Aaaah. Nothing gets me as excited as the smell, feel & sound of fresh vinyl. That whole process where you painstakingly admire the artwork, carefully scan the inner sleeve before putting stylus to wax is indeed a ritual many have forgotten about. Worse, in this digital age of downloads, some punters out there aren't even familiar with the concept of a long player never mind the lost art of record collecting.
Sure, there are those who frequent the Sunday bazaars (Amcorp mall being the most popular) in search of lost treasures while some specialist stores (Ricecooker shop at Central Market annexe) still stock these shiny black discs. But by and large, vinyl is in danger of going the way of the eight track cartridge - teetering on the edge of hi-fi oblivion.
Many visitors to my home have expressed their surprise that I still play and slavishly collect vinyl. A well-travelled friend of mine who himself has loads of CDs asked whether the turntable & records were my dad's (Nanda, that'd be you). I politely told him my dad isn't a fan of Slayer, Entombed or any of the other noise merchants that populate my collection. I was a bit surprised that this bloke was ignorant of the fact that records were still in vogue given that he fancied himself as a bit of deejay! Another friend's (then) galfriend loudly exclaimed, "Oh wow! A gramophone." She was referring to a fairly new Rega Planner 3 which cost a quite a fair bit! Oh well, at least she knew that it was a piece of equipment that reproduces music.
Which brings me to another tale I heard from my old friend, Joe Kidd, the Peter Pan of Punk & also the owner of the aforementioned Ricecooker shop. Had not seen this guy for a good few years & was feeling bad bout not dropping by his new enterprise. Anyways, he regaled us with how he had released one of his Carburetor Dung tunes on 7" vinyl which was available thru mail order. One such order from some far-flung corner of the planet was returned with a note, "How do I play this thing?" Fookin thick piece of shite or what?
But what got me senses all tingling was the sight of a couple of stacks of fresh, unopened, virgin vinyl at his shop. With sweaty palms, I caressed each record while examining the cryptic band logos and the never heard before record labels. I HAD to buy one & requested for some grindcore - Joe pulled put a suitably obscure title - Disfigured Corpse's Mega Ultra Intergalactic Core 2000!
Rushed home, peeled off the protective wrapping and put needle to the groove! I may be an overweight, balding middle aged guy. But I was fooking headbanging away as soon as the first power chords came pummeling out of the speakers. Disfigured Corpse - remember that name. Great grindcore from the nether regions of . . . the Czech Republic! For 40 minutes, I was Mosher No1 all over again. It was fooking fantastic!
To all the record collectors out there - keep on keeping on! The legacy of the Long Player must be kept alive for future generations. Do you want yer children to grow up listening to just top 40 shite or do you want em to be well informed citizens armed with an in-depth knowledge of Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Led Zep's Physical Graffiti?
A final note to some of me "former" record collecting brethren - Pure, Kiaq, Surin, Sasha, Idzuan - do not let yer records die a natural death for reasons such as kids, wifey, work!!! Never forget these shiny wonderful things are a direct connection to our (rebel) past & is also a guaranteed fountain of youth! Remember, rockers (& record collectors) don't grow old, they just get arthritis . . .
PS: See y'all (most of you anyway) at Napalm Death gig for a blast from the fooking past!!!