Now, I buy a lot of second-hand records. Some might say A LOT. I pride myself on my ability to see past all the crud that has built up in the grooves and to ignore all the muck that the previous owner has seen fit to smear on the vinyl. I've lost count of the number of times that I've gently prised mummified snot clots off a pre-owned LP. What would make somebody wipe their bogeys on their record collection? Don't they own carpets? One has to assume that if the fruits of one bodily orifice are regularly harvested and found laminating the grooves of those pre-loved charity shop finds, then all the other less-easily identifiable bodily emissions are present in varying degrees too. How many copies of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On have unwittingly been the victims of 'friendly fire' so-to-speak? There's a lot to be said for keeping the lid closed on your turntable and putting it on a high shelf away from the bed. I've yet to find cast iron, indisputable evidence of sexual paintballing on any of my LPs, but by the law of averages some of them must have experienced the odd money shot. I did however once open a library book to find that someone had resourcefully improvised a bookmark from a used condom. It wasn't even that kind of a book! Never Mind The Bollocks? Too right, it's the contents you need to watch out for. Probably best not to think about the origins of that stubborn crust on your Barry White LP. Just don't eat a KFC while sorting through your car boot sale finds. Finger Lickin' Good!
|Can't You Hear Me Knocking (One Out)?|
Perhaps it's because I always found it easy to see the images in those Magic Eye pictures (what d'you mean "just a bunch of coloured splotches"? It's clearly a lobster in a top hat reading Exchange and Mart on a sun lounger!) that I can ignore the love glue and arse flakes on second-hand vinyl and see the pristine plastic beneath. Maybe all record crate diggers have this ability but refuse to get that filthy to satisfy their habits, but I'm happy to do it. Indeed, I get a kick out of it. The B&W speakers in my previous post were bought with the £120 someone paid me for an LP that I found a couple of weeks earlier for a quid. It was in a pile of forlorn-looking LPs in the corner of a record shop that the owner couldn't be bothered sorting through because he assumed that because it was all dirty, it must be damaged. Wrong! Of course, cleaning all the organic matter from these gems takes time and effort, but I find that if I pretend to be Time Team's Tony Robinson and kid myself that I'm engaged in a spot of archaeology it turns the removal of every daub of ear wax into my being one step closer to unearthing audio gold.