Monday, August 24, 2009


I was out on business last week, following that I managed to tack on a few thoroughly enjoyable days back home. Although record shops and record shopping were not a particular focus, I did manage to have a cheeky peek in a couple of stores around Amsterdam. Well actually one store and a couple of market stores on Waterlooplein. There is little to say of Waterlooplein re: record shopping. It has been reduced to a damp graveyard of used Beebop Delux albums, one of the last places on earth that a Christopher Cross record might reach mid single figures. In fact, unless you are in the business of buying bike locks, spray paint or getting shouted at by drunk Kanye West types I'd probably give the entire area a wide berth.

That said the bricks and mortar 'real' record shop that I took time out to assess was well worth a moment of my time. Unfortunately I can't remember what it was called, I blame Amsterdam. A Google search brought up nothing - I had been hoping for a shot of the outside to include as a banner to this writing, but all I found was another shop called Back Beat and since that isn't the shop I went to it seemed more than a little misleading to include said image here.

Anyway, it was a good shop. Some great stock. The only place I have ever seen the third 'Cymande' album in the racks, a Black Jazz label section and that really expensive Terry Callier album that I want on the wall (sadly, despite being an affordable 45 Euros the condition of the playing surface was akin to that of central Dresden shortly after the fire-storm). The stock was almost exclusively 'Soul/Jazz' but the odd Stooges album indicated that the guy behind the counter wasn't as bliknered as many of his brethren.

Despite being tempted by amongst other things a copy of 'Adam's Apple' by Doug Carn I actually left empty handed... Could have been the heat, could have been that I was still on a downer after checking the condition of the Terry Callier album. It was one of those 'I'll have that' moments. Even when I saw the top split on the sleeve I was still convinced I would be taking it home with me, even the writing on the back sleeve didn't put me off... Then I checked the record and saw that it had been the sight of one of the more questionable Allied arial bombings of the second World War and hastily put it back.

Anyway, I didn't find a picture or link or website for the record shop so for now it shall remain the thing of slightly hazy Amsterdam based legend. What I did find however was another blogsite by a guy called and on there a series of interesting questions he had lifted from that yellow topped king of vinyl based wank fodder Record Collector...

Although I feel the good folks at RC are over thinking this and that the entire thing could have been summarized with a snappy 'Seriously, just fucking why? Go outside and get some fresh air you dirty sleeve sniffing cunts!' I do understand things being elongated for the sake of the magazines advertising revenue if nothing else. Anyway, it interested me enough to answer them below.

1. What do you collect and why?

Records. Primerily from the mid 60's to early 80's. Why? Because when I was about 8 a friend bet me he would have more 7'' singles by the end of the year than I would. Things spiralled from there, with him forgetting he ever set the wager and instead starting up an interesting side line in stolen car badges and tropical fish and me having about 40 singles by said years end.

2. How big is your collection?

Not entirely sure. Manageable, which is a bit like saying 'I have a tiny penis' in the contrary and aft 'size over substance' world of record collecting. Probably about 1500 records, the vast majority of which are there for a reason.

3. What do you think its worth?

That is a vile and despicable question. How much do you earn? In the wise words of my dear dad, it's only worth what somebody will pay for it.

4. How/where do you store it?

same as 80% of the record buying public - In some of those IKEA things.

5. What is the rarest/most valuable item you have?

Again, I have the feeling I have strayed into a cock measuring contest. Really not sure but I have enough Jazz, Kraut and No Wave to get most people hard.

6. What are you looking for?

Currently: Spring - Spring on Neon, the three Big Star albums, a decent copy of Osmium by Parliament. Pretty standard fodder really. It's all out there so it's case of being in the mood to pay or bid what people are asking.

7. What's given you the biggest thrill?

I was in Munich flicking through 'the racks' saying to myself, 'I wonder if I will ever find a copy of the 'Jane Bond and the Undercover men' EP and then withing about ten seconds there it was. I'd been looking for a while and was close to way over bidding on a VG copy from the US... Then just like magic. Anyway, made my weekend at the very least. Downside is it's a bit shit.

8. How do you track stuff down?

Ebay and record shops - Tick. CDandLP - *Insert 'incorrect' noise from Family Fortunes here*.

9. What is your favorite record store?

That's kind of part of the point of this blog and telling you would be like giving away the end of a film staring Kevin Spacey where he dies at the end.

10. How often do you listen to the music in your collection?


11. Is there a visual side to collecting?

Absolutely. If the sleeve is a pile of shit it doesn't get a look in, regardless of how good it is. I once threw away the cover to the Four Seasons 'Best of' double album because it made me sick. Fucking minstrels doing some 'hey nonny no!' nonsense. It was housed in a plain white mailer until it went to charity.

12. How will you dispose of your collection when you die?

I'm sure I will come up with some contrived plan possibly involving friends each choosing ten records each and the rest going to my wife or sister to Ebay...

13. What's your favorite all-time record?

Probably something achingly hip and equally obscure.


  1. When do we get to choose our ten records. I don't trust you to outlive 2010.

  2. dude, don't worry a copy of 'Queen - Live Killers' will be in there!

  3. Backshot,
    Lifted, yes, but acknowledged...

  4. Apologies Paul, nothing negative was meant by the term 'lifted'.