A while back I posed the question to the readers of Flea Market Funk: “What motivates you to collect vinyl?”. I got some interesting feedback, and wanted to share them through this series of submitted stories from readers. The first comes from Goodwill Hunter. Please enjoy his take on what motivates him to keep buying the black crack.
“I started digging late in high-school, once I got my license and transportation. ’94-95. Usta be that I was just trying to get all the hip-hop I could find. Liner notes with sampling info/credits eventually led me to branch out towards the sources of my favorite jams. I loved (many) a track that sampled “Nautilus,” so I copped Bob James One at a flea market near my hometown (go figure). Found a couple other dope tracks on there, and that brought me to Two, Three and 4. Next thing I know, I’m checking for anything on CTI or Tappan Zee. Looking at the credits, now I’m interested in whatever Ron Carter, Eric Gale, Idris Muhammad and Grover Washington, Jr touch…
Long story short, I’m well-over 15,000 records deep. It’s a full-blown obsession. Truth be told, I’ve got somewhat of an addictive personality. I don’t get too offended when fam & friends ask when I’ll be on Hoarders. Yet, diggin’ always seemed a little bit different than baseball cards and Hot Wheels did. It’s not so much about “the now,” but to learn about times passed. I wasn’t alive when most of these jazz cats and rock bands were in their heyday. It’s part history lesson, part art fair. My hip-hop DJing roots make me wanna cop that breakbeat/sample source material. The production side thirsts for the “untapped well.” I wanna find what you haven’t. And I want to utilize it in a way that you wouldn’t.
It’s getting tougher and tougher to unearth that ‘new’ old shit, thanks to the internet, eBay and father time. But the thrill of the hunt is insatiable. I’ll never stop diggin’ because there’s always something virgin to my ears. Most consumers in the CD and digital eras are passive. If they hear a song they like, they’ll download it and move on to the next one. It’s disposable. Oh no. Not me. I’ll track down the sample source and anything else that that artist/group dropped. I’ll check for the back catalog for the new artist. Featured guests, too. Then, it moves on to the labels. And so on, and so on, and so on… You know the drill.
“Diggin’ always seemed a little bit different than baseball cards and Hot Wheels did. It’s not so much about “the now,” but to learn about times passed. I wasn’t alive when most of these jazz cats and rock bands were in their heyday. It’s part history lesson, part art fair.”- Goodwill Hunter
As they say, music is a gift that keeps on giving. I couldn’t agree more. That being said, a good score is so much more than just the music. I’m getting that aforementioned history lesson, plus a 12×12 piece of art (suitable for framing). It’s tangible in a way that digital can never be. I must physically touch the record, needle (well, tone arm) and turntable to hear the sounds. The visual aspect of spinning platters of wax is aesthetically pleasing. The dingy dungeon that houses my collection, coupled with the sweet sounds blessing my ears, usually causes a spark of something to enhance the olfactory receptors. Sight, vision, smell and touch. Never tasted the wax, but 4 out of 5 senses ain’t bad… (I can always drink a brew if I need a taste. And, it is a way to “see dead people,” so to speak. Sixth Sense be damned).
Out of town treks now require allotted hours for trainspotting and the dig. Sometimes the trip revolves around the dig (at least in my eyes). I love my girlfriend’s out-of-state fam and all, but even they are starting to understand that Black Friday DITC sessions are gonna become a seasonal tradition.
Of course, you gotta love the fam/friends that see the ‘Wall of Sounds.’ “Wow. What are all of these worth?” they ask. Or, “You could make a lot of money selling this stuff.” Yeaaaaaaaa—no. You can’t put a pricetag on the time spend flipping through Babs and Johnny Mathis records to pull out that Sylvers joint. Records are only worth what someone else is willing to pay for them. And nobody’s ever offered me a blank check. I’ve tried to talk myself into flipping wax, but I just can’t seem to rationalize the transaction. I’d just use the money to buy more wax.”
I’d love to hear more about what motivates you to collect vinyl….email me your testimonials to firstname.lastname@example.org