- Paperback: 230 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First and First ed. edition (1 Nov. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312304277
- ISBN-13: 978-0312304270
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 20.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Vinyl Junkies: Adventures in Record Collecting Paperback – 1 Nov 2003
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About the Author
Brett Milano is a longtime Boston-based music journalist who once interviewed Joey Ramone and Barry Manilow on the same day. He compiled and annotated the Boston punk history CD Mass. Ave: The Boston Scene (on Rhino); and has written liner notes for albums by Todd Rundgren, the Cars, and the Smithereens. He has written for Billboard, Pulse and the College Media Journal; and can now be read weekly in the Boston Herald and the Boston Phoenix. Aside from a short-lived Boston Rock Trivia volume that still turns up on Ebay to this day, Vinyl Junkies is his first book.
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This is an achievement for two reasons. 1. The author is American (and I'm not) so the book is very US-slanted, although there is a small piece relating to the UK. 2. By its nature, the book deals primarily with obscurities - that's what makes collectors foam at the mouth. It is difficult to understand the excitement felt by a collector over a 1930s blues record which sold only a handful, and which the collector has no intention of playing - UNLESS YOU'VE BEEN THERE!!
..and that's what makes the book. If you've been there, you'll "get it". If not, you might just think we're all nutters, but you'll still enjoy reading about us.
Now can someone rise to the challenge and produce a (decent) UK equivalent??
The books tries to explain the passion of collecting from many different perspectives, through the eyes of collectors (some famous - like Peter Buck (of REM fame), Robert Crumb (cartoonist) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), others not so famous but equally obsessed. From a psychologist point of view - clinical (relationship to low sertraline) to psychotherapy. As a result we get discussions about the sensuality of vinyl and wonderful quotes like "CDs are like sex with a condom".
We explore the kinds of collecting that go on - from types of records - old pre-war 78s, 1st issues of records, special prints like shaped coloured vinyl, those quickly taken out of circulation through to records that just seem to be rare and then the plain odd like albums commissioned by Listerine (the mouthwash) advocating the product's wonders to people thinking they're going to make it big putting out just tuneless oddities, to the child like contributions like Sammy Squirrel Teaches the Multiplication Tables (Which apparently has a publisher's address on the cover of The Metaphysical Motivational institute, Drawer 400, Ruidoso, NM) and psychotic wonders such as "Sit on My Face, Stevie Nicks" by the Rotters and Naughty Rock 'n' Roll by the P-Verts or maybe various artists on the Sugar Tits Label.
As the book progresses we get a chance to be taken on an exploration of the validity of the portrayal of collector/obsessive music fan portrayed in Nick Hornby's book High Fidelity by the character Rob Gordon (portrayed by John Cusack in Stephen Frears' cinematic adaptation); music collectors are geeky single men that can't sustain a relationship etc.
The book is however 10 years old - and sadly doesn't reflect how the rise in Mp3s has impacted. As everything get ripped and becomes for ever available (legally or illegally) on the web, what is happening to the passion of the hunt for the mysterious, weird and rare? Who knows, but its fun hearing the stories.
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Sure it has some good stories, but to few.Read more