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Back in the semi-real world after last week’s excursion to the Oscar ceremony/Argos – delete whichever sounds more likely. Spent Sunday afternoon going over old times with a mate while listening to The Small Faces’ Autumn Stone, which reminds me that we have a fab vinyl prize related to that band coming up in the mag that’s out in April. Further weekend musical highlights included digging out Millions’ Love Of Jah Jah Children, an underrated deep reggae thing and ting if ever I heard one, and this little soul gem. Have also been spinning tunes galore by Suede, which has upset other members of the household, who don’t do glam-indie or Britpop, but you know, my artistical and musical integrity just cannot be categorizated, can it? Nah.
Back in the office we are sweating buckets over the next issue of the magazine, which is not only because we ordered a Madras delivery and they brought us chicken phall with chilli naans, peppercorn rice and jalapeno raitha, but because there’s quite literally tons to do, innit. (Sorry, yes, I know I am talking like a BBC Winter Olympics commentator, brainlessness must be well catching, innit.) It’s a large issue in terms of editorial content, with fat features about The Marquee, T.Rex, ABBA and lashings more. It’ll hit the shops on 27 March, assuming we ever actually finish it. If not, we’ll send you an exercise book, a Biro, one of Tim Jones’ photographs of guitar-shredding blonde starlets, and our apologies.
Pretending that I am a hip-hop yout’ down with da kidz (circa 1989) rather than an old fat music hack (circa today) has put me in a quandary. In what seems like another life now, I used to write about a lot of rap and was familiar enough on the scene not to be laughed out of hip-hop events the very moment I walked in – they used to wait 10 seconds while they remembered that they knew me, then laughed. One of the records I picked up at the time was Clear Lake Audiotorium by De La Soul: Tommy Boy kindly furnished me with a copy – on CD. This didn’t bother me because, well, even though I never stopped buying vinyl, CDs represented the future back then. But even though the CD is now worth more, because fewer copies were pressed and every hip-hop DJ that received it naturally binned it, hating CDs, I’ve had a nagging feeling lately: I need the vinyl. But you try getting one. I guarantee that there are so many pirate copies that it is nigh-on impossible to identify the real thing. Online dealers have them for sale, and while it’s easy to work out that the black vinyl 12” is fake, clear pale green vinyl pirate versions have muddied the Clear Lake. The correct pressing of the 12” is clear green vinyl and supposedly has “SRC” in the dead wax matrix, but I have been told that this is not always the case and there may even be a bootleg which bears the legend “SR”. Sigh. This is where provenance comes in: does a seller have a story about the copy he’s trying to flog which suggests he obtained it in a way that indicates it is the original press? I’ve yet to find a copy I feel convinced about. Don’t get me wrong, I do buy bootlegs sometimes, but only of unissued material I feel I must have; piracy, on the other hand, not only deceives the copyright holder, it ruins record collecting. In the meantime, the price of Clear Lake Audiotorium online has fallen, perhaps because mugs like me don’t dare buy it for fear of fakes. Nobody wins…
Anyway, best get my nose back to the grindstone… hope you have a great week, and thank you for reading this, and RC.
Have a great week,
Ian McCann, Editor