The Foreign Films,
The TVD First Date and Premiere, The Record Collector, Side Four

“Vinyl records opened up a universe of music to me.”

“Many years ago, as the long summer days faded to night, I recall the mysterious glow of my parents’ old record player. With a built-in AM/ FM/ Shortwave radio it would radiate light like something out of a 1950s science-fiction movie! The crackles and pops, the ancient album sleeves and the sound would illuminate my childhood imagination. The songs from the ancient albums sent a chill down my spine and simultaneously sent an arrow of pleasure through my heart. I was just a kid but somehow the sound foreshadowed the future and echoed the distant past.

These old records stirred up emotions I was just beginning to feel; Mysterious stuff like love, loss, nostalgia, longing, and heartbreak. Thus began a romance with the beating drums, jangly guitars, deep bass, bittersweet vocals, and majestic, cinematic orchestration. The vinyl record was a stepping-stone into a deeply beautiful, surreal emotional soundscape.

Around the same time, as a young boy, I talked my lovely Mom into buying my first LP record. Funny enough I initially set out to buy an album by The Monkees. I’d race home from school; watch re-runs of their TV show and hear their songs. The next day we made the long journey to the classic Canadian record store Sam the Record Man. In reality it was only a few blocks from our house but isn’t everything epic when you’re a kid?

The mountain plaza was a place of stark archetypal 1970s architecture. I clearly remember the smell of iron-on T-shirts, Pogo Hotdogs, and the sound of pinball machines being drowned out by what are now vintage arcade games. Mom and I walked past The Carnival Restaurant with its mini neon jukeboxes at every art deco table. Occasionally, when we’d stop for lunch, my favourite songs there were “Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head” and “Popcorn” by Hot Butter. I felt so grown up leaving Mr. Bacharach behind—I was now into ALBUMS not just 45 singles. I was about 8 years old.

Finally we arrived at the record store. I was nervous with excitement! Strange incense, loud psychedelic guitars, and synthesizers hit me like an invisible wall. Scruffy teenagers played it cool, long straight hair, rock ‘n’ roll t-shirts, jean jackets, mirrored sunglasses, smelling like weird exotic clouds of smoke. My Mom and I eventually brought The Monkees’ record to the counter, a very stylish and rather pretty young woman behind the counter said “These Guys are waaaay cooler.” Suddenly I had The Beatles’ Revolver record in my hands. The cover art looked mysterious, dark, and magical. It felt as though she’d given me the key to a secret world. Back at home I put the needle on the record—it felt like my life miraculously transformed from black and white to vivid Technicolor! Many years later, walking down the street to play a show at the legendary Cavern Club (“birthplace” of The Fab Four) this memory flashback brought tears of joy my eyes.

Vinyl is interwoven into the soundtrack of my life. I love the way records frame music like a work of art or classic novel. They are nostalgic but simultaneously creating the sounds of tomorrow. They can have such wonderful fidelity—the sound is warm, impressionistic with beautiful depth. A mint copy of the Miles Davis masterpiece Kind of Blue is sonically stunning, at the same time my fuzzy old 45s sound so cool! Strangely I like the fact that records physically age and weather with time, just like the listener. It holds a mirror up to how fragile life is and the passing of years. Everything has a beginning, middle, and end.

One more memory comes to mind, the kind that’s so long ago it’s nearly lost forever. My Dad had just come back from a trip to Detroit, and he had brought me a surprise Birthday present! His musical preference was vintage big-band jazz and old-school country but thought I’d like these LPs—he gave me Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder and The White Album. Wow, I was completely mesmerized! My love of double albums can be traced to that very day. Within the next year or so, thanks to him, I had a guitar and a little red sparkled drum kit. Everything in those days felt so magical. These events started me on the long road to become a musician and songwriter.

My new album is an homage to this sense of wonder. I’ve been releasing one “side” at a time from the multi-disc collection. Musically I’m connecting the dots of inspiration, adding my own record to the collection. In the spirit of creating a multidimensional vinyl LP, I’ve co-written a short story to be included in the release “Emily Blue And The Star On The Moon” with California-based writer Bob Rich. It’s a modern fable/ musical about a girl’s magical adventures through space and time. The record gatefold is the perfect platform for the novella/ operetta. I’ve been extremely lucky to work with a of number of wonderfully talented musicians/ friends on this new record, who understand the significance of a double (or triple!) LP. Carl Jennings, Wim Oudijk, Kori Pop, Rebecca Everett, Steve Eggers (The Nines), Michael Keire, Kirk Starkey to name a few.

The record comes in a special-edition 3-disc set that includes a vinyl-only bonus disc of rare and unreleased tracks including the 13 minute “Fall Of The Summer Heart” suite—all available on wax for the first time. This collector’s edition includes exclusive artwork from Japanese artist Madoka Kumagai, Kori Pop, and Canadian designer Greg Vickers (Afternoons In Stereo). Released on vivid blue swirl vinyl housed in a sturdy custom-die-cut sleeve, this release includes a full-colour 8-page booklet containing lyrics and photos. It’ll be out later this year. But today I release “Side 4.”

At the end the day I’m trying to create my own musical world, the kind of music I would want to hear on my trusty old turntable. I hope my new album finds its way to friendly ears and open hearts!”
Bill Majoros

The Foreign Films’ The Record Collector will be released as a triple-disc vinyl set this September.

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  • Mark Tharme

    This is a beautifully written memoir of a time that so many of us experienced as children entering the magical world of recorded music. Thank you Bill Majoros. I look forward to the vinyl release of The Record Collector.

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