Though most of my friends and family know. I’ve rarely shared my passion for music or vinyl records on this log very often. Having sold all of my original collection of LP’s, EP’s and cassettes on Ebay in the months prior to my initial three week trip to Japan in 2001. I soon learned that my choice to do so, might have been a bad one. Though having just about everything I sold on CD’s or CDR’s. I did not think that the crates of records and boxes of cassettes would be missed. I later found that my decision might have been a hasty one.
Starting only a few years ago. I slowly started to purchase and collect vinyl again. Since that time, I’ve managed to recollect most of the records I originally owned and sold. I’ve also eclipsed the original size of what I once thought of as too many records. I’m at a point now where I’ve become a bit more selective with what I buy, often reminding myself that I’m getting older and will someday have to pack them up and move. Still, my obsession and my wife’s support of my weekly trips to various vinyl record outlets doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Back in May I purchased the Canon 15mm wide angle lens from B&H with the explicit intent to incorporate it into my concert photography. I opened the box and attached the lens to my Canon 7D with the same child like enthusiasm and glee a kid who’s just come downstairs to see all of his gifts spread in piles under the tree gets. I searched every nook and cranny of the apartment in search for that perfect exaggerated view point. I took a handful of shots, one of which was the newish piece of furniture I had gotten from Ikea. At the time I had just started collecting/purchasing records again. It had been ten years since I sold all of my vinyl and cassettes on Ebay to help pay for a trip to Japan. At the time, I can honestly say it was worth it. However, as the years passed I realized I had put a monetary value on something that was very valuable to me emotionally. So in May of 2011 with a living room and a second bedroom filled with CD’s I embarked on rebuilding my vinyl collection.
It started innocently enough with a 7 inch here and a garage sale LP there. But has suddenly turned into an animal all it’s own. Now, I’m not complaining. No, not in the least. I really cherish crate digging and hitting my favorite vinyl spots with friends. I’m not worried about space either. I’ve got plenty of cubicles to fill thanks to Ikea. I am however amazed at just how much I’ve amassed in a matter of six or seven months. I started this blog in part to chronicle my history and progress as a photographer and of course an individual. Though this might not exactly be considered progress, it sure as hell can be referred to as growth.
Wednesday afternoon I headed to Calumet over on 22nd Street to pick up a few extras for the studio. I’ve been looking into getting a new muslin ever since my cat threw up on the rather large white one I had for so long. Although I’ve been using seemless for the most part. I like to mix it up from time to time. Seemless backgrounds are great but getting a couple of nine footers on the train back to Hoboken can be a bit of a haul. I picked up a nice black one that just happened to be on sale. I like the fact that I can take them down easily, roll them in a ball and toss them in the washer when needed. Once I started to use the black consistently in my shoots I didn’t want to shoot any other color again. The black adds a certain drama to B&W photos while adding pop to color. How can you go wrong. I learned early about placing the lights and the model a bit further from it to avoid weird circles and flare ups in the background. Once I got past that it was all gravy. Here’s a picture I took with my new copy of the New Breed compilation. The Wild Style version is a limited pressing of 200 and I was lucky and grateful to get 1/200. The compilation was originally released as a tape comp. in 1989. It featured the absolute best NYHC bands of the time. It’s just be reissued for the first time on vinyl through Freddy Alva’s Wardance Records.
I’ve always been a fanatic when it came to music. Some of my earliest memories involve me sitting in my diapers amongst my parents rather encompassing record collections. Before I was even really listening I would sit in awe amongst piles of records. Bewildered and a bit freaked out by the cover art of artists such as Leon Russell, Frank Zappa and Tom Waits, just to name a few. As I grew my parents and their tastes had a serious influence on my ears and and my ongoing obsession with music. By the age of ten I had already attended a couple of concerts and developed my own musical tastes for bands like The Clash, AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix. My Dad would make me sit with him as he forced Zappa and Waits records on me. At the time I hated what I was hearing and thought my Father was well, nuts. Years later I’m still obsessed with music and in particular, buying records.
Today my friend and I took our monthly trek driving over two hours past state lines to our favorite record store. Now being that my friend is pretty much the sickest record collector I have ever known, it’s not odd for him to drop a couple of hundred dollars on any said occasion. As for me, I’m a little more conservative with my shopping. Often spending under a hundred dollars a trip and stick to the endless selection of 7 inch records the store has to offer. However, on this particular trip I decided to start with the LP’s. Now when I say “Big Mistake”, I mean “Big Mistake”. About ten years ago I decided to sell my record collection to help fund a trip to Japan. Although I made a lot of money at the time, it’s something I later regretted. So about a year or two I started rebuilding my record collection. Basically replacing what I had sold as I picked up ones I didn’t have and new ones that have come out since. Two years later I have twice as many records than I ever had before I sold them and my collection/obsession keeps growing.
As I went from bin to bin my pile kept growing and multiplying. Most of them were one dollar purchases so what did it matter. Then my buddy handed me a few more records he pulled out for me when he was cruising the adjacent aisle. Before I knew it I was putting a box of eighty three records in his car. I was happy with my choices and my overall purchase but damn, getting them up three flights of stairs once I got home was a bitch to say the very least. As I sit here writing I’m also listening to the Manowar record my buddy put aside for me. Thanks bro, I’m enjoying it. On a side note, I’ve noticed my Mother has been reading the blog lately and I fully prepared for the lecture I’ll soon receive. Mom, lecture all you want. But you’re responsible for creating this monster.