Ezine Archives - 2001 - indevelopment.org

I've been an active participant in the recording industry since 1982.

1982 was the year that I made the decision to buy my first LP, of my own choice with my own money. At the time I was 9 years old, feeling important by using my financial power to help the Australian music industry. Okay, I admit that these thought weren't flowing through my mind when I bought my copy of Midnight Oil's 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. I chose this particular peice of vinyl because at that stage it had spent 52 weeks in the Australian chart and to my young and impressionable mind, this meant that it must be good.

I readies that if I followed the same logic now that I would be buying J.Lo and Brittnay, so I guess I was fortunate my tastes matured.

By the age of 15 I was spending the majority of my disposable income on smokes and records. It made no difference to me that I didn't have a decent record player, I was buying what caught my eye on the strength that I liked the band enough or I supported what the band were doing. By this stage I guess I my philosophy of CD and record buying had shifted to a higher plane: choosing more on philosophy than what the ARIA charts were telling me was the cream.

Next stage came somewhere around the age of 20, when I was introduced to the marvel that is Dixons. Okay, this is just a branding for what second hand CD and record buying is all about.

It's not really about philosophy anymore, it's about collecting. I'd go on a Saturday or Sunday, sometimes on my own, sometimes dragging my little sister along. We'd make the 30 minute car trip to Blackburn and spend the next hour or two flipping through the racks.

My thrill in buying is not the purchase, it's the thrill of the hunt. Things are always worth more when you've had to hunt, beg or fight for them. Most of my proudest additions have come from second hand shopping: a copy of Spinal Tap (the film soundtrack) from Dixons, New Order's Everything's Gone Green from Au Go Go, Prefab Spout's Appetite from a dingy record and book store in Box Hill, Kirsty MacColl's Free World from Antiquarian Records in Camberwell: just to name a few.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that Napster, which I regularly use, has not stopped me spending money on music. The fact that I've grown older and have to spend my money on things we lump as "the cost of living" has stopped me spending money on music. The fact that I've been unable to acquire things I want for my collection due to them being too scarce has stopped me spending money on music.

If I had to break it down to one thing, I would have to say that I'm now a collector of music more than anything. I still buy, It's just I don't buy brand new anymore unless it really catches my fancy. I've been buying records again in the last 12 months because I've found a great store. I've also been downloading songs I haven't been able to find but do you know what: If I see a copy of She Comes in the Fall I will buy it.

Napster is helping to keep memories alive, to keep songs alive.

Napster isn't destroying music, if anything it's making the machines more accountable for the rubbish they promote and sell to us. My heart doesn't bleed for Metallica, at least not until the day when a 14 year old kid can download a "Master of Puppets" T-shirt.

I'll still value an old 45 over an MP3 any day, though...

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