I’ve talked about this before on Flea Market Funk, but when Mr. Pat James Longo talks, you listen. Longo, a major record collector, music historian, musician, DJ, and artist is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to music and vinyl records in general. I look forward to his monthly Primitive Sound System email newsletter which highlights his monthly vinyl scores (complete with catalog numbers) and what he is going to play at the get down monthly at DC’s Tavern in Jersey City, NJ. His collection was featured on Dust & Grooves a few years back, and it grows stronger every week. So when he mentioned the 2000 Alan Zweig film Vinyl, I wondered why I hadn’t come across it. The Toronto based film maker has used the medium of film to explore issues in his own life and the struggle with his record addiction. He’s wrestled with romance, being a curmudgeon, and his obsession with vinyl records.
“My argument in the film is ‘It’s not just the music. I don’t think there is a thing as just music.” -Alan Zweig
Any one of us who collect vinyl records does it for a reason. Some do it because we are passionate. Some do it just to have objects. Some of us are obsessive compulsive. Some do it because of reasons we know not why. This documentary explores them all, but also focuses in on Zweig’s personal reasons for being a collector, why it may have led him down the path he took in life, why he hasn’t settled down, and really touches the core of any vinyl record collector’s motivating force to keep vinyl records. Watch this film, and then ask yourself: why you do it? Get down deep. I think you’ll find some reasons you never thought about. This movie is incredible and depressing at the same time. What’s incredible is listening to all of these people wax poetic about the reasons they love vinyl, why they collect, and their motivation to live the lifestyle. These are the people we encounter every day when we buy records. The depressing part is you may even realize that we all have a little bit of these things that motivate us to collect (however depressing they are) in all of us. Pull up your favorite chair because you’re gonna be here a while. This is a great movie and a great sociological look at the habits and driving forces behind why people collect (or hoard) the black crack. We all know someone like this, but how well do we know ourselves?
Vinyl, A film by Alan Zweig