?

  2. Sex Pistols?
    Never liked them but I was a huge fan of Malcolm MacLaren.
    I also liked the movie “Sid and Nancy” and the song in the hotel scene by Althea&Donna “Upton Top Ranking”.
    But as far as the Pistols go… .

    • I’m not a “huge” Sex Pistols fan, but I do love this particular vinyl. This isn’t really the stuff you’d find me listening to on my Ipod per say, but there are times when I like listening to them. It’s kind of like The Ramones, I love there music, but not enough to listen to it on a regular basis. The Ramones in the us, and the Sex Pistols in the UK. I guess I appreciate there music more for what it was about and what it started. Regardless though, this vinyl is great when it’s spinning. I do love “Uptown Top Ranking”, mainly the opening, but I’m confused how it applies here. I’m not a MacLaren fan per say, but I can appreciate what he did for Hip Hop in the UK.

  3. I think the most thrilling part is actually listening to the records! Especially with a good group of friends 🙂

  4. “Upton Ranking” was in ‘Sid and Nancy’ (The movie about the Pistols)
    Malcolm McLaren was their manager.
    MM was THE man of his time.
    His whole Vivienne Westwood, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls,Adam Ant, Bow Wow Wow oeuvre was the stuff of legend.
    “Duck Rock” (Hip-Hop) was sick and “Waltz Darling (Opera?) did the whole Vogue scene way before Madonna.

    But I get the point of ‘The Good Find’.
    I gotta’ call my dad so he can send me my copy of The Mystic Knoghts of the Oingo Boingo.
    I never even opened it because I thought it might be worth something some day.
    Picked it up while while passing time while visiting a friend at USC.
    College record stores of the time had very interesting music.
    Even though it cost 26.00!!! back then it pre-dated even the first Oingo Boingo EP.

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