What up DJ Prestige….I’ve got a question for you:
How does one find a balance in the love for family and vinyl?- EA, Long Beach, CA
That right there is a serious question. I’ll try to answer it to the best of my ability today. Before I was married and had kids, vinyl ruled the roost. My life basically revolved around the acquisition of records. As my lifestyle changed, and I got married and started a family, records were and are still important, but now my family comes first. I had to find my balance. First, you are going to have to find a spouse that is supportive of your vinyl habits and record collecting ways. That’s not always easy, but I am fortunate enough to have an amazing wife who is supportive of me in this area. I’m lucky that my wife is interested in music and records and still continues to buy and listen to vinyl. That’s a good start. As far as family is concerned, they always come first. Long gone are the days that you would spend a decent chunk of your pay on a stack of records and then figure out how you were going to pay that bill that was due later. Long gone are the days you skimped on groceries because you needed that Skull Snaps record. As a Dad and husband, I’m not just thinking of me, I’m thinking about a wife and kids. If buying X amount of records doesn’t make sense, then I have to pick and choose what I’m going to get, or skip certain “wants” if need be. That means maybe shopping in the dollar bin (which I do pretty well in any way) or thrift store rather then buying a $10 or $20 record online or at the record shop. I actually get my best records in the dollar or cheapie bins, that has been my philosophy for a long time. I love the thrill of the chase, finding gems on the cheap. I guess that is to my advantage when it comes to balance. Let’s face it, your want list is never complete, and you may chase certain records your whole life. For me, if I am meant to have a certain record, it will show up at the time I can get it. If not, well, it wasn’t meant to be and there are still plenty of records to dig for. Records are fun, records are enjoyable, but if you don’t strike a balance in your life (this applies to anything really), you are going to have problems. I’ve seen record guys lose relationships, businesses, houses, kids, cars, etc. because the records took precedence in their life. That is some heavy, heavy stuff. I couldn’t live with myself if I knew my family was going without because I needed a record that bad. You could collect every record you could find but if you neglect your relationships and family, what are you going to end up with? You will die alone with a lot of records (and maybe that’s what you want), but with no support system whatsoever. That’s not the route I want to go. Buying records for me, while it fuels the fire of Flea Market Funk and DJ Prestige, is not the end all be all in my life. You get to the point where you want to enjoy life and have that balance of your music (which you can share and pass on to your kids) and everyday goings on within a family unit. I’ve found more enjoyment in having a family than I ever did with records. True story. And believe me, I love records. In fact, that love will never go away. I will never stop buying records either, although my frequency and quantity might change, I’ll never stop. However, when you have a family, something clicks in you, and you realize that you are not the center of the universe any more. Children need attention, (even as I write this I have stopped a half dozen times to tend to my son). Diapers need to be changed, doctor’s appointments need to be gone too, dinner has to be cooked, hell, work has to be done by both partners to keep the whole machine fine tuned. Furthermore, if that means I can’t take certain gigs I used to because it will throw the family balance off, then so be it. I have done a lifetime of gigs big and small, and if it will not work with the needs of my family, then it doesn’t happen. Remember, you will never run out of records to find, but you will eventually run out of family if you don’t take the time to give them the attention they deserve. Steve Jobs once said “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. My advice to you EA is to find out what your balance is between vinyl and family, and live your life and balance.
In the not so distant future I’ll be doing a feature on what motivates people to buy vinyl. This will feature everyday collectors, DJs, professional diggers, producers, artists and the like. If you would like to spill your guts and tell FMF why you’re motivated to buy and collect vinyl, or have a question for Diggin’ In the Dirt, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DJ Prestige runs the site Flea Market Funk, digs for records, chases his kids around, and preserves the music and artists of Funk, Soul, Jazz, Reggae and Hip Hop one record at a time.