I’m a collector I guess. A completist sometimes, especially if I suddenly discover I am a fan. Now I have not reached the point of obsessive yet but some days I can feel it approaching, still searching for two or three Mott the Hoople albums, a strange fit of spending resulted in the arrival of several Tull albums and now I am considering an upgrade on some of those Fairport Convention records and don’t mention the Hawkwind or Neil Young collection.
This seems to be a constant struggle. The late night buying, the attempt to make it home before the mail, the momentary shame and then satisfaction. Fortunately my wife understands somewhat this strange obsession to complete a collection.
Sometimes however it takes a wholly new tack, a desire to complete the Whitesnake prior to 1980 collection, a need to own every Faces album or any number of needs that may just suddenly rear up late at night or early in the morning. The real problem is the almost immediate access to shopping online, then the interminable wait for the record to arrive, while you are waiting the bug hits and you buy another record/records, then the fear that they will all arrive together and someone will recognize this for what it is an addiction.
There is also walking through the door to discover a tottering pile of album mailers waiting there for you, then the decision to figure out which one to play. Which is my greater need? The record I have never heard, the old favorite discovered at a reasonable price or the record that just became a brain fart that got bought. It could have been reading a review online that resulted in a purchase or a link from a link to a link as you came to terms with a gap in the collection that is out of your price range. So many things, so many records.
I have spent most of my life until this month having never bought a Led Zeppelin record. I bought a CD collection once but I have never felt the need to own the albums, then one day trolling in a thrift store I found III, Presence and Houses of the Holy. All of a sudden it became a mission to find the other records, but not the live one. After weeks of delving and searching and digging I had them all. I looked smugly on my collection and smiled and then realized there was one missing, not the live one but the other anomaly, Coda was not there. This became a fruitless quest. I searched I rooted in dark corners of thrift stores and used record emporiums to no avail, eventually I succumbed to the online world and before long Coda was winging it’s merry way to me.
And now there it sits on the to be played pile, looking at me with its baleful glare daring me to play it. There are however other records waiting to be played too and it does not have the greatest reputation as a record.
So here I am now with a conundrum, what to play, so true to form I have picked something that is not even in the to be played stack. Astounding Sounds Amazing Music by Hawkwind, the transitional album when the mayhem merchants calmed down discovered melody, hooks and irony all in one go. Of course the all pervading riffs are present as the Brock works his metronomic magic on the guitar. Sometimes I wonder what would it have been like if Brock had joined Can for a weekend.
And here we have the bigger problem.