songs for a Taylor

According to fine local shop The Record Centre’s Facebook page, the store is about to place on its shelves some 80 Rush albums and collectibles.

That silence is the sound of me not hastening to join the queue of Rush fans probably lining up along Wellington as you read this.

I already own the first Rush LP, you see. The one without Neil Peart. The only one you need.

Not that you need it.

Record collectors are a different breed. And I say that as the proud owner of British, Canadian, American and Japanese pressings of Kate Bush’s debut album. Plus the limited-edition picture disc.

So I suppose it’s said with affection.

After all, if we’re to believe the endless stream of look-wow articles trumpeting the return of vinyl, there are more and more of us out there every day.

Not that I believe that either. But the media need their annual go-to subjects. And in recent years, vinyl records’ meteoric rise to an estimated one per cent of annual music sales, has been a favourite.

And I salute my fellow addicts. Again, we are a different breed.

As are the record-store owners that feed our habit. Maybe not John the Record Centre man; he seems together enough for a music geek. But people who run record stores tend to be a little off.
And I say that as the proud former manager of a local used-record store.Last night, at the annual general meeting of a secret society to which I belong, a local record store owner interrupted the proceedings to denounce the use of USBs as a DJ tool and to proclaim the supremacy of vinyl. Then he walked out.

Now that’s a record-store owner.

As was (is?) my friend Andrew Taylor, the man who back in the day — a glorious day — brought Ottawa a cool record store by the name of Spinables. (It has since been replaced by Vertigo Records.) Andy has been on my mind today, what with all the talk of vinyl versus USBs (not that there’s much of a contest there) and a rush to Rush and all. ‘Cause store owners and collectors may be geeks, but dammit fun can be had. Moreover, I learned a lot from such a geek during my stint as a full-time Spinabler.

What sort of things, you ask? (Or, at least, I’m asking for you.)

Well, off the top of my head:

do not do business with a guy who walks into the store with a gym-bag full of CDs;

people carrying skates never buy anything;

The Beatles were great and everything, but Beatles collectors need to get out more;

you’d be surprised what you can sell by playing it to a store full of people;

if you pay more, you get better stuff;

every record store has a customer nicknamed “Mr. Sticky”;

Monkey Bars by Coney Hatch is pretty awesome;

so is Bobby Womack’s Harry Hippie;

if you listen to enough Status Quo albums, you might find something good;

never trust a Pink Floyd fan;

Ottawa-Gatineau still loves Edie Brickell;

and, always give a break to the kid that has to pool his or her change to pay for an LP (you were that kid once).

Taken together, those lessons offer almost everything you need to get by in this world. Thanks, Andy, wherever you are.

Which would be somewhere in Toronto, I suppose. Listening to Harry Hippie.

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