Jeff’s post on his relationship with music really got me thinking about my own relationship with it. My relationship with music dates all the way back to pre-school (early 80’s if you were wondering) and one of my earliest memories was sifting
through my uncle’s record collection and being enthralled by the likes of Billy Idol (I was obsessed with “White Wedding”) and Eddy Grant (Killer on the Rampage was my first ever music purchase) and that love has only grown exponentially.
I never had that personalized record store experience, but I certainly frequented the likes of Music World, A&A Records, Records on Wheels, and the legendary Sam the Record Man stores quite often. It wasn’t like money was growing on trees on anything, but it was always where the lion’s share of my money was directed throughout my adolescent and teen years, but even back then I had a strict 2-3 single rule before I’d pick up a new tape/disc, unless the press in Rolling Stone, Spin, Chart or Much Music (yes, they were once a great source of new music) spoke highly of it . For the most part, my musical journey was mine alone, fortunately I did eventually find a guide of sorts who would make me mixed tapes from his massive music library (Records, Tapes and CD’s) who introduced me to the likes of the Manic Street Preachers, Neneh Cherry, The Odds and Prince to name a few. Other than that, it was my voracious appetite that led me to the bands I listen to on a regular basis.
I eventually found a way to satiate that appetite, and I started writing for The Coast as a freelance music critic. This role provided free tunes and an opportunity to share my opinions on what I was listening to (something I was doing whenever anyone would listen, but now I got to be published). I still hadn’t adopted the idea of downloading my music, instead I got it for free, I picked what I listened to and got to write about it, what was not to like? It was a few years later where I started amassing an overwhelming musical database at home in the form of both a 1000+ disc music collection (which you never get a true appreciation for, until you physically have to move it) and gigs upon gigs of digital music. Jeff wasn’t incorrect when he talked about losing the connection with the music contained in his collection, it’s hard to have a love affair with everything, as you lose perspective on the great albums in your collection. Fortunately for me, as I got older, I really started to evaluate what I had and what I really wanted, and set up an online shop on Amazon to liquidate a portion of my collection (which I have since taken offline). I’m the farthest thing from a musical packrat, I have no qualms with deleting an album if I’m not going to listen to it, or parting ways with a disc that is merely gathering dust.
I still find and support local artists, and I selectively buy new music from the bigger acts, but the album has to be special for me to put down my money on the album (I’d rather see a band live when I can). I have listened to a ton of music, and continue to listen to music. I’m in a unique position I feel, that I have a responsibility to stay on top of the new music coming out, in order to communicate that information to the readers of both The Coast and HAFILAX, that and I have a fear of someone hitting the pause button on my collection and becoming like a lot of my relatives that have a sun bleached collection of CD’s that gather dust in the corner of their dens and/or living rooms that hasn’t had a fresh influx of tunes for well over a decade. I want to know what’s coming out, even if it’s not targeted to my demographic, I’d rather know, than not know. My relationship is still ongoing, and I plan to keep it that way for a while yet and I hope you stick around to see what we’ve been listening to.