“I should probably start with my first LP which was Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Man that is such a good album!”
“From then on I cited Stevie Nicks as my idol. If anyone asks why I just tell them to listen to ‘Gold Dust Woman,’ that’s enough justification for anyone.
I have a lot of my Dad’s old records like his Stones, Cream, and George Harrison collections. There’s a really great shop in Camden (I can’t remember its name) but that’s where I bought my copy of LA Woman, Live In The West by Hendrix and a super cool compilation that has Lou Reed, Ian Dury, The Moody Blues, and Deep Purple on it. Pretty weird mix but still awesome!
“My Uncle Jay lived with us until he went off to the Viet Nam War in 1967—I was in 4th grade. He left behind his turntable and his modest record collection which consisted of The Rolling Stones Out of Our Heads, Otis Redding Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, and Billy Cosby Sings. I played those records until they wore out, the sound coming out of the speakers attached to the turntable was small and tinny, but incredibly electrifying. This was not kid music; I felt powerful.”
I had a tough 4th grade. I got in trouble regularly for what I recall was being a smart ass. I couldn’t help but “share” my comedic observations during class. I was sort of an oral live tweeter of the school day. Anyway, my grades sucked and I spent a lot of time banished in the hallway. When I somehow managed to get a B or two on my third quarter report card, my parents gave me $5 to reward my efforts. I purchased Meet the Monkees from the Goldblatts department store, my first LP buy. I got quickly hooked and bought a 45—The Beatles “Hello Goodbye” w/ “I Am the Walrus” on the flip. I quickly learned that I was a B-side kind of guy.
Once I started mowing lawns and making my own money, I budgeted myself three records per week, and I bought at least that many until CDs shoved vinyl off the shelves two decades later. When I was broke in college I traded in classic rock for new punk records. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s I got a lot of record dust on my fingers. Just as a gardener experiences peace through working the soil, I found my solace in the record racks. That’s not to say I didn’t work up a sweat digging through the stacks. Walking into a store with friends meant strategizing where to start. I developed the record hunter’s super sharp senses able to keep an eye on what somebody else was looking at while I was able to superscan the row.
“I’m pretty honored to be asked about this. I kind of felt like everything I wanted to say was already in the lyrics but it’s really cool to see people responding to it, and having someone asking about how this song came about.”
“I was working 10 hours a day landscaping, and anyone who has a 50 hour work week knows how physically draining it can be. I was burning the candle at both ends and I suppose it showed because everyone said that to me all the time. I would get up at 7AM, work until 5, shower, drive an hour out to Boston, Taunton, Weymouth, or wherever we were gigging, play a show with the band, drive back for 1 or 2 or 3AM, and then get up at 7 the next day and do it all over again.
I did this for about a year and a half. I think it was around this time that the song started to take form. I was getting into fights with everyone in the band, and the only escape I had from the exhausting physical labor was to make melodies in my mind all day, and since I was doing simple boring repetitive tasks, I would come up with repetitive, catchy little melodies that I thought were fun to keep singing over and over in my head.
“The first records I remember buying were quite a good bargain.”
“In those days there would be these offers to buy 10 records for a penny. I think the ad was in a magazine or something like that. Of course the catch was you had to sign up to be in this ‘record club’ and would eventually pay the money back with additional purchases.
My mom had to write a letter to them explaining that I was a minor and didn’t understand the terms of the agreement. I think I actually mailed out a penny in an envelope when I signed up for this thing—hilarious! Among the records were Fantastic Voyage by Lakeside and the 9 to 5 soundtrack (Dolly Parton).
The Lakeside record got a lot of spins and had a really theatrical pirate theme. At the time it was really dope—all of these cool looking bruthas dressed like pirates on some pirate ship. Nowadays they would have been laughed off the island!
“Growing up in the digital age, I was never really entirely exposed to vinyl. However, I always remember entering my grandpa’s house and seeing shelves stacked with what seemed, at the time like old paper books with ginormous CDs inside.”
“I later on discovered that those were in fact vinyl. I only started collecting vinyl at the age of 14. I remember visiting New York City and walking into this old record shop. I was amazed at the thousands of records they had. I began my search and fell upon Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. record. I immediately felt attached to it and had no hesitation buying it—this is when my love for vinyl truly began.
I decided to bring my vinyl to my grandpa’s to try it out on his record player. It amazed me how much different a song sounded on vinyl. It’s so much more pure and genuine. It wasn’t “bland” and compressed, it resonated beautifully.
“Growing up in a canyon outside of LA, my life was full of music. My grandma would play guitar for me and my brothers, and we’d all sing together. We had lots of records—Aretha Franklin, Jackson 5, Arlo Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Rod Stewart, Talking Heads, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Supremes, the Carpenters, Ike and Tina Turner, bluegrass and lots of classical music—and whenever they were on my 3 brothers and I would go crazy and have dance parties. We grew up without TV, which left a lot of time for singing and dancing. Creativity and nature filled the airwaves around us.”
“We also had an old school 8 mm film projector. To get to watch films on a projector, to listen to music on vinyl, it really is a different thing. It sounds better and makes me feel closer to the music, it puts me in a different space. It’s more intimate than I feel now when I’m listening/watching stuff on my computer—which I’m totally guilty of.
I still use my record player as often as possible though (and I still have my grandma’s guitar), I love my Sundays full of records and singing, and there’s still nothing better than a good dance party.
Then we lived in the woods in Massachusetts and I went to school 45 minutes from home and we’d listen to oldies the whole ride. In high school, of course I was obsessed with making/receiving mix tapes. Then in college, I’d go on major road trips to see live music. We’d sell food on the side of the road and were so driven by the music, it took us all over the country.
“When our dad busted out his Ramones vinyl, things were a little bit different. I don’t know if anyone’s truly ready to have something that badass in your face for the first time. Vinyl was really important from then on.”
“The first rock song that I was ever REALLY into was “Monkey Wrench” by Foo Fighters. When I was like 3 or 4—something like that. I consider that my first rock song. The Colour And The Shape is an album that we’ve pretty much kept in our lives all the way up until now. It still kills, man. Some time after that, Dad had been playing a ton of Weezer’s Blue Album, and that was really amazing because that record really changed our lives and totally influenced the way that we write music.
He showed us the movie School of Rock, which had a full on “Immigrant Song” scene—that was another life changing sound. Then it was time to find Led Zeppelin III. And that led us to Zeppelin IV. It was really inspiring to us when we learned that there were Lord of the Rings songs on that record. They dug some really cool stuff, and they wrote incredible songs about those things. It was just really clear that they were doing what they wanted to do, and that’s the whole point.
“Growing up in a house where music was playing loudly from the time I’d wake to the evening where I’d be falling asleep to the sounds of my Dad’s records blaring and the constant voices of he and his friends pointing out their favorite parts to each song, threw me into an automatic love for music with no choices.”
“I never really paid attention to where the sounds were coming from—it all looked too complicated for me and I was never allowed to touch my Dad’s prized treasure trove of albums pressed from Trojan to Atlantic. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to appreciate the magnificence of how the full gatefold LP artwork folded out, in turn giving the tunes themselves color and life. You’d lie there listening while staring at the artwork, immersing yourself into the world from where the band rose out of the speakers.
The two albums I remember vividly were Hawkwind’s Space Ritual whose psychedelic sounds were something more than just music. It was a complete visual and sonic experience—each track sounding like another spaceship penetrating our atmosphere and taking off into the cosmic unknown…dark, cold, and harsh. The next was Led Zeppelin 4. Little needs to be said about this record for obvious reasons. Mystical and otherworldly, the word masterpiece actually applies to this album undisputed.
“Some of my personal experiences with vinyl have been very influential to me and to Ded Rabbit.”
“I remember very well as a teenager visiting my brother Tom in London when he worked for Tower Records. He was also a regular DJ in venues across the city. I went to a couple of his gigs with him and I was taken in and entranced by this world of bass and drums driven music. It was unlike the pop and indie I was used to and it was very exiting to me being a drummer.
I wanted to get involved in this music as much as possible. My brother played drum and bass, jungle, break beat, hip hop, and soul just to name a few genres he delved into. My interest in dance and electronic music had firmly begun and it was all thanks too my brother and vinyl. I discovered artists like Roni Size, Ganja Crew, The Wiseguys, Jurrassic Five, and Nas as well as record labels like Ram Records and Ninja Tune who just always seem to release the very best in smooth drum and bass and break beats.
There was more too—I discovered artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and The Temptations through vinyl when my brother used to gig at parties when I visited.
“Growing up in South Florida, one of my best friends lived down the street and had a guest house. In that guesthouse, he had everything we needed—a pool table and a Wurlitzer jukebox loaded with all the best early rock ‘n’ roll 45s from the 1950s and 1960s. The Beatles, Beach Boys, Little Richard, Buddy Holly. It was incredible. We spent hours sitting around listening records and shooting pool.”
“A few years later, I started a band with some of the other neighborhood kids and music became our religion. If we weren’t in the garage playing music we were out experiencing shows. Any chance we got to see a live band, we would end up leaving the venue with a 7 inch or LP record. Local record stores and thrift shops became our hangout, and as the years went by our vinyl record collections grew. Music was our life and continues to be to this day.
Through Marco With Love and our tiny self-run independent label, Outright Rock Records, we make vinyl a priority when we release an album. Music is our art, and vinyl allows us to fully realize that art in a way that CDs or digital doesn’t. More importantly, it helps us stay close and pay homage to those artists who have come before us.”