I know. When you read some of the jokes it seems like so much longer doesn’t it?
Much has happened since those first baby steps, so if you will indulge me, I thought I would have a brief wallow in the past, look at some of the things that have happened, and the ten articles that tell the story of Every Record Tells A Story…
First, for those who are newer to these musical shores, I ought to introduce myself. Here’s what you should know:
- My name is Steve
- I live in Leigh on Sea and work in London
- I do this for fun. The enjoyment of writing, discovering music, the records, chatting to other music enthusiasts.
I happened to mention to my wife other day that I hadn’t yet had my mid-life crisis, and, indeed, was probably overdue for such a thing, so she should keep a look out for sports cars in the driveway, Harley Davidsons and that sort of thing. She raised a perfectly-formed eyebrow in my direction to suggest I wasn’t seeing the wood for the trees, or to be slightly less metaphorical, the front room for the records.
Basically, I could have had a sports car, but ended up with a load up of records instead.
I wouldn’t have it any other way…
I started writing the blog as a nostalgic trip through the music I had grown up with, which made it unique in its devotion to ZZ Top when all the other proper music blogs were talking about Arcade Fire.
One of the first things I wrote was a jokey guide to taping songs off the radio. (1) Six months later I received a call from a BBC producer asking me if I would appear on a documentary about the pop charts.It’s funny how these things come about.
In the meantime, I had started collecting albums by The Beatles, and wrote about a bet with a friend to buy all their original albums for less money than the 2012 box set, (2) a series that sparked in me further enthusiasm for all things vinyl.
In this first year I also wrote about my top fifty books about music (3), which might be worth a glance if you are between reads.
I bought a small camera* that first year, and a friend who knew more than I did about such things told me how to take photos in low light at gigs which sparked an interest in photography. I still keep a page of gig photos, (4) and sometimes even update it.
In the second year I wrote about Shades Record Store, (5) and this is still a favourite page of mine: not because of the article, but because of the fifty or more comments from other people who remember the shop, and indeed some who worked there. The article was later printed in The Guardian on Record Store Day.
Spotify was beginning to gain traction by then, and I wrote about how it remunerated artists (6). The article became personally significant because Classic Rock Magazine saw it, got in touch and asked me to write something similar for the magazine – a proud moment.
I was on their radar because of a previous flight of fancy – another joke article about sexism in hair metal bands, which they reprinted online (7).
A further vinyl challenge – this time with David Bowie (8) – gave me a good excuse to complete my collection and further my appreciation of The Dame. Further vinyl capers have included Neil Young and Aretha Franklin.
The article that has got the biggest reaction was the spoof piece I wrote about there being a university degree in record collecting (9). I have some nice memories of the phone going crazy on twitter and of the many comments from people who perhaps recognised the searing inner truth therein about the psyche of record collectors. Or just liked a laugh.
And more recently I have dabbled in a few longer reads. Stories of Queen, Kyuss, The Flaming Lips and B.B. King are favourites, and I did enjoy writing this one about the Birmingham Fab Four: Black Sabbath (10).
So there you are. Five years, ten articles and the story of Every Record Tells A Story.
The same old rubbish to be honest with you….
Thank you if you have read and enjoyed any of this awful old nonsense in what aims to be a happy corner of the internet – it’s a genuine pleasure to write and I hope it raises a smile and nudges you to play a good tune or two from time to time.
* Canon S95 for the photographic enthusiasts out there. Most of the photos featuring in the blog are taken with that.