Blair Jollands,
The TVD First Date

“I’ve always felt a bit inferior when talking about vinyl. Vinyl police had a field day at my parents’ house. They owned some real classics – Commodores (Heroes), Linda Ronstadt, Kenny & Dolly, John Denver & The Muppets, War of the Worlds, Brahms, Elton, Neil Diamond… It’s no wonder I cross genres in my own music! But my Dad did have Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and for that record alone he is redeemed and I thank him.”

“The unmistakable smell of a vinyl sleeve just can’t elude you. To me, it represents a simpler time when people had time to sit back and really listen to music… to an ‘album!’ MP3 culture is so fast food to me although I’m a user but I indulge.

When I was old enough to go out and buy my own vinyl I think I did alright. I was into JJ Cale so I got Troubadour—now that IS cool. I’d just started to learn the guitar; I had a Hondo Stratocaster and I was hooked on melodic guitar style. Players like Albert King—squeezing notes between their thumb and finger—they really got their guitar singing.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top carried that sound and technique on well with a plectrum but players like Knopfler, Marvin, and Jeff Beck captivated me so I bought records from those guitar players—Dire Straits was on that list too. I was once embarrassed to say that. My mates had quite a funny joke: what do you get when you cross Dire Straits with Chris Rea?

But then he produced Dylan’s Infadels and it was then ok to like him, however, Knopfler’s playing really grabbed me.

I then backtracked to Hendrix, and back further to the original blues men. Later, when I moved away from guitar players and got into more great singers, I discovered many different, amazing artists but it was all CDs then. I was always moving around, so record players and vinyl collections just didn’t work for me.

A few of my friends have thousands in their collection. Being dwarfed by towering shelves of vinyl is quite awesome—Sun Ra, Miles Davis, Jazz this and Jazz that… super cool shit.

I’ve still got a box of my old vinyl down in my studio. Along the way I’ve lost a few of my 45s—Howard Jones, Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” and things like that but I’m not too fussed. Although I loved playing the guitar solo at 33 speed to try to learn it.

Honestly though, the last time I walked into a rare vinyl shop was probably on Portobello Road in 2005 and with that fact The Vinyl District will probably delete me before you can say Dire Rea!”
Blair Jollands

Blair Jollands new album Half Life is released Spring 2014.
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