Guido Ritz lives in Cologne, Germany and works in the event business, sometimes taking care of the lighting build up/breakdown for musicals and all kinds of other exhibitions. Since his career involves travel, the 40-year-old music fanatic gets the opportunity to check out a ton of record stores. Introduced to hardcore back in 1991, Guido has amassed a killer music collection, especially anything Unbroken-related, one of his favorite bands.
Welcome Guido to the Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
Back in 1988, my parents bought me my first record. Probably an Iron Maiden LP, but I'm not sure anymore. Ever since then I've liked the format and bought as much as my funds or my parents allowed. During the '90s I unfortunately bought a lot of CDs because I wasn't really collecting yet. I just wanted to have the music. That changed in the early '00s when record collecting became a thing for me. Hunting down original first pressings, different pressings of the same record, or looking to complete the discography of a band (even though you know you're not going to listen to those crappy compilations), 7”s they were on, or that really bad later record they put out is what sets apart the "average person" buying music from the collector nerd that I consider myself to be. I love it.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
Same way everybody does: I go digging in real live record stores and at record fairs but in this day and age it's hard to find really rare records there so I also trawl the usual online sites like Discogs, eBay, Facebook groups, and so on. Instagram got me lucky a couple of times already, and of course I do trades. Unfortunately, we don't have the kind of garage sales you guys in the US are blessed with and our flea markets are not that rewarding either.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
That was my original The Abused Loud and Clear 7” on Abused Music, AM01. I got it for $400 including postage from the US and it's in awesome condition. Nothing beats hearing those songs off of the original vinyl. It's one of my all-time favorite hardcore records.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
To point out a single record from my collection as a favorite is impossible. There are so many different genres of music that I listen to and as my moods change so does the record I cherish the most. But to give you some sort of an answer here are a few records off the top of my head that come with a lot of memories and are therefore contenders for most cherished one:
- Unbroken, Life. Love. Regret.
- X Chorus X, Truth Gives Wings to Strength
- Empathy, Under the Lost Smile
- The Smiths, Hatful of Hollow
- Liar, Falls of Torment
- Uniform Choice, Screaming for Change
- Earth Crisis, Firestorm
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
Well, that obsession with color vinyl even when pressed in the same amount as the black vinyl will continue to bug me just like the fact that every record on Revelation is worth more than it would be had it been released on a different label. And while we're on the topic of REV. What's the deal with that never ending stream of reissues of the same record over and over ltd. to 500 on a different color every time. I'm all for keeping the classics available but the way they do it I can't help thinking of a certain Minor Threat matrix etching. At first i bought into it as well but at a certain point it just became too much for me.
Flipsters I could very well do without.
Record Store Day was kinda exciting at first but got stale rather fast and turned into a big rip-off. Also it defies it's purpose. Most record stores have a hard time getting the ltd. editions everyone is looking for and at the end of that day are lucky to break even while being stuck with a load of hard to sell records.
Brad reminded me recently that I really hate the word "vinyls" for obvious reasons. But my pet peeve would have to be people listing records incorrectly on Discogs and not being helpful with sorting out what it actually is they have for sale. It's so frustrating. Overall, I still love the hunt and the excitement of finding a record I've been looking for far, wide and long and nerding out with others over the most minute details.
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
My biggest want would have to be this one: Unbroken Live in Dagenham 7” - bootleg – Ati & Valeria wedding edition.
It's so rare and such a special record to the people who originally got one that it went for a pretty penny the last time around. I'm afraid I won't be able to afford it next time it comes up anywhwere, but who knows?
It is closely followed by this one: V/A - Bringing It Back Vol. 3 - test press only 7” (feat. Unbroken's cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart) on Ammunition Records. I was told there are eight copies in existence and I know of three that will not change ownership anytime soon.
I'm generally a bit of a manic when it comes to collecting Unbroken records. To me they are the hardcore band, so naturally, I already have quite a few different pressings and variations of all of their records in my collection already but there are still a few I wasn't lucky enough to find yet. The And / Fall on Proverb 7” is impossible to complete. I have a bit of a competition going on with Brad about who finds another variation no one knows about. He has a few really nice ones that I'm somewhat jealous of. My collection currently stands at 27 copies (all of which are listed and described on my blog) and here are some I know about that I still need:
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (white cover with 'pattern' print) 31G Records
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (white cover with sticker) 31G Records
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (white cover, pink vinyl, red star stamps) 31G Records
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (black cover, pink vinyl, NOT numbered) 31G Records
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (black cover, black vinyl without 'three.one.g' mentioned on the left side of the center label) 31G Records
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (white cover with ufo stamp) 31G Records
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (multiple logos in any color) 31G Records
- Unbroken, And / Fall on Proverb (white cover w/ blue logo) 31G Records
I also still need to find these Unbroken records:
- Unbroken, Ritual LP – New Age Records – light grey vinyl variation
- Unbroken/ Abhinanda, split 7” - Trust No One Records – cover variation
And these are a few most wanted hard to find records from other bands I like:
- Uniform Choice, Staring Into the Sun LP – Giant Records - Red vinyl
- Uniform Choice, Demos 2x7” - Nemesis Records – Blue vinyl
- Uniform Choice, Screaming for Change LP – Wishing Well - 2nd press color vinyl
- Insted, Bonds of Friendship LP - Wishing Well - white vinyl
- Kill Holiday, Somewhere Between the Wrong Is Right LP – Revelation - white vinyl
- V/A, Together 7” - Revelation - 1st press black vinyl
- Kraut, Kill for Cash 7” - Cabbage Records – with insert
- Middle Class, Out of Vogue 7” - Joke Records – yellow center labels
And as if those weren't enough already I have quite a list on howsyouredge.com.
Follow Guido on Instagram.
Tagged: record collector