are the avid collector and the avid record collector the same person?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

THE AVID COLLECTOR was the title of my column in Pulse! mag­a­zine. Pulse! (with the an­noying ex­cla­ma­tion mark) was the in-house mag­a­zine for Tower Records that was free to every cus­tomer in every Tower store in the world! The Avid Col­lector was about col­lectible records and ran for al­most two years in the early ’90s.

Ex­cept for oc­ca­sion­ally mis­spelling my first name (Neil in­stead of Neal), the Pulse! people were easy to work with and Pulse! readers were a good au­di­ence. I was given free rein by my ed­i­tors to write about what­ever caught my fancy. Here are a few of the ar­ti­cles that ap­peared in that column:

June 1992
“Bea­tles Rar­i­ties: Are Yours Le­git­i­mate or Fake?”

Oc­tober 1992
“James Brown: The God­fa­ther of Soul’s King Albums”

No­vember 1992
“Col­lecting Uncle John’s Band: Grateful Dead on Warner Brothers”

June 1993
“The Art of Jazz: David Stone Mar­t­in’s Album Sleeve Masterpieces”

There were two things over which I did not have con­trol: the title of each ar­ticle (the ones above are a com­pro­mise be­tween what I sub­mitted and the ed­i­tor’s taste) and the il­lus­tra­tions used (which I didn’t care about anyway).


Avid Collector: The May 1993 issue of Pulse! featured Depeche Mode on the cover

The May 1993 issue of Pulse! fea­tured De­peche Mode on the cover while my Avid Col­lector column fea­tured “Full Ra­dial Vivid Sound-O-Rama: Col­lec­tors Flip Over Dra­matic Early Stereo Sides.”

The Avid Collector

A few years ago, I started using a mod­i­fied ver­sion of that column’s title—Avid Record Collector—as a cat­e­gory on my Neal Umphred Dot Com blog. When I started this blog (Rather Rare Records), I moved all the pre­vi­ously pub­lished ar­ti­cles on record col­lecting from the Neal Umphred site to here.

Cur­rently, I use the term “the Avid Record Col­lector” on both my Rather Rare Records and Elvis – A Touch Of Gold blogs. Since I am using it, I thought I should ex­plain who or what the Avid Record Col­lector is—which is me!

Un­for­tu­nately, I was not able to se­cure the rights to the do­main name as some­body beat me to it.


Avid Collector: featured image from the SIXTIES MUSIC SECRETS website.

This image of the resting hippie was cropped from the fea­tured image of the Six­ties Music Se­crets web­site. I have al­ways as­sumed that the im­age’s artist was in­spired by the Lovin’ Spoon­ful’s classic hit Daydream.

The Avid Record Collector

For a brief while, I con­tributed a column about col­lecting records and re­lated topics to the Six­ties Music Se­crets blog. I mod­i­fied the title and the per­sona of my Pulse! column from the Avid Col­lector to the Avid Record Col­lector. So, this in­for­ma­tion should an­swer the ques­tion, “Are the Avid Col­lector and the Avid Record Col­lector the same person?”

For­tu­nately, this time I was able to se­cure the rights to the do­main name


Avid Collector: photo ot the Tower Records store in Los Angeles in 1976.

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of the page is of the Tower Records store in Los An­gles in 1976. For readers in­ter­ested in the his­tory of Tower Records, check out “The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records” by Ben Marks on the Flashbak web­site. The al­bums ad­ver­tised with the huge out­doors posters in­clude the sound­track to The Wiz, Jonathan Rich­man’s latest with the Modern Lovers, and Star­land Vocal Band’s self-titled debut.

I con­fess that I was al­ready dis­cour­aged by the rock and pop music scene of the ’70s and wasn’t paying a lot of at­ten­tion to the latest hits; there­fore, I cannot iden­tify the other al­bums on the posters.



All comments held for moderation

Notify of
Rate this article:
Please rate this article with your comment.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments