Confessions of a record collector

February 14, 2011

“For some ,there was a rather quant notion that the size of a man’s record collection was somehow symbolic of of his size in other departments” Bill Drummond

My understairs cupboard, my den, my refuge, has a wall of vinyl. My shrine, my Buddha, my Mecca,  my Wailing Wall. Truth be told I visit it less to listen these, more to caress, to slip the vinyl worshipfully from battered sleeves. It is frozen in time – I stopped buying records years ago, yet it means more to me than all the CDs and MP3 downloads in the world. Like my DNA it carries my history, shaped who I am.

I’ve just sold a load of CDs and felt not a pang. Ugly plastic things that they are. But my vinyl I could never part with. Vinyl is artefact. Lose your tunes off your i-pod and it matters not, you can download them them again. But how could you replace those limited edition 12 inches, singles on coloured vinyl or long deleted LPs.

I always used to organise my record collection for the day some  girl would flick through it going “wow the first Throbbing Gristle album, and Joy Division live at the Electric Circus. Shack Up on Belgian import – you really are the guy for me”. It was years before I realised that the ability to reel off the first fifty Factory releases may not be the stuff that dreams are made on and that only boys like The Fall.

But lurking somewhere in my forever teenage mind is the nagging thought that there will still be a day of judgement, when my record collection will be the thing that really matters, will open the doors of heaven. That St. Peter, flicking his way casually through, will suddenly exclaim ” fuck me, Cabaret Voltaire Live at the YMCA – in you go mate”.


One Response to “Confessions of a record collector”

  1. I love the final sentence! I’ve got a similar relationship to my DVD collection. In my case I did actually end up marrying somebody who was actually impressed by the extent of my Criterion Collection and my dedication in tracking down David Lynch’s short film collection and David Cronenberg’s completely forgettable car racing film.

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