The time, the place and the way you discover music, has a permanent affect on the way you remember it and feel it from that moment on. Just like falling in love or making a new friend- those first impressions sit with the relationship for good.
So to decipher my relationship with vinyl and certain albums in particular, it all comes down to the fact that I grew up in the album (and then, cassette) era. I grew up in the 70's & 80's and like the rest of us evolved into the now, CD and digital era, but my first impression of "MUSIC" was on vinyl…
Once upon a time, in 1969 to be precise, my mother Linda Gaboriau, was the first female rock disc jockey in Montreal, Canada. I was not born yet, but her record collection exploded around then, and I was born and raised on it. I always credit my mother's record collection and her relationship with her generation's music, for the reason I am making music today. The non stop soundtrack around the house, the amazing stories she'd tell me when looking at the album art together "Dylan. He's the greatest poet of our time", "Cohen: He's the sexiest man alive" or the confusing stories about "the one that died". Her connection with her generation emanated from those records, and I was sent on my mission to find my generation and my generation's music.
The first album I bought with my own money, was "Head On The Door" by The Cure. I still listen to it, and it's forever one of my favorite. My record player is front and center in my living room, and that is always the choice ritual and listening choice when hosting or having a party at my house.
My collection also includes a decent amount of those amazing 1970's box sets. I collected them while thrift shopping across the USA in the '90's. Those are epic artifacts! Up to 7 albums in a beautiful sturdy box, with lots of liner notes, cool flaps and art work. The best one is the "Space Shuttle Landing 1969" box set with all the audio and news reports from the journey. The rest are mainly easy listening versions of old standards. Perfect background music, that you have to stay tuned to and flip!
I put myself through college as a "Cassette DJ" : The Bifteck St-Laurent is Montreal's, now legendary, "Grunge" bar. An old Portuguese steak house turned broke musicians bar, that payed me and my friends 40$ a night to flip tapes from 9pm - 3 am 7 days a week. I lived in that bar from 16 till the day I joined Hole in 1994. There was always music playing and most of the time my picks. My mixed tapes were made from all my vinyl. Every month I'd set up my turntable and cassette deck to make my new mix tapes, then I'd play them on auto- reverse while I played pool and drank a pint of local auburn micro brew…..
Vinyl is the at the absolute core of everything music in my life.
Of course we all got distracted by CD's for a while, and I have a massive collection still not entirely digitized. I still to this day don't buy MP3s, I usually buy it on CD, because I still need to read the liner notes. Who engineered? Who are the writers? Most of my listening time is in the car listening to CDs and in my living room most often albums.
However, dear reader, it's worth mentioning this recent music "discovery" I made. This past weekend at my friend Steve's birthday / housewarming party, while everyone was in the backyard, I entered the empty living room while someones iPod was on shuffle. Led Zepplin's "Kashmir" came on… it stopped me in my tracks, and I sat in the middle of the floor, and in a strange psychedelic way, I re-discovered that song, and cried (yes it's true) out of my love of music. The next morning back at my house, I went down to my record collection, found my vinyl copy of it. It's the high quality, double album, long play version, with only two songs per side… and I cranked Kashmir.
I must tell you dear Vinyl District… That song remained the same… as good digital, as it is analogue. Music CAN transcend all physical realities, even though vinyl is the coolest format. I Love Music.
Thanks for listening….
Melissa Auf der Maur
P.S. My new record OUT OF OUR MINDS is available exclusively at my website!