I’m an avid collector of vinyl – not as seriously as I was in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. But I love vinyl! I especially love the rare gems. Those obscure short-run pressings that only a few lucky DJs have in their possession.
Record collecting for me began in the early 1970s. My first records were the Jackson 5 records, the prize included in cereal boxes. Those records were good for about 10 plays; after that, good luck!
I inherited my first record collection from one of my family members. They collected a wide range of music from The Temptations, New Birth, Rolling Stones, and WAR. I had tunes that other DJs didn’t have and, on some occasions, would ask to borrow. I could also enjoy the music I would later hear at the Paradise Garage and The Loft.
Like many collectors, I used to find rare gems at the local mom-and-pop stores. It was a pleasure to find mint copies of Ecstasy Passion and Pain’s, Touch and Go, and Brainstorm’s, We’re On Our Way Home 12. These were records DJs would die for sitting in old dusty bins selling for $0.25.
Working with former Studio 54 DJ Leroy Washington allowed me to view the record-buying process at a high level. We purchased collections from various DJs who were retiring, needed cash, or sold duplicates from their collections.
The most excellent record collection I ever witnessed being purchased was that of the late DJ Jonathan Fearing. Jonathan’s record collection was amazing! It was intact and in absolute mint condition. He had promos and rare test pressings that I never saw before. There are a few people around who remember that collection. We all filled in a lot of gaps in our collection!
Looking through my personal collection is like traveling back in time. Remembering how excited I was to receive a specific promo or finding that rare, out-of-print gem. My records are the thread of my life. Unfortunately, those Jackson 5 cut-outs were lost with time!
Whenever I travel, I make it a point to always scout for local record shops. I still get that thrill looking through record bins. Instantly downloading thousands of songs doesn’t compare to the actual hunt for vinyl. Plus, I really miss reading album credits!
Long Live Vinyl!
Vinyl label photos courtesy of Discogs.
Thank you to all collectors. Special thanks to Leroy Washington, Charlie Grappone, Abigail Adams, Victor Rosado, Estefano Riojas, Danny Krivit, Tim Richardson, Johnny D, Joe Clausell, Joe L. Warren, Osamu Chubachi, DJ Nori, and many others whose music taste and record collections have inspired me to continue collecting.