photo by DeWook
About two years into the pandemic and the music industry was in a state of uncertainty. No one knew when shows would launch again. The itch for live music was beginning to take its toll on everyone. No one was safe from infection. No one wanted to plan shows then be responsible for spreading the virus. Many like myself needed some type of outlet. Something to refocus on away from the unknown.
My sons and I strolled into a resale shop in Greendale, Wisconsin. Just on a field trip out of the house with the kids in mid-July 2021. They were on the hunt for Legos, video games, or books about video games. I had my eyes wide open. Still feeling the weight of social distancing. I really needed a distraction.
I remember listening to Herbie Hancock’s “Future Shock” the first time back in 1983. Christ, I must have been in 6th grade, just barely 12. The music of Herbie was something many of the general population were not ready to swallow. I loved every scratch and beat I heard. This album became a part of my mental structure.
Back at that resale shop in Greendale, there it was. A copy of Herbie Hancock’s “Future Shock”. I had to have it. Mint condition and only $5? Deals on wheels! At that precise moment I had popped the bubble of digging for records once again. I haven’t purchased any records since I quit DJing in 2013.
Yup, I was a DJ. RMX to be exact. Was a part of many rave crews and played all over the Midwest. From Minneapolis to Chicago, I was living the life of a techno DJ. Throwing house parties every weekend. I must have gotten over $3000 in tickets courtesy of the Lake Geneva Police Department. In 2013 I walked away from the life of a DJ. I was focusing on my boys. I needed a change.
After I picked up “Future Shock” by Herbie Hancock my eyes gave new light to an old hobby. I literally picked up 3 more records and ran out to Best Buy to purchase a new Sony Bluetooth turntable. For me and my boys we had a new mission. To expand my record collection once again. The hunt began.
My sights turned to a local shop where I live in West Allis, Wisconsin. Record Head. This fantastic shop is filled with everything you could want. From records, CDs, video games, stereo, and DJ equipment. The floodgates for me exploded. I began my weekly hunt for everything on vinyl.
I first met Aleta. She works in the back by the records. We became acquainted and she began directing me to some of the records I was craving. From Bill Evans to Zero 7. Her knowledge helped expand my collection. Opening my eyes to new bands like Air, and becoming friends again with old bands, like Radiohead.
At some point in October of 2021 my Sony Bluetooth turntable just wasn’t living up to my aggressive listening style. I ended up taking my entire stereo system and trading it in to Record Head for some fresh equipment. By this time I had a Sony receiver and a couple of Sony speakers. But this shit wasn’t cutting the mustard. Tom Kellogg and the Record Head family helped me out. I ended up with a few Audio-Technica direct drive turntables, a Neumark mixer, and a surprisingly loud 300 watt 10 inch powered speaker. Yes once again, the DJ equipment came home. But I couldn’t complain. For me, pro audio equipment has always withstood the test of time. But it didn’t end there.
Tom Kellogg directed me to his electronic section of the store. There he did the unimaginable. I was introduced to techno records, again. From Surgeon to Klockwork records, I began my spinnable record collection. And once again in my life, I needed DJ headphones.
Over time through the last few months the music industry began to take flight. But as soon as the holiday season hit. I watched almost every New Years Eve show get cancelled. The pandemic had come back with a vengeance and the music industry was hit again. I could only hope that this short break through the holidays would lead to a bright 2022.
Regardless of where the world stands with the pandemic. Or when live music will permanently return to the stage. I had rekindled an old friend. When I became stressed out for any reason, I found myself retreating to Record Head to help distract myself from the present. Between Herbie Mann and Perc, I found sanctuary in records. Not just listening, but once again playing.
I want to thank everyone at Record Head. Every time I walk in with my kids you guys always greet us like it’s our first time there. Aleta and Tom Kellogg, you both have helped shed new light on something that for me went so dark in 2013. I can’t express my appreciation.
For me buying records completes a process. I am immersed in music every day. From the time I walk into my office, till the time I turn off my office light. Music is always being played. Record Head helped not just with the music. But with a needed distraction.
Moving forward the virus hasn’t completely released us from its grasp. At least now for me and my kids, record collecting has given us a new purpose. To Scott, Aleta, Tom, and the whole Record Head Crew, the Wooks thank you. We look forward to seeing you again real soon.
By the way, I have no DJ gigs yet. Happy New Year!
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