Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Want Lists

4-20-10 Want Lists

I use printed Want Lists to help keep me on track, when I visit large record stores, such as the 3 x Amoeba Music stores in California. As Dorothy & I have often said, “You go in one of those places, and your mind goes blank!” It’s true. I can look at the entire A-Z of rock and I will probably end up buying something that catches my eyes, as opposed to what I went to the store with the intent of buying.

I have been working on my SACD collection since last August. Yes, it’s a failed format that seems to have lost to DVD-A ( = DVD Audio ), but I own a Sony SACD player and I like the discs that make the little lights come on. Truth of the matter: SACD’s seem to be mastered ‘differently’ – not just louder (with clear trays). Anyway…the availability of SACD’s has me in parts of Amoeba Hollywood that I am less familiar with: jazz, classical, folk etc. With my printed out Want List, no trouble remembering to check the Nick Drake bin (in ‘folk’) – bingo!

I think the earliest surviving “Want List” I have is from the mid-70’s. It’s typed on a yellow 8 ½” x 11” lined sheet of paper – with all the usual suspects: Ivor Cutler “Ludo” (I didn’t even know what label it was on), Gordon Haskell “A Sail In My Boat” (CBS UK LP) etc. No, I never got either of those titles (except as CD’s). In the 80’s, the lists tended to concentrate on newer material – I could read Melody Maker, NME, Music Week – and make lists of new releases – two-fold benefit: I knew what I managed to track down, and I also knew what to order from England at the distributor where I worked.

By the end of the 90’s, my want lists were back to the ‘format wars’ – is there an LP issue of “Psychoderelict” by Pete Townshend? “Far From Home” by Traffic? (Uh, ‘no go’ on those two, I suspect). And then there’s keeping track of all the 45’s…

It’s not a big crime for me to double-up on 45’s, if they’re cheap. But I have bought some tempting titles for as much as $5 each – to discover that I already had copies at home, nicely bagged and catalogued. So, now I have a handy list of which Elton John DJM UK 45’s I am still in need of etc. I find it really difficult to consult a printed list at a swap meet – if confronted with 5 x 200 count cartons of unsorted 45’s, however. I will usually only trot the list out if the 45’s are more than $1.

And along with printed want lists, I still carry my Palm Pilot M125 containing detailed lists of all of my music collections – artist / title / serial # / any distinguishing characteristics. It must’ve looked weird, me standing there with a stack of Sue Thompson 45’s and my Palm in the other hand – but it worked! And I added 8 x new Sue Thompson 45’s to my collection!

As I wander through my 50’s, I do not like to consider that my memory ain’t what it used to be. I mean, my memory is pretty dang good! But I simply can no longer remember absolutely everything about my own collection…as it approaches 25,000 titles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I once bought the same record twice during a single online transaction! Good thing it was cheap. The prices at Metrowax are phenomenal.