Jeremy Elliot,
The TVD First Date

“You know, I always get the same instinctive weight in my stomach whenever people bring up vinyl. See, despite the huge role that vinyl has played in my life, I’ve never been the guy who has the 500-deep record collection.”

“That always blows people’s minds. I’m a guy who cares so much about high-fidelity audio that I personally immerse myself in the mixing and mastering of every song that I release. I literally tell folks that I wouldn’t be alive without music. So, how does that guy not have cabinets full of vinyl in his house?

Blame it on my nomadic tendencies and general discomfort with anything more technologically advanced than a pencil. But just because I can’t tell you which album insert of all the Pink Floyd album inserts is my favorite doesn’t mean that I can’t tell you just how vinyl shaped my life, not only in the music that I make, but in the artist that I am today.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that my earliest memory with vinyl was listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA with my dad when I was four or five years old. Up until that point, my parents had tried to pique my musical curiosity with classical music and children’s music. No offense to Raffi or Mozart, but it wasn’t until I heard Born In The USA on my dad’s turntable that I ever thought to myself, “oh, so this is what music is supposed to sound like.”

Looking back now, it isn’t exactly the most intuitive song for a five-year old in mid ‘90s New York City to gravitate towards—a 1980s blue collar rock anthem about the political dissatisfaction of the ‘70s and ‘80s and the dishonored Vietnam vet. At the very least, it was definitely slightly headier subject matter than “This Old Man.”

At the same time, I can see why five-year old Jeremy would’ve fallen in love with the song. The song begins with its iconic piano riff and thunderous drums, with an unbridled Bruce joining the symphony not long after. Wasting no time with dynamics, he jumps head first into his one-of-a-kind Jersey-bred snarl (no offense to any of his imitators). I can still remember how the combination of these musical forces would crackle out of the speakers in my family’s living room—simply put, the song conveyed a musical significance that I had never heard before. It didn’t matter that I didn’t quite understand who the Viet Cong were—all that mattered was that I knew that the song felt important.

My dad and I spent countless nights dancing around my family’s cramped New York City apartment to the song. Not long after discovering it, I began integrating into the act my grandfather’s vintage brown leather jacket and a pink toy guitar I reappropriated from my baby sister. The combo, in my six-year-old mind, put me at the pinnacle of fashion. More importantly, it was the first time in my life that I ever really felt like a rockstar.

Today, in my home studio and creative headquarters in Topanga, CA, I still have a turntable that I listen to from time to time when I’m not busy creating my own records. But if I’m being honest with ya, the true beauty and importance of vinyl in my life doesn’t come from the collection in my living room. For me, what I’ll always cherish most about vinyl records are the moments I spent with my dad listening to Born In The USA and dreaming that one day I too could rock as hard as Bruce.”
Jeremy Elliot

“The Deep End,” the debut single from Jeremy Elliot is in stores now.

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PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER LEE

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