Jon DeRosa,
The TVD First Date

“The first record I ever recall playing was Peter & The Wolf when I was around 3 years old. I was enamored by the album art, the orchestral sounds. It was the jewel of my childhood collection. Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” was another that sticks out in my mind, and of course I was a fan of my parents’ Harry Nilsson and Jim Croce records…”

“But truthfully, vinyl was not to be a lifelong love affair for me, but rather a playful flirtation that waxed and waned throughout my life, offering me opportunity after opportunity to discover new sounds, but never dominating or demanding much from me, as I saw happen with so many friends. For this reason, it always stayed fun. I never felt bogged down by a heavy collection or an obsession to own everything.

The most significant touchstone in my relationship with vinyl was the time that, at age 12, I unearthed a copy of the Misfits’ Walk Among Us while cleaning out my Grandmother’s garage in Lodi, NJ. It is the stuff that myths are made of, how pure to discover a band like that independent of any social influence, and no way to “research” who they were after the fact (or who had left it there for that matter). Perhaps because of this, Glenn Danzig would have a lifelong influence on me.

I recall riding bikes to Silver Tunes in Belmar, NJ after school on so many occasions to flip through stacks of vinyl that no one had looked at for 20 years. It was during this meditative task that I discovered the Chameleons, Siouxsie, Railway Children, Flatmates, and countless other post-punk cast-offs before they became cool once again. At Soundwave in Manasquan, NJ I would discover The Teardrop Explodes, Joy Division, Theatre of Hate, and Christian Death via the “Skeleton Kiss” 12″.

Eventually, this would lead to a torrid streak of searching every record store for errant Sarah Records releases, years after the label went out of business. I do recall finding the Blueboy “Cloud Babies” flexi 7″ at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ, and buying it despite its prominent crease, then spending weeks of painstaking labor to gently iron it out. I believe I even found the Glass Arcade compilation at Other Music in 1996, amazed that something so beautiful could go unnoticed in a place like that.

When I moved to New York to pursue my Music Technology degree at NYU, the focus became anything that I could use for sound collage, which I’m sure delighted the bartenders and patrons alike, who were subject to my “experimental” DJing on Tuesday nights at The Raven in NYC. I fell in love with Varese’, Messiaen, Cage, blending the soundscapes with Mitch Miller, Julie London, Jimmy Roselli…old children’s records and oddball vanity pressings.

And then in the years that followed, it became about Hank Snow, Hank Locklin, Hank Jr…. because country music just made so much more sense to me when spinning on a turntable, and it was affordable. So much of my collecting over the years didn’t follow popular trends because it was more about discovering new music at a price that fit my budget, which at most points in my life was meager. When I was down on my luck, $5 could still mean a fun night with a few dollar bin finds and a 40 oz’er…

If I hadn’t lived in NYC for 18 years and moved apartments just as many times, I may have had the chance to amass a much more impressive collection. But being fairly nomadic certainly impacted both my physical reality and my attitude about “having things.” Over the years, I was always happy to let things go and pass things along, and so I find myself living on the West Coast now with a meager vinyl collection, but a rich wealth of memories and experiences, knowing there will be always be opportunities ahead to explore more bins and discover new sounds.”
Jon DeRosa

Jon DeRosa’s second full length release, Black Halo is in stores now via Rocket Girl.

Jon DeRosa Official | Facebook | Twitter
PHOTO: IVY AUGUSTA

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