I know you think that my life is all about lying on a bed of vinyl and drinking warm fermented panda milk through a straw, but nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who owns a record shop will be fully aware of just how, er, unusual certain customers are. Stuck behind the counter, you can become a sitting duck for every dodgy obsessive in the area – and sometimes International Agents Of Dodgy Obsession fly in just to finger your stock and seek a different audience for their deep knowledge of Iraqi picture disc pressings of Sonia on the Saddamophone label. This is, of course, why a few – just a very few – record shop staff develop a case-hardened personality: they know how dangerous it can be to show the caring side of their nature. Well, it is like that in here. Except the obsessives in this instance are not the readers, who are to a man (and it is usually a man) far more polite and pleasant than I could ever be. No, the trouble comes from our staff, who are sometimes so bananas that it makes me wonder what it says about me that I work for Record Collector.
This week, I have been asked if badgers are edible, whether I think Nigel Farage is a Genesis man or into jazz, and if Harold Faltermeyer’s Axel F was a tribute to, or possibly an aggressive act towards, Axl Rose. The maddest question of all was whether I watched Later With Jools Holland. No, I did not, but Beverley Knight wasn’t on it, apparently. I am expecting more strange talk when Ian Shirley resurfaces from his climactic hand-sanding of the next edition of the Rare Record Price Guide, which is due to be sent to the printer in about last week’s time. Anyone know if badgers are edible? I would say yes, because virtually anything can be eaten, although that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be ill as a result. Blimey, now I am trying to answer a bonkers question. What does that make me?
Regular unfortunate victims, sorry, readers, of this newsletter intro will be aware that I was waiting for my De La Soul/Dilla album, which eventually arrived intact and sealed from America. I am now too nervous to open it, although I’ve heard a soundfile. I’m now waiting for a dub LP and wondering if I should have gone to Canada to collect it personally (yeah, sure). Meanwhile, in the motor, I’ve been playing Tee-Set’s Ma Belle Amie CD, where Nederbeat meets prog with beat-ballad cheese for leavening, courtesy of the remarkable Pseudonym label, and Colour My World: The Songs Of Tony Hatch from Ace, which is more highway friendly than you might expect. I’ve got The Vogues’ You’re The One on the UK King LP Meet The Vogues but I hadn’t really twigged it was a Hatch opus until now. Ah yes, driving up High Road Stamford Hill with Petula Clark blaring… I am so ghetto.
Well, that’s it from me for now. Hope you have a great week and thank you for reading this newsletter and Record Collector.
Ian McCann (Editor)