Dan Miraldi,
The TVD First Date

“In third grade, I became a vinyl collector.”

“It was one of the days when I convinced my mother to let me stay home, because I technically had a fever (probably around 98.7 degrees). She was organizing part of the basement when she called me to her side and presented me with a green and tan cardboard case. The container had a picture of a man and woman dancing on a record. A few months earlier, I started showing interest in the music of the Beatles and Elvis Presley. She thought I might enjoy the contents of the case.

She was right. Inside was the collection of 45s she purchased when she was growing up. Without much ceremony, she told me I could have them! I began flipping through the discs. I was thrilled to find in her collection a copy of an Elvis Presley EP featuring songs from his film Viva Las Vegas as well as a slew of Motown singles and a copy of Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild.” My mother then showed me how to operate the basement turntable. It was one of those players where you could stack the 45s you wanted to play and they would drop down on top of each other once the record before it was finished. After that day, part of my after school routine often was going down the basement, stacking those 45s on the record player. and having my own private dance party.

As a teenager, I bought a turntable for my bedroom. It was a Denon record player and, at the time, it was the most expensive purchase I had ever made. The first record I played on it was Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. I have always found vinyl a romantic medium. For someone who had always enjoyed “older music,” I appreciate hearing the music in the medium in which it was originally released. I usually purchase used vinyl and, because of that, I have always appreciated the treasure hunting aspect of collecting.

Growing up in Cleveland, I scoured local record stores like The Exchange, Blue Arrow Records, and Music Saves, searching for titles to add to my collection. With used vinyl, you also never knew what surprises may be left inside the jackets. I’ve found magazine articles, love notes, and concert set lists written out on the sleeve. When I started touring outside of Ohio, finding record stores was a way to escape the rigors of the road. I look at my copy of Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak and think of a show in Muncie, IN. My copy of Black Sabbath’s Sabotage transports me to St. Louis, MO and an all-night drive, having foolishly booked a show in Austin, TX the night before. While doing a UK show last year, everything came full circle when I purchased a vinyl bootleg of Lou Reed Live in Cleveland.

I live in New York City now and reside dangerously close to Generation Records. I do not know how to enter the store without buying something. I may have a problem. Regardless, vinyl is an experience. There is sounds of the music and imagery of the packaging. There is the history of the recording and the different pressings. There is the way an early artificially split stereo recording of Elvis’s Loving You makes it sound like he is going to jump out of the speaker. And there of course is the “thrill of the hunt” and the story of how you found your favorite albums.”
Dan Miraldi

“Love Under Fire,” The new EP from Dan Miraldi arrives in stores on September 22.

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PHOTO: JENNA FOURNIER

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