Dust, Grooves & More

4 years ago a massive coffee table sized book appeared on the market, documenting the lives of vinyl collectors and their outrageously large collections, an impressive piece of work.

Lavishly illustrated with great full-page photos and fascinating interviews by Eilon Paz of the mainly male (*) collectors, it provides a mind boggling insight of the world of the vinyl hunters.

Always on the lookout for some elusive record, whether it concerns a library record, Japanese pop 45s or an obscure Sesame Street album, they won’t give up!

I considered it a great read and at times felt a familiar rush coming back, the collector’s bug…

Starting as backpacking traveler and finally settling down in the late 80s in Thailand wrecked havoc to any attempt to revive a collection, whether music, books, or comics related. Most of it I sold during my trips back home as it didn’t make any sense to ship everything over.

Even so, as a not too seriously taken hobby I occasionally indulge in my quaint love of vinyl, not so much in playing (**) as well as admiring the (large!) artwork, labels, and sleeve notes.

1. Previous cats used the spines of my albums as scratching posts, no respect for music whatsoever… Ruay here is just puzzled by these 45s lying around.

Some 45s and 33s I brought (& still bring) over from my visits to the Low Countries, but here in Bangkok and Nonthaburi from time to time I managed to score some cool stuff (***), more than a few promo 45s for instance.

2. An old Chuck Berry instrumental on Chess Records, classic!

Of course what I have doesn’t compare at all to the characters in Dust and Grooves, but still, it keeps me entertained.

3. Not sure if this version was ever rereleased on any Talking Heads cd.

My hunting grounds do not get near the vintage vinyl shops from recent years, but instead focus on garage style sales and some of the really ancient records shop from years gone by.

4. A flexi disc (remember those?!) from Guitar Player Magazine.

In the last ones I can’t stay too long as the dust is usually seriously evil!

5. For a while New Musical Express magazine offered these free extended plays, most of them with unreleased (at that time) tracks.

6. Chuck Berry & Bo Diddley both made great songs (average 2 – 3 minutes long) with cool lyrics (especially Berry) and devastating guitar licks, but on their 1964 ‘super session’ album Two Great Guitars the 2 instrumental tracks were way too long at 10+ minutes. This DJ Copy edit at 2.55 is a much better alternative.

7. Canned Heat’s 1968 Living The Blues double album with some great psychedelic artwork from the 1971 rerelease!

8. In 1985 I bought Hal Willner’s That's The Way I Feel Now - A Tribute To Thelonious Monk, a brilliant double album that got me into Jazz at last! Note that this album still hasn't seen a proper rerelease on CD...

9. I grew up with ‘spaghetti westerns’ and Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks, so finding this 1986 album was quite something!

10. A collection of Tom’s early (pre-Swordfishtormbones) work.

11. Cool Blue Note album with Bobby McFerrin live in Copenhagen.

12. An unplayable 78 rpm which I found somewhere & kept as a curiosity…

13. Don’t Look Back was a huge hit in Holland at that time (1978), but hearing this dub version literally blew my mind (I don’t think I’ve ever recovered).

14. A 10 inch album of Erroll Garner I found last year at Panthip Ngamwongwan!

15. Christmas at the Patti, a 1973 double 10 inch album…

16. B.E.F.’s 1982 Music Of Quality & Distinction (Volume One) was released as an album, but also as box with 5 singles!

17. Mathilde Santing’s first 10 inch album on Idiot Records (great name!).

My first world music album? Not sure…, but it’s a good collection!

(*) Obviously women are much smarter than men!

(**) I don’t even have a record player and never understood the logic of playing something that only can deteriorate after each play… Also I remember being not happy at all every time one of my records somehow ended up with another (very audible) scratch…

(***) Not according to my own family, they consider me bonkers!


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