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Trawling through loads of old jazz records in a backstreet record store in the outer suburbs of Tokyo. Out of my depth with the number of amazing records and then I saw this cover. An iconic image of two of my favourite artists, a fantastic album name (Bongo Fury!!!) and an original 1975 pressing to boot just made the coolest purchase ever made. And the cherry on top was the shop owner, who spoke no English just looking at me and saying ‘Aaah Zappa’ and nodding his approval
My friend over the back fence invited me to come and hear his latest LP. Greg was two days older than me and we’d been playmates since our Mums met on the maternity ward. But in terms of musical sophistication, Greg was years, worlds, away from me. Not in terms of understanding how music worked; having learned the piano for years I could follow the construction of ‘classical’ music just like piecing together objects from the Meccano set under my bed. But in our house, popular music was simply excluded.
Greg’s parents not only tolerated his bringing ‘dreadful noise’ into the home, they even paid for the records. It was a bizarre and unreal indulgence and, due to my complete ignorance of what was current, rather intimidating… but I went anyway.
How different from tinny snatches of tunes captured from passing transistors like smells drifting from strangers’ kitchens; this time I would actually hear an album on a real stereo. Well, his parents radiogram anyway. Although it was much the same as the polished veneer box in our lounge room the vital difference was that while ours only played Gilbert and Sullivan and light classics, theirs embraced the exotic sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix and of course The Beatles.
So over the fence I clambered, said ‘Hello’ to his Mum at the back door and headed for their lounge room. Greg was waiting impatiently. “You’ve gotta hear this,” he gasped, “a TEN MINUTE DRUM SOLO”. Even in my profound state of rock ignorance my heart sank slightly. But putting on a brave face I dropped to the carpet as he dropped the stylus onto the vinyl.
No percussive assault streamed out of the cabinet but a wonderfully melancholic voice singing with a soul-stretching longing that somehow bathed me in light and simultaneously broke my heart … ‘Waiting in our boats to set sail… The sea of joy’. Straining for the high notes like a hand reaching for a soaring seagull; the hessian tones of a violin providing a surprisingly reflective interlude before the riff returned with rolling tidal toms and the song faded over the horizon much too soon.
Later, much later, I learned that what transported me that afternoon was the opening song on side two of a flawed yet sometimes sublime album simply called Blind Faith. That this first ‘supergroup’ consisted of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Rick Grech, all of whom had colourful histories even before they made this one album together. That the bass player also contributed the violin. That the cover I clutched in my hands while Rick then Ginger meandered through their interminable solos in ‘Do What You Like’ was not the startling one originally issued by their UK record company in August 1969 but a special ‘uncontroversial’ version for the colonies.
All I knew at the time was how much I needed this record. But how? Where? A real challenge for the inexperienced and penniless. Then I recalled, a couple of years previously, being dragged by my mother to a suburban shop selling sewing machines. A sullen and reluctant companion, I had stood morosely while she examined gleaming Singers and Elnas before noticing that the rear of the shop housed a record section. Astonishing! But not really, because I was in Bentleigh Sewing and Records, an unlikely emporium that changed my life.
That was where I went on my first vinyl hunt and that was where I secured my first LP, Blind Faith.
This was originally my grandfathers and it was our favourite record to play, every time I went over to his house I would get him to play it! It started my passion for music and old western movies. Even though he is gone today every time I play it, the songs still remind me of all those good memories together. Not only is it my oldest record but it is by far still my favourite one to this day!
This isn’t my oldest record in my collection, but it is one of my favourite old ones. I got it from my Dad’s collection along with some Stones, Floyd, Sabbath and a few other obscure things. To me, listening to this raw, grainy, old analogue live-recording of one the great blues artists and backing musicians is the antithesis of listening to great music on vinyl the way it should be, and the way it was intended to be heard.
My father gifted me this record when i was about 10 years old. it was the only album he bought with him when he migrated from Greece to Australia. we found an old record player at a market and he played it to me for the first time and ever since i have been addicted to record hunting and music. it was the beginning of my music journey and its one of my prized possessions.
Jeremy was my best mate as a kid in 80-90s. He was / is a killer drummer. As we hit our teens our music taste diverged. Him; more rocky, me; towards emerging electronic and techno sounds.
His drum teacher appears on this Clan Analogue compilation and gave him a copy. It was too experimental and electronic for Jem so he gave it to me to check out. I loved it, and within a year or two was attending every Clan event I could get to.
Only 200 copies of this were pressed and this was the first record in my collection. It triggered three decades of record collecting.
I’m sure Jeremy’s drum teacher has no idea that his act of generosity led to a complete stranger’s lifelong love affair with vinyl.
Thanks to Jem and his drum teacher.
When I was six I was given a small red record player and a 7 inch single of Dancing Queen in 1976. Little did Mum know I was gay or that ABBA would become a huge part of my life. I then got a new ABBA album every year at Christmas till they disbanded. In 2001 Mamma Mia the musical came to Melbourne and Bjorn was in town and being interviewed by FoxFM early one morning. I dragged a friend with a camera and we waited for him to arrive. I was 31, like a giddy child when he appeared and as he signed my original single and posed for a photo with me. It’s been framed ever since. I did fly to New York in 2010 for ABBAs Hall of Fame Induction and met Benny and Frida and they signed my Money Money Money Single.
It can often take a while to find “your people.” I found Mr Rowland in his record shop right opposite Kogarah High School. By 3rd form in 1968 Mum had got used to me being late home from school because I would always divert to the record shop on my way home. Towards the end of 1968 Mr Rowland showed me an album he told me he thought I would like. That’s how I met Joe South. I scrapped and saved to get the precious $5.25 to buy my copy of Introspect. Mr Rowland knew me through so many long conversations, and what a wonderful gift, to have an adult take your musical ravings seriously. Trite as it sounds, Introspect changed my life, and Joe South became my hero. Here was someone who could so beautifully articulate all the frustrations this fourteen year old struggled to get out. None of my friends had even heard of Joe South until Games People Play became a hit the next year, unless they came near me, and were bombarded with any information I could find in those pre-Internet days. I bought all his subsequent albums and dreamed of sitting down to tell him how much he meant to me. It took a lot of years and a lot of good and bad experiences for both of us to reach 2001, but finally I sat down in Lowery Studios in Atlanta, Georgia with Joe South, where he agreed to meet up with this crazed Australian fan who’d been trying to find him for decades. They say never meet your heroes, but they’re wrong. It started a friendship I really treasured, and completed an incredible journey which started in that Kogarah record shop. I still thank Mr Rowland for knowing me so well. And I guess that shows why record shops remain such a vital artery in our cultural life, you never know where that first step through the door will lead you!
November 1977 the world was surprised by this quirky, high-pitched, hippie-style brunette in a long flowing red dress cavorting in a field somewhere singing about some bloke called ‘Heathcliffe’.
We were all completely captivated by the brilliant Kate Bush and I was also. She was on the radio, MTV, Countdown and #1 in the charts around the world. I purchased this on my birthday as a gift to myself. Loved it ever since. Was great to see her (now an enigmatic recluse) doing a duet with Peter Gabriel @ the London olympics.
The year was 1988, and my mother’s friend at university invited my mother to her apartment one afternoon, and when she arrived, the friend was sitting in a circle of tea candles on the floor in the middle of the apartment. ‘Boxhead’ by Scraping Foetus off the Wheel was playing from this 12″ very loudly from the friend’s turntable while she was sitting there. This totally freaked my mum out and she immediately turned and went straight home. The week after she received the same Scraping Foetus off the Wheel record on her front doorstep with a note attached that read “never speak to me again”. Mum always thought the record was cursed, and never touched it, so when I started collecting records, she was eager to hand it straight down to me… and I love the record and the crazy history of it too! So far it’s the oldest in my collection. It was released in 1987.
My oldest and first record I ever purchased when i was 6 years old. I was in love with Suzi quatro and I was convinced listening on the radio that the song 48 Crash was actually called 48 Drag. First thing i did when i got the LP was verify the title.. Gutted, but loving it at the same time. A few months later my mother took me to my first ever concert which was Suzi Quatro at festival hall, changed my life. This album was just S/T everywhere else in the world and was titled can the can for the Australian market only as it contained the track can the can which the rest of the world releases did not have. Turned me into a vinyl collecting junkie from that point.
Over the many years, I’ve moved and travelled and unfortunately lost many records from my prized collection. Being an 80’s child and an avid Powderworker (Midnight Oil fan), I am slowly building up my treasured Oils collection back up. My vinyls search has inspired my youngest daughter to go on treasure hunts to tip shops, Aeroplane Records (local weekly market stall), Garage Sales and more. She trumps me with albums from the 60’s, decorating her walls and stylising her room. The beauty of her search is that she’s keeping her “eyes on the prize”, as I have requested that she has the green light to buy anything by Midnight Oil!