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“You’re spending that much on records?” she gasped, as I plunked down $75 after my employee discount.
She had discovered a few knickknacks on her shopping expedition, but she’d been far more frugal than I. Of course if I hadn’t dawdled in the dollar vinyl section on the way out, I could have waited for her outside and bluffed my way through the expenditures conversation. The big treasure I found was an original 1966 Dutch Rolling Stones Greatest Hits LP with a unique cover -- only $35! I’d never seen it before in my life, how cool is that? It needed to come home with me. That’s one of my collecting adages -- “if you’ve never seen it before, BUY IT; you might never see it again.” It wasn’t in great shape, and of course I had all the music already, but with an item like that, it’s more about the gestalt.
Everyone has vices. I don’t smoke, do drugs, drink excessively, chase women or buy clothes. But, guilty as charged, I do spend too much money on records. Amoeba sells an “I bought too many records at Amoeba Music” bumper sticker. But that’s untrue, because as all collectors know, you can’t have too many records. Each new find leads to exciting new musical directions. One of my latest passions is 60s garage rock from around the world, which is mostly uncharted territory – aside from the excellent Pekora books, which only show the rarest items. So, it’s basically a treasure hunt.
Every record collector starts with a great love for the music. At some point you start buying records, innocently enough. Soon you’ve got a lot of them, then a lot more. Then a whole lot more. Once the collector gene kicks in, it’s hard to turn back. Suddenly you’re buying records not for the music, but simply because they fit in the collection. If you own the first five Yardbirds albums, you need the Greatest Hits, just because it fits. Besides, it’s an original yellow label Epic, and wonder of wonders, it’s even mono! This phenomena isn’t so strange. Most hobbies are all about being a completest, with dabs of beauty and esthetics thrown in for good measure. Think stamp collecting, baseball cards, etc. The wonderful thing about record collecting is that we can be just as nerdy as any other collector, but we can also HEAR our collections, as well as see and categorize them. Try listening to your stamp collection, buddy.
This blog is here to chat about everything under the sun related to collecting vinyl. Thanks for reading. If you’re a vinyl collector please check out VinylBeat.com for price and label guides.