The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


11-13-07 18,250

If I had a record for every day alive, at age 50, I would only have 18,250 records. The “Big List” as of Nov. 1, 2007 was 21,154 – and I don’t turn 50 until next August! That’s roughly 1.16 records for each day alive. Or thereabouts. By the time I turn 50, I would like nothing more than to whittle my collection down to 18,250 titles – lose that excess 2,904 titles! Can I do it? Yeah, probably. And I want to! (21,185 as of 11-13-07)

I could definitely get rid of a lot of titles that I obtained for one reason or another – that I do not seem to ever get around to playing – “I always wondered what this was and it’s only $1” type stuff. Some of them got played, others not. And I really only want to keep vintage easy listening albums that have amusing cover versions.

But what if your task was to try and find a record / CD to buy each and every day of your life? Could you really find something each day, week after week, month after month, year after year? I didn’t buy them “on schedule”, but it looks like I’ve managed approx. 1.16 records per day – and my memory floods with days that I bought hundreds of records. Hundreds!

In 1987, I visited Australia for the first time – my friends took me to a famous used record store somewhat outside of the city – we were on our way to Healsville, the place with the famous animal sanctuary (where they have actually bred a platypus before). Long story short: I got to the aforementioned record store about an hour before it closed. I was in heaven – the Aussie dollar permitted me to buy whatever I wanted (it’s a fair bit stronger against the US dollar these days). But the store’s Saturday closing time came, and the guy wouldn’t even let me finish looking through his inventory – I only got to “S”, before he made me stop. I can only remember thinking, “If this bastard would only let me finish looking at the A-Z, I bet I he would earn another A$100 off of me!”. He tossed me out, I never got to go back and look at “T – Z”.

Recently in Japan, I found a new ‘secret spot’ – they had exactly what I wanted, and it was all at very good prices (mostly little paper album cover ‘kami’ sleeve CD’s). I made it in about an hour before closing, and I went nuts in 2 of their 3 stores – and, bless her, my GF took a photo of the staff waiting patiently for me to finish, out in the hallway. At some point, I believe the patient staff informed me – in Japanese – that it was closing time and would I please bring my intended purchases up to the counter, please. “Yes, yes, yes”, I thought – and I really did hurry. They made about another JPY 10,000 (US$83, then) for every additional 30 seconds they let me look. As my friend Joe says, my money (cash) ran out before my interest did.

I could occupy myself with continuing to try to keep buying a title each day I am alive – but I feel equally compelled to try and cut back the collection down to the 18,250 mark – by the time I turn 50 next August.


Anonymous Jim Donato said...


There was one year, 1983, I believe, that I bought as much as a record every two days. Maybe it was a record or more a day - I can't remember. But I do remember being impressed with the feat. Considering how little money I had back then, I'm MORE impressed. But I always had a knack for stretching vinyl dollars back in the day.

I stopped making records of music purchases in the early 90s when I began hitting record shows in earnest; 40-50 SCUs per day. (SCU=Sound Carrier Unit, ie. a record OR CD) At that point the recording of purchases stopped and it never happened again. Though a part of me really likes the idea! Of course, in the last dozen or so years, purchases have dropped off considerably to the point where it hardly makes sense to re-institute the practice. Or does it? (insert stinger)

At least when I visited Yesterday & Today Records in Pikesville, MD, it was about a month before he packed in the B&M store! And I was there for hours. And I bought about $400 worth of music I couldn't afford. And everything was 20% off marked price. And it was GOOD! It was the best store I have ever been in in that it sold exactly what I wanted [new wave] and was very neatly organized with great prices!

But soft! What record store from yonder window breaks? I am going to Cincinnati next weekend for some software training. And Cincinnati is home to:

Shake It Records! Looks like a THICK & JUICY store!

Wish me luck!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...


Do you still have any lists of your purchases? I have mine in earnest since '02. I did it in '74-'76, but stopped once I got a job in a record store (July '76). Never been to Cincinnati.


7:20 PM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: Lists

I believe that my list of purchases [from 82 or so to 92] is in my Big Box Of Ephemera. The next time I open it to review the contents, I'll set them aside if I find them. As I recall, I listed the record, price and place of purchase.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

More organization! More records!

7:50 AM  

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