I walk through Soho most evenings and often walk down Berwick St. and amongst the detritus of the veg market is the remains of the once thriving record shop hamlet. I think at least half the shops have gone. The reasons for the sad loss of the shops I’ll talk about latter, one of the last is however is "Vinyl Junkie". The name of this shop and a rather sensible article about drug addiction by Dave Rowntree from Blur* led me to wonder can you be a vinyl addict? If vinyl/or its sister affliction music addiction are serious conditions surely they would need a check list for health professionals, so they can asses the depth of sufferers problems.
So I thought I’d save the NHS a few quid and put together some questions you can use to decide if as Depeche Mode once said “you just can’t get enough…
Do you HAVE to listen to music every day?
Do you worry about how many records you buy?
Do those around you ever comment on how many record you have?
Do you know the way to San José?
Have you ever lied to your kith and kin about how much you’ve spent on a single record?
Have you lied to yourself when you’ve spent too much on a “special 7” and then find it’s not as good as you’d thought it was?
Do you ever buy records for their covers?
Did you use to know the way to Amarillo but don’t fancy it so much now it’s so popular?
Do you have any soundtrack LPs?
Do you have any sound effect LPs?
Do you go out of your way to go to record shops?
Do you go out of your way to go to record shops abroad?
Have you ever had a strange conversation with a girl in a Valencian shop who was dressed like a member of Belle and Sebastian about the group “Might Mighty”? (This may be just me)?
Is there no future in England’s Dreaming?
Can you recognise 100’s of LPs by the top 2-3 inches of the covers as you flick through a crate?
Do you ever rescue certain records if you see them in shops because you don’t want to leave them there to be thrown out or to linger on lonely and unloved in that musty corner next to the broken teasmade and the wicker donkey?
Have you bought the same record by accident more than once?
Have you the bought the same single/track in various formats?
Have you ever willingly thrown a record away EVER?
Can you walk past a charity shop without the merest flicker of regret?
Do you buy the same artist over and over in the hope that you’ll eventually get them?
Did you think the end of “High Fidelity” was a bit lame?
When you meet people and they go on about your Vinyl collection being in order and claiming that this is some how weird, and are you totally sure that they only have 12 cds, two of which are from the Daily Mail and that they are soulless spineless fools?
Would you rather spend money on music or on clothes?
Do the word “emitex” excite you?
Do you like the picture adverts for other artists on old dust sleeves almost as much as you like the picture sleeve?
Have you long ago stopped wondering who bought all the copies of that greatest war film album with the Spitfire and Peter O'Toole on the cover?
Have you got a record you’ve never played and it’s “become a bit of thing now”?
Do you keeping buying foreign records in the hope they are going to be forgotten pop gems but they usually turn out to the Belgian version of T’pau?
Do you buy 60’s children’s records pretending they are kitsch but you “kinda of like them” anyway?
Do you own an instructional record?
Is it getting mighty crowded in here?
Do you like one artist your friends/partner can’t stand but you love them so much and you hope one day to meet someone who loves them as much you do too?
Have you tried to get into jazz/folk/prog/classical/goth and failed?
Have you ever kept a record shop carrier bag because you think it’s cool?
How worried are you by how much you like look of the record labels?
Do you have one of those sprockets that let you play old singles?
Can you recognize LPs by their spines?
Can you recognise records by the pattern of grooves?
Do you find deep joy in finding things left by former owners inside sleeves?
Have you bought a new record on vinyl in preference to a cd?
If you answered yes to 30-40 of these questions you need not worry you are a balanced normal person whose love of truth and beauty makes you a better more vivid human, you’ve been and done things lesser types can only dream of, you can turn a cancer research jumble sale into a hot night in Harlem or a chilly practice room in Salford. You can sleep soundly you aren’t an addict just special.
Between15 -20: You are either 13 years old and will learn the ways of the world or just a “weekender” and need to dip more than a toe in the water. One day there isn’t’ any room for “all those old records you never play” next day the locks have been changed and you don’t have to spend Christmas in Norwich this year, so think on and get down the car boot.
Less than 15 (mainly nos): You are a hollow blank eyed drone who put your 12 cds on your Ipod and gave the originals to the bin man. You have never lived an day in your life, you cut the fat off bacon, think chocolate is “sinful”, have never read a book that didn’t confuse you, you’ve never sat on the grass at dawn because it looked “damp”, you actually think the Stones are “best band in the world”, in short you are sad addict to all that is unholy and dull in life and worse a Red hot chilly peppers fan seek some help now.
excellent dutch turntable site
*(Dave Rowntree is rapidly becoming the one from Blur you bear to hear talk about stuff other than music, yes that means you Mr Damon “ war is stupid” Albarn, and you Alex “ shut up talking about cheese and make some of the bloody stuff” James and as for Graham “whiny Essex voiced” Coxon…)