• Bobo Coen

How did I get Here? & where is here anyway?

Its 7.47 am on a Sunday morning , I’m on second industrial strength cup of tea & listening to latest opus by “Bong” & opus is the only word to describe Bong’s music. It’s called “We are, we were and we will have been” & it consists of two tracks one seventeen & one eighteen minutes. there’s no verses, no chorus, nothing that could be recognized as a structured song as we know it…. it’s just pure  bliss out groove. it allows your mind to wander. Right now mine has stumbled across a query.

How did I go from a sixteen year old thrash metal fanatic to a forty eight year old playing Drone Doom at this ridiculous early hour?

When I was discovering music for the first time that isn’t played by my parents or on the radio I was a blank sheet. I knew nothing. then I get handed a blank cassette tape with no track list. the only information on it was  written in Biro over tippex, which meant it had been tapped over several times. the words said “Metallica – Ride the Lightning” I put it in my crappy one speaker radio tape player combo & pressed play……

When this tape stopped my mental D.N.A. had been rearranged. I  could see a me shaped rabbit hole that wasn’t there prior to pressing play but it was there now & I dived down it just to see how far it went.

Iv’e never found my way out……..

Metallica were the white rabbit that led me to the rabbit hole or in other words my gateway band.

What I mean by a gateway band is a band that opens a mental gate that leads you to more interesting & challenging music. A perfect case in point is the Foo Fighters. I really like & Respect Dave Grohl. I like the way he conducts himself. He’s a brilliant musician, front man & song writer but I’m completely indifferent to the Foo Fighters music. They are hugely successful & rightfully so but I see them as a gateway band. Ok the majority of their fan base are perfectly happy to come as far as this band & that’s enough for them. they can rock out & then go about their life’s & that’s fine.

There is on the other hand a small percentage that will say I love this band but what else is on the other side of the  gate? If they get to attempt to  satisfy their curiosity it becomes a life long quest & as it did for me.  The first task is filling the blanks. I love this band but where did they come from & that’s were second hand record shopping comes in!!!

It’s said gamer’s develop excellent hand to eye coordination, well they ain’t got nothing on vinyl craters. There is an etiquette to record shopping  where you wait patiently to look in the vinyl bin of the person ahead of you & hope their not interested in the dog eared copy of the object of desire you can see out of the corner of your eye, at the same time your looking through your bin. Here’s the big BUT,

you got to move fast & I mean fast!!! there is other vinyl hounds coming up behind you. Do you remember the scene in Jurassic park where the T-Rex is chasing the Jeep & it printed on wing mirror Objects may appear closer than they are? well its like that in reverse…they are closer than you think.

You can take a moment to look at track list if you dare but mostly its split second decisions.  This is where hand to eye coordination develops in to supernaturally fast flicking record motion & you develop an almost photographic memory  for album artwork. I only need to see an album cover maximum of two or three times & thereafter only the top four inches & I can identity it. Admittedly not much of a useful skill  in the real world but in vinyl hound world is an evolutionary survival skill!!!

In our modern world were all you desire is a mouse click away there is still the buzz of walking out of a record shop with an arm full of vinyl you didn’t go in there for. You go in for one thing discover five more. filling in the blanks is half the fun.

The truth of the matter is there isn’t a bottom or ending to the rabbit hole, or if there is I’ve never found it. It does have lots of tunnels leading of it that will take you to music & genres you didn’t even know excised (Zamrock anyone?) You will never be able to own everything. You will never be able to hear everything. Herein lays the quest. The Great Hunt, forever chasing the white heat thrill you experienced when that first piece of music hit you. It’s complete fantasy to believe this is achievable. When you first dived in you were a blank sheet now you now class your self as a serious music collector soaking up information & facts like a sponge in water, you spend unbelievable amount of time with your records, playing them, cataloging them, you even have a room set aside (or several) to store them. When your not in that room your mind is thinking adding more to collection

To everyone else you’re an anorak. Which is fair point and true.

Iv'e been down the Rabbit Hole so long, I'm  lost and couldn't find my way out if I  wanted to anyway, so I might as well keep exploring. it stretches away in all directions as far as I can see past, future, present. which in effect makes me not only an anorak but a


to the Tardis…Happy Hunting

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