Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Record Collector Nostalgia 2009 #3

11-24-09 Record Collector Nostalgia 2009 #3

I had already been through stamps / coins and comic books / Mad Magazines.

Somehow when music collecting became apparent to me, there was something to back it up – Schwann Record Catalogues! Wallach’s Music City weekly charts (printed on 2-sided legal goldenrod paper)! And Atco Records used their innersleeve to show us 50 (or more?) of their available LP’s. Yes, it’s true: I got a yellow legal pad and wrote down all the possible numbers for the Atco Records 33,000 series – at the time, it was #1 - #300 or so. The LP innersleeve showed me a bunch of titles, but I could cross-check them in the Schwann Catalogue, and find titles not pictured on their sleeves! Almost like a bingo game, it quickly became: “I’ve never seen a Chickenman LP on Atco”. So I would look for it – scouring comedy used LP bins wherever I could find ‘em. But it wasn’t limited to comedy LP’s – everything on Atco had a certain level of interest to me. Still does, as 2010 approaches.

And there were other labels that I could figure out their numerical sequences: the Elektra 74000 series, Warner Brothers 1000 series, Reprise 6000 series etc. By the early 70’s, I advanced on to British record labels: I wrote to Island Records in London, and they sent me their catalogue! ILPS 9000 series!

So, by the early 70’s, I was collecting whatever I heard that interested me, whatever I was reading about in Circus, Creem and Melody Maker and – some numerical sequences!

There were a lot of record stores I could get to fairly easily. My dad could take me anywhere I couldn’t ride my bike to. And it wouldn’t be long before I started to have friends who drove. I knew how to get to Hollywood from Long Beach! And I knew where the record stores were!

There still weren’t reference works I could read to find out about things like comedy records. I learned what I could from constantly combing the used comedy bins in used record stores. In a few short years, I would be adding jazz to my interests. And soundtracks. And European music.

In a pre-internet world, it was a lot more difficult to find out about stuff. I only had a few friends who “thought like I did” (i.e. music and record collecting, 24-7) – I could write to my brother (who lived in Germany) or I could try to talk to guys in record stores…yes, there were some patient guys, but mostly nobody in an early 70’s record store wanted to talk to a 12-year-old asking a lot of questions.

My first record store job didn’t arrive until July 2, 1976 – I was 17 years old. I worked in record stores, record distribution, record importers, CD stores and eventually I even worked with a friend on an internet-based music sales business. I’ve sort of ‘done it all’.

But – you have to start somewhere. I was interested. Still am.

No comments: