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I am writing this from my sick bed. All things being equal, this ought to be a luxury divan in a private room in the Betty Ford clinic with a view of the Pacific and two leggy nurses in constant attendance to mop my brow… and any other part of me that feels feverish. The reality is somewhat different: a green sofa from Ikea, in a suburb of North London with a view of the Edmonton waste disposal plant and its spewing chimney. The radio is full of phone-ins, the TV is full of people sliding downhill fast which I can identify with a little too much at present. The record deck is in the front room which might as well be in LA for as much as I feel inclined to get there. I'm suffering from a virus, diagnosed as man flu by Dr Wife, who is expert in these matters. From time to time I slip into a delirious sleep in which all the records on my wants list dance in front of me and then disappear just as I am about to catch them, a bit like in real life when I bid for them on eBay.

Luckily thanks to the power of paracetamol and the distraction of youtube, I am able to function and take my mind off it. What I definitely should not do is spend all day hunting for vinyl on t'internet in the absence of actually being able to stand up and stuff like that. The last thing a sick bloke should do is drive his bank manager to phone him up and ask him just who Graal Records are and how come I am exporting half the UK Economy to a record dealer in France. It's quite peculiar when you think of it: some struggling bloke somehow raises the wherewithal to make a one-off record in a ghetto studio in Jamaica. It doesn't so much bomb as barely even exist. Forty years later it turns up in France and is snapped up by a fat bloke sitting on a couch in London who is delighted to own it. The bloke in Jamaica didn't make it to cheer me up or for export to Europe: all art takes on a life of its own once you create it.

Earlier in the week we'd been planning the next edition of the mag, to include a story about a legendary venue, some remarkable Abba rarities that I've been gobsmacked by, and an interview with the amazing Smokey Robinson. Mind you, if the Betty Ford nurses turn up, the mag may be a little late coming out.

Hope all is well with you, thank you for reading this and Record Collector, best wishes,

Ian McCann


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