Monday, May 26, 2008
For many years I've admired my friends' record collections, but could never justify spending money on collecting them myself. Go back with me... When I was about 9 years old I listened to the radio incessantly! Everything from Prince to my IDOL at the time..... Michael Jackson, Thriller was amazing and still is! Anyway, a few years had passed and my musical taste was progressing, I needed rock! Fast forward a couple of years to me sitting in youth group, a musically frustrated youngster, listening to the obligatory "Dangers of Music!!!!" message...uhhgg! If you were subjected to youth group as a kid you'll remember that message, and the accompanying film "Hells Bells"...double uhggg. At some point in the message or maybe in the film, there was talk of an evil force locked inside foreboding black disks called...records. Now, there are many evils in this world, and some reside on these records when played forward, but when played backwards (cue scary evil stringed music) the evilest of evils is realized! And the nastiest??? LED ZEPPELIN!!! It was just at that point I remembered, "Hey! my Dad has their records! Awesome!" As soon as I got home, up into the closet I went, pulling down his collection of records. There, in all it's evil glory, was the first Led Zeppelin record. Could this and other Zeppelin records contain so much evil?!?! And who was the guy that unearthed such malice? Who hears evil messages locked in the gibberish of a record played backwards? I never heard any satanic messages but I did destroy my uncle's copy of Led Zeppelin 4 trying to listen to Stairway to Heaven backwards. Anyway, the point isn't about the evils of back-masking, but about my current OBSESSION with vinyl and how that first record got me to this point. I decided one day that I had better get going with my collection. But where do I start? There are so many records out there! I knew I needed to just pick one album and go for it! So I started with my other obession, Wilco! I walked into Boo Boos and bought my favorite album of all time, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I couldn't wait to get home and open it! Does anyone remember how fun it is to look at the packaging of a record? Reading the sleeves?! Looking for funny etchings on the vinyl!? Looking at your favorite band's pictures?! Your ipod can't come close giving you that kind of satisfaction! And then there's the analog vs. digital issue, which I won't get into here. Records are just plain superior! I've actually been collecting for a while now, but lately it's gotten out of hand. Ebay doesn't help either. I've just really felt the need to obtain all of my favorite bands' records. But vinyl can be hard to acquire, even current bands' albums. They only print so many and when they're done that's it! Unless, by the grace of some record company, they decide to reprint like they did with Elliott Smith's XO and Figure 8, two albums whose original imprints were found on ebay for hundreds of dollars. Oh! hang on! I just got an email telling me I've been outbid on an original red vinyl copy of Wilco's first release A.M.! Be right back....Ok! I'm the high bidder again! See what I mean? It's an obsession! And I won't even hint at what I paid for a long out of print copy of Wilco's "Being There" album! Radiohead's "Kid A" and "Amnesiac"? Got em. "Ok Computer"? of Course. It was a little "dished"(vinyl-aphile speak for edges being rippled) but I got out my two pieces of glass and placed it in between in the sun for awhile and it worked great! Do I spend my time and money helping the poor? the impoverished? the downtrodden? No. Do I have the beginnings of a great record collection worthy of admiration by John Cusack's character in High Fidelity? Yes.... Hey! Wait a second!... You got me satan! Hells Bells may have missed the mark with back masking, but they got one thing right, music can be evil after all! When you obsess like I do! Oh I need help....sorry Lord...Sweet! I'm still the high bidder!