I cannot stand it when someone refers to records as "vinyls," so when someone with the handle "vinyls_is_not_a_word" appeared on No Echo's Instagram feed, I knew I had to give it a follow. The guy behind said page is Dave Brown, a longtime punk and hardcore fan who is obviously a fellow music lifer.
I hope you enjoy Dave's Record Collector entry!
How long have you been collecting records?
The first record I ever bought with my own money was Adam and the Ants Prince Charming. I was obsessed with Adam Ant. In fact, I was Adam Ant for Halloween once. This was 1981. By 1986, I had my own job as a paperboy and spent all my money on skateboards. I discovered Thrasher and the rest is history. I bought my first records the summer of 1986 at Waxie Maxie's outside Washington, DC: Two Dead Kennedys 12"s ("Bleed for Me" and "Holiday in Cambodia"). I still have them. Strange thing is, as I got involved with SEHC around '87 and became too "cool" for punk rock, and by 1988 I stopped listening to the DKs. Now, nearly 30 years later, those DK lyrics hit harder than anything. The song "Life Sentence" still stands out in particular.
How do you find most of your records?
These days I am finding a lot of my records in shops when I travel. My current favorite shops are Vinyl Conflict and Sit and Spin. I will buy the occasional record off eBay or Discogs but that's not as much fun as finding records in the wild. I'm in a hibernation phase right now regarding buying records but I just recently have been working trades I have with people I have met on Instagram. I actually really appreciate the friends that I've made via Instagram. I am a huge believer in record karma. Last month I gave RVA Dave Brown a Government Warning acetate I had. The next week, my buddy Zev gave me a couple Floorpunch tests. It all comes around.
What is the most you paid for a record, what was it, and how did you obtain it?
Most I paid for an album? Oh man! I paid $400 for a Can I Say test from Dave Byrd. I sold my Life.Love.Regret. test to a guy in Germany for $400. Then bought the Dag Nasty test the next day. I still really miss my L.L.R. test, but even Rob [Moran] and Steven [Andrew Miller] agreed that it was a great trade.... c'mon, it's Dag Nasty! I also just like repurchased an orange Warzone 7" and an orange Together comp for a lot of money. I sold my original copies of those records in 2001. I also sold a ton of Hydra Head stuff as well, and I used the money to buy a 1970 Corvette. No regrets.
Of all the records you own, what is your most prized?
My most prized record: Faith Subject to Change on clear. I absolutely love that record. I think that Subject to Change is the perfect bridge between classic DC hardcore and what came out of there in the late '80s. It's melodic and thoughtful, and to me, it signifies the end of an era. I bought it off eBay for $230 in a lot that also contained a red, blue and pink copy.
What is something about the record collecting scene that gets under your skin these days?
Clearly, a major pet peeve I have is when people refer to records as "vinyls," hence my Instagram name. But realistically speaking, I think that my being irritated by "vinyls" really speaks to the fact that I'm just getting old. I will say though that I think my #1 pet peeve is when people refer to a record as a "piece." Sentences like, "This is an excellent piece," drive me insane! It's not a work of art, it is a record. It's designed to be played. I suppose people view their record collections as status symbols but I view my records as a sort of yearbook. I couldn't stand the people I went to school with. I went to shows and bought records instead. For me, a record will never be a "piece." My favorite records remind me of shows, road trips, and friendships.
What is a record that you really want but have had great difficulty snagging?
Besides the crazy Revelation stuff that everyone one wants... my main wants right now are a English pressing and German pressing of the two Minor Threat 7"s on a 12", and a copy of Out of Step with a $8.00 cover. I also need an original SSD Kids Will Have Their Say to complete my Dischord collection.
Follow Dave on Instagram.