dads and hollysiz let the light come through

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AS A TARGET OF BULLIES most of my high school years, I have grown up as a rea­son­ably ‘con­trolled’ adult (I have a veeeeeery long, veeeeeery slow-burning fuse to my once hair-trigger temper), con­sti­tu­tion­ally and philo­soph­i­cally anti-violence in­sti­ga­tion (versus the ne­ces­sity of using vi­o­lence in de­fense), but quite ca­pable of taking care of my­self. (Of course, being a 200-pound 6-footer tends to dis­suade most people from get­ting in my face.) READ MORE

a few faverave albums of the cut-out era

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THIS ARTICLE ad­dresses the first few years in which deleted record al­bums flooded re­tail stores across the country. Stores that had never con­tem­plated a bar­gain bin in their record de­part­ment started one and record-buying was never the same. But these records should have had a huge im­pact on the early record col­lec­tors price guides, but did not.

This was written as an ex­plana­tory page (on Word­Press, a page is dif­ferent from a post) on my Elvis – A Touch Of Gold site. READ MORE

on my first price guide

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THIS ARTICLE is about my first price guide, the 1985-86 edi­tion of the Rock & Roll Record Al­bums Price Guide. I dis­cuss some of the rea­soning that I used and the re­sults that had an im­me­diate and pro­foundly un­set­tling im­pact on the hobby and busi­ness of selling and buying records. It makes public the rea­soning that went be­hind the de­ci­sions that sticker-shocked (shocked I say!) READ MORE

listen people to what I say

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IT WAS EARLY 1966 and my 12-year old sister Mary Alice just bought her beloved Her­man’s Her­mits’ new single, Listen People. She pro­ceeded to play it night and day, over and over and over, dri­ving my bother and me to be­yond dis­trac­tion. Diving us batty! In fact, so far be­yond dis­trac­tion, that we de­cided, “Nev­er­more!”

On an oth­er­wise lu­verly Sat­urday af­ter­noon, my brother Charles and I—knowing full well that our par­ents were out and about shopping—captured our sister, took her to the base­ment, killed her and cooked her and ate the ev­i­dence. READ MORE

linked in with cheryl pawelski, record producer and collector

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I WAS INVITED by a young mu­si­cian in Eng­land to make a con­nec­tion on the LinkedIn, the “world’s largest pro­fes­sional net­work.” Of course I ac­cepted it, de­spite the fact that I have yet to meet anyone who has ac­tu­ally ben­e­fited pro­fes­sion­ally from any of these LinkedIn con­nec­tions. Nonethe­less, I cer­tainly don’t know everyone on that net­work, so maybe I was missing some­thing. READ MORE

channeling the rich sonic palette of george martin

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THIS IS PART 3 of an on­going con­ver­sa­tion with or about Lawrence Bray con­cerning his ca­reer as a solo artist and as a member of the group Around Town. The group has a new record Out Of Con­trol and both it and its ac­com­pa­nying video gave me great joy to par­tic­i­pate within. Here I have a few words with Michael God­frey, the writer, arranger, and pro­ducer of Out Of Con­trol, who chan­nels the rich sonic palette of George Martin. READ MORE

on grading records for sale part 1: ‘still sealed’ and ‘mint’ are not the same thing

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FRIEND WAS LEARNING THE ROPES of making money by selling other people’s ‘col­lec­tables’ by auc­tioning them on eBay. It’s his ex­pe­ri­ence that in­spired this ar­ticle, “Grading Records for Sale Part 1.” Let’s pre­tend his name is Luke. As the bulk of Luke’s con­sign­ments were from friends, it was a rea­son­ably re­laxed af­fair and no one was trying to pull the wool over the other’s eyes. READ MORE

there’s the rub and it’s all taken care of with a sanford magic rub

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THIS IS A TRUE STORY of the derrings-do that so often tran­spire in the swash­buck­ling (and often pi­rat­ical) world record col­lecting. And it’s an honest to Grom­mett true story be­cause Wholly Grom­mett does not like people leading people on with falsehoods—especially when it comes to records. Grom­mett is very, very con­cerned about the state of record col­lecting in the world today. READ MORE

collectors collect to collect (because the collector wants what the collector wants)

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FOR THOSE OF YOU with an in­terest in col­lecting, the Record Col­lec­tors Guild web­site is a forum ti­tled Ask Neal Umphred. Anyone can ask me any­thing and as I am often an ab­sentee land­lord, others may an­swer the ques­tion in my stead. A few days ago, I was asked a ques­tion by a Guild member who wheels and deals records out of Mexico:

“Neal, could you ex­plain why anyone would want a ‘rare’ Mex­ican pressing of a less-than-mediocre Dylan record? READ MORE