Record Store Day: How was It For You?

Record Store Day 2013 RSD

Yesterday, a large number of men were on their knees, crouched over a glossy picture, filled with an ecstatic mixture of lust, anticipation and relief.

That’s right, it was Record Store Day and we were all looking at our new purchases.

How was it for you?

I was pretty happy with my haul which included the David Bowie picture disc of Drive In Saturday. This was the fourth in a series of picture discs of his Ziggy-era singles which began with the release of Starman on Record Store Day 2012 with “Jean Genie” and “John, I’m only Dancing” following up later in the year.

David Bowie Drive In Saturday picture disc RSD RSD13

All have alternative versions of each single captured on them – this latest one is from the Russell Harty show in Jan 1973 – the show where he first announced the title of forthcoming album Aladdin Sane.

Fives Records was resplendent and busy. There was a DJ playing records inside, the owner’s niece sang some songs and whilst the first losers and eBay flippers paying customers allegedly arrived at 2am, there were 15 in the queue at 5.30am and by a quarter to eight I was 29th to line up in a line that stretched to about sixty people by opening. Later on, in a festival atmosphere, I saw local author Zoe Howe milling about in the midday sunshine whilst outside, some entrepreneurial folk from were selling “Festivival Kits” including deodorant, earplugs, chewing gum, glowsticks and toothpaste (but not condoms, roll-ups and toilet roll…). Nice idea, and good luck to them.

Fives Records

Fives Records

I also secured the David Bowie white vinyl 7″ of Where Are We Now / Stars Come Out Tonight,

David Bowie The Stars Are Out Tonight RSD 7

…the Pink Floyd pink 7″ of See Emily Play..

Pink Floyd See Emily Play RSD Record Store Day RSD13

a nice re-issue from Tame Impala of their debut EP and Pulp’s last single.

Tame Impala RSD EP Record Store Day

I did want the Mystery Jets (signed) double live album but Fives didn’t get any copies (they had plenty of everything else) but happily I had a friend at Rough Trade West who picked up a copy for me. In return he was unable to find a copy of the Moby/ Mark Laneghan 7″, a Brian Eno / Grizzly Bear 12″, and Can’s Ege Bamyasi played by Stephen Malkmus of Pavement in Rough Trade West, and so I (via Fives) was able to fill the breach in return. Happy Days and a good tactic as it happened…

Given my comments about the male dominance of record collecting a week ago, in the Record Store Day queue at Fives Records I was expecting to see perhaps just two females. I assumed both would be with their record-obsessed partners, looking at them perhaps in one case entirely supportively, and in the other with a look that blended boredom and frustration with disapproval quite superbly. However, in the event there was a decent splattering of both sexes – albeit perhaps still 90: 10 however.

So why is it mostly men who collect records? Do they believe a beautifully nurtured and tasteful record collection makes them more attractive to the opposite sex?

It does appear a somewhat quixotic pursuit to attempt to woo the opposite sex using a record collection. I can’t help feeling that you have more chance of seducing a woman whilst wearing a onesey.

Mmmm. Seductive...

Mmmm. Seductive…

Sure, people tell stories of how a mix-tape won the heart of their loved one. But let’s look at the whole picture for a minute. I’m prepared to concede that a few couples may have got together because of a mix tape. (Leave a comment below if that’s you). But I’ll bet they are outnumbered by ten-to-one by people who were either a) horrified by their partner’s taste in music or b) were mildly scared by the slightly too-earnest attitude – and jumped ship at the earliest opportunity. How many fixed smiles have women given and how many sinking feelings at the pit of their stomach have they felt when a new boyfriend gives them a tape with a puppy dog look and all they can think is “You don’t expect me to actually listen to that do you? And you’re not actually going to stay with me whilst I do are you?” It’s the same feeling I imagine an embittered record executive gets when a new band gives them a demo tape.

Many years ago, someone I know well who shall remain nameless (let’s call her “my wife” for the sake of the story) was once introduced to a guy (who shall also remain nameless – we’ll call him “my friend Neil” just for the story) at a party. Neil (ok, that is his real name) proceeded to talk at enormous length and with no little accomplishment about the qualities of a band (let’s call them “The Smiths”) that he liked. After what seemed to be an hour and a half, my wife (for it was she) turned to Neil and asked him, “Are you always this boring?”

That, my friend, is pretty devastating to a Morrisey fan. He was so surprised, he almost stopped talking about them for five minutes. Almost. So not the best way to endear yourself to people then…

So putting aside that motive, could people collect vinyl for other reasons?

The other old lie reason people give for collecting records is that their collection might be valuable one day.

I wonder how many people actually sell their record collections for a profit? In the majority of cases it is probably more likely that the collector will sadly pop their clogs whilst a house clearance specialist buys the lot from their still-grieving widow / widower for twenty quid – because actually she (let’s assume widow for a minute) is just glad to see the back of all that clutter her late husband used to obsess over and it’ll give her room for some more scatter cushions… (NB. the scatter cushion reference was a deliberately sexist comment included to check you’re awake).

So can Record Store Day bring couples together and spread love into the world?

Well – it’s not exactly meant to. It’s just a day when (mostly) blokes buy limited edition records of bands they like consoling themselves with the fact they have paid eight quid for a seven inch single by the thought that one day it will be worth something. (It will – probably three quid). Maybe, just maybe, two people will meet in the queue and find happiness together. I hope so. But not as much as I hope my new Bowie picture disc will increase in value over the next few years…

Record #180: Tame Impala – EP

Categories: Indie, Music

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

23 replies

  1. I collect vinyl beause, umm, it smells and looks nice, and I’m just a borderline obsessive-compulsive person (its what my blog’s about, really); actually why am I kidding around using the word ‘borderline’?! I do tell my wife that my collection is worth a small fortune but, as you point out, that’s a complete irrelevance anyway since none of it will EVER be sold. EVER< EVER< EVER.


  2. I think if you absolutely love music you inherently become a collector. Personally I love limited editions so it’s not the records that do it for me but the rarities. I do think that men are more likely to collect stuff in general – not sure why that is. Perhaps you don’t do the dusting at home? :p


  3. My husband got a few Bowie records for himself. And then he surprised me with the Jean Genie picture disco with Bowie and Cyrinda Foxe’s picture since I was friends with her before she died. It was the sweetest surprise especially since I had a bad morning.


    • Very thoughtful of him!
      Hope your day got better from there…


      • Aw, thanks! Yes we had a beautiful evening at a show. You can read my blog, I feel uncomfortable talking about myself in other people’s blogs 🙂


      • Thanks. By the way, is there a story behind that picture? I read in Starman (Paul Trynka’s Bowie bio) that Cyrinda and Bowie had an affair…


      • Which picture are you referring to, the one on the picture disc or the photo I took of Cyrinda and Justin Love?

        She did have an affair, not just with Bowie but with Angie too, the three of them in bed together, but Angie got bored and left the two of them alone together. It’s in Cyrinda’s book, “Dream On.”

        Cyrinda remained friends with both of them. When she had cancer she told Bowie about her wig and he said, “As long as it’s a good wig!” She went on and on about how good looking he still is (last I spoke to her in 2001, a year before she died).


      • I meant the one on the record, but it sounds like you knew her well! Thanks for sharing. She came across well in the book I read. “Beloved by everyone” and a “Marilyn Monroe lookalike blonde bombshell…” were two quotes I found straightaway.


  4. I loved Record Store Day yesterday! My local store has been one of my favorite places on earth for years. They didn’t get the new Bowie so I was a little bummed about that but I did get the RSD release for Mumford and Sons. And some other dusty keepers for my collection. Long live vinyl!


  5. It is a good question why more men than women seem to be collectors of vinyl. I appreciate it, but don’t collect myself- though it’s really more because of time and money factors than anything else. Ironically, I work with a multi-million dollar sound system every day, but at home I don’t even have external speakers for my TV. Sort of like how chefs don’t cook at home I guess. My now-husband, then-boss and I first bonded while he was flipping through my road CD collection and I had every Rush album. I met one of my best music friends while loading in a show in London and he saw my iTunes library, and asked everyone he didn’t know until he found me. He’s turned me on to more artists than I can count. Music was the defining factor in all my friendships growing up.

    It looks to me like you scored well on Record Store Day! Oh, and thanks for the “John, I’m Only Dancing” ear worm. . .that will make me happy all afternoon.


  6. First of all, SCORE on that “See Emily Play” 7″! Glad to see you took our advice about focusing on Barrett-era Pink Floyd….

    Secondly, a law should probably be passed against presenting compilation tapes or CDs as a way of pitching woo – but you’re right; it does have a filtering effect.

    I learned long ago to make compilations for myself, since I’m the only one qualified to appreciate them properly.


  7. Great haul there! I think it’s impossible to explain the rush that comes with buying new vinyl to the non-music junkie. Especially when this said purchase is extremely rare or valuable. As long as there are people like us out there vinyl will never die. CD’s will eventually die, and then it’s turntables and mp3 players for all!


  8. Nice post. As for the male vs. female thing, I learned at a young age that if you wanted to hang with the dudes, you had to know who Vngwie and Alex Lifeson are… or, in my case, were, because I was young a long time ago. But I love vinyl, and my collection merged well with that of my husband, co-mingling Adam & The Ants with Zappa, and the like.


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