The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, November 12, 2007

(insert title here)

11-12-07 ( insert title here )

Believe it or not, I have actually started pulling titles out of my permanent collection (i.e. my list). I have often joked with myself, thinking “I can only buy a new title if I get rid of something already in the collection”. I do not really want the list to get any bigger than it already is. As I approached 20,000 titles, I definitely remember thinking “No more after 20,000” – but it only took a short while before I noticed the list being at 21,156. If I keep ‘pulling’ titles, can I get it back down to 20,000 without feeling too much compromise? First record to go under this new scrutiny is a 12” by an Australian band called 1927, from 1989. I got it because it is produced by Charles Fischer, a guy who had worked with Dave Dobbyn. But – if it ever existed – I never got their album, LP or CD. So, a one-off 12”, taking up a place on my list and some valuable shelf space in “Australia” – out of there! No, it likely isn’t of interest to anyone – and may just end up getting traded in with a large box of assorted vinyl to Amoeba San Francisco, when I go at Xmas.

Usually, when I go through my list, attempting to theoretically eliminate ‘duplicate’ titles (as in, when I have multiple pressings of a title) – I can usually whittle several thousand titles off of the total (not to say anything about format repetitions!). Even when I was selling off LP’s to buy CD’s, I never touched my 7” 45rpm collection very much – for another thing, there hasn’t really been anyplace ‘good’ in L.A. to sell 45’s – other than at the swap meet.

The big drive to get more vinyl started about 10 years ago. I consider my turning point (away from CD’s) when I wanted to look closely at the credit of “Home” by Procol Harum, and I discovered that the CD issue I had at the time literally ‘had no credits’… and when I went to get my trusty LP of it – it was gone!

In the last decade, I have taken on a few artists to collect that I never used to collect – The Monochrome Set, Yello, Cat Stevens, Paul McCartney etc. Particularly in the case of Yello, I have been able to find tons of stuff – Sir Paul has many more titles than Yello, but I seem less inclined to collect his ‘peripherals’ (read: variant pressings). I am always amused when I find an LP that has been on my ‘want list’ a long time – like since the 70’s!

To keep myself amused, I have been visiting a somewhat ‘guilty pleasure’ – playing Side 2 of albums that I usually only ever played Side 1! One such album is “Listen Now” by Phil Manzanera & 801 – I have loved Side 1 ever since the album came out 30 years ago, but…never got around to Side 2 until last week! Are there any records like that for you? I know with CD’s there’s no excuse to not listen to all of the album – but with LP’s – you had to flip the damned thing over! So, it’s like getting more of a favorite album after a long time – like bonus tracks, only better!

What should I get rid of? One of my 15 different copies of “We’re Only In It For The Money” by Frank Zappa or some more one-offs that didn’t lead anywhere? How to decide…eh, readers?


Anonymous Jim Donato said...


"One such album is “Listen Now” by Phil Manzanera & 801 – I have loved Side 1 ever since the album came out 30 years ago, but…never got around to Side 2 until last week! Are there any records like that for you?"

Maaaan, THAT is insane! I can't relate to that. Now sure, I have bought records and not listened to them for 10-20 years. But once I placed them on the turntable, both sides got played!

I onlt have about 1500-2000 records. A pittance compared to you. And I have enough room to store them in a cramped room. When I first bought CDs I would trade off the LP I "replaced" and in the case of the 50+ artists I "collect" this has caused me some regret! Like that 1st UK pressing [die cut] of Ultravox's Lament. Sure, I eventually got the limited edition, silkscreened black-on-black edition, but becaus e there was a US pressing of that title, garden variety UK copies are unseen. Sure I cought mine the week it came out in the UK, a few months before Chrysalis US got it out here, but I miss that copy!

Nevertheless, I have of late contemplated divesting myself of vinyl titles that I don't "need" for musical reasons. Not "collections" but garden variety music - one offs of my own. I could probably get rid of one of my 2 chrome baker's racks of 12" vinyl and not "miss" any music. Truth be told, I would welcome the 8 square feet of floor space in the room where all of this stuff is!

But the regret I have for vinyl harvesting 20+ years ago still sits at the back of my mind, and the heroin-like grasp of a simple record still does it for me. I can sit in a chair and just LOOK at records to great enjoyment.

I don't have any easy answers for you, Ron!

p.s. as Zappa is a core collection you'd be NUTS to get rid of ANY of it. Besides, when you die, someone is going to make some nice money off of that collection. Better it be as complete as possible!

5:33 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...


Not really thinking about ditching any Zappa vinyl.

No idea how the "only listen to one side of an LP" phenomena started, but it is real, my friend. I have sometimes joked that my "to be listened to" pile is about 35 years deep.

6:51 AM  

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