In this interview I talk to Marty all about vinyl, music and Instagram.
Marty: So a little about me. I live in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, which is about an hour’s drive West of Toronto. It’s where Blackberry devices (anyone remember those?) is headquartered. I’m a husband, dad and now entrepreneur.
Like most people in the IG #vinylcommunity, music has always been an integral part of my life. I was born in ‘79, so there were records, 8-tracks, cassettes and CDs around the house. The 8-tracks and records belonged to my parents; although there were a few kids’ records that my siblings and I shared when we were young. I had my own cassette storage briefcase since I could remember.
During my teenage and university years, I would buy a ton of CDs. Probably 4-6 a month, plus I’d get music from Columbia House or BMG Music. As for records, I smartly picked up the odd U2 record here or there (like the 12” singles for “Mofo”, “Beautiful Day” and “Elevation” along with an original pressing of “Rattle and Hum”).
I will admit that mp3’s were a thing for me and that was even before Napster was invented. That would mainly be for concert bootlegs. Oh, I’ve even owned a Mini-Disc player! That was something that I got on a trade-in and it was more out of curiosity than anything else.
Why did you decide to start a vinyl themed Instagram?
I started my IG account @for.the.record.marty back on April 27, 2017. I can’t quite say if there was anything specific that sparked the idea to start the account. I think it may have had to do with wanting to do something just for fun as a way to get into Instagram. The purpose of my account, however, quickly morphed into something beyond just playing around on Instagram.
At that time in 2017, I had taken a leave of absence from work. I thought I was suffering from burn out. However, now I know that it was more than that. It turns out that I was dealing with depression and anxiety. The IG account gave mea measure of positivity to focus on each day. I’m a creative at heart and one of the things that I was feeling at that time is that my work life had stifled any measure of creativity. Having the IG account gave me a creative outlet.
Not too long after I started my account, I started to put serious effort into my posts. From trying to improve my pictures, to spending a good deal of time and consideration on the write ups for my posts so that I would hopefully have something intriguing to say. This became my gig and I was sticking with it. By wanting to post daily, I had a goal. I had a routine.
My IG account quickly became very important to me during that early period, and it remains that way today. Having this IG account has blossomed into something that I never would have imagined it being when I made that first post.
Today, my IG is a conduit, a catalyst, for interacting with some amazing people. I’ve made online and IRL friends thanks to being a part of the IG vinyl community. The cherry on top is that I have also had some cool (at least for me) interactions with musicians or artists who I dig. Everything from their accounts liking a post of mine to brief DM conversations.
That’s cool and my birthday is the 27th of April. How long have you been been collecting records and how many do you have in your collection?
So, I mentioned before that I bought some U2 vinyl in the past. This was as early as ‘96. When I did that, my parents no longer had their player and I didn’t have one of my own. I actually did not get my record player until 10 years ago. That player, a Pro-Ject RPM 1.3 Genie, is still my primary turntable. Although, I’ve changed the cartridge and stylus a couple of times over the years.
I’ve been collecting records for about a decade now. However, the pace for buying records ramped up about 4 years ago and has really picked up in the last 2 years.
As for how big my collection is…..well, I must confess that it’s been at least 6 months since I’ve counted my records or updated my Discogs collection (I know, I know…). So I’m going to have to estimate it at somewhere in the ballpark of 500, 550 or so 10” and 12” records and about another 40 7” singles. Oh, I also have joint custody with a friend of another 80 LPs. The story with that is that a friend and I were out at an antique market doing some crate digging when we came across a booth that had 2 boxes of records for $5. It had – not the best shape – original records from the likes of the Beatles, Stones, Louis Armstrong, Eagles, ELO, etc. The idea was that I’d clean the records using my Spin-Clean and then we’d divide up the collection. It’s been almost 2 years and that hasn’t happened. I think I’ve cleaned maybe 20 of those records. So, while all of the records are in my Kallax shelves, I put the asterix on them and don’t quite count them in my collection as technically we are supposed to split them.
What’s your favourite vinyl you own and what is your holy grail?
My favourite record probably is the 2017 Record Stores Day release of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band’s “Live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London ‘75”. This concert is absolutely incredible and the sound recording is out of this world. The record has the best performance of “Thunder Road” that I have ever heard and it comes alive listening to it on this record. It’s unbelievable how this pressing conveys the reality of the performance and the depth in the soundstage.
As for the holy grail, up until Record Store Day Black Friday 2019, I would have said U2’s “U2 3” EP. Now that it was reissued, and I have that reissue, I’m not sure.
Who’s in your top five of favourite bands?
Bruce Springsteen, U2, The Gaslight Anthem or Brian Fallon’s solo work (tied), David Bowie and the Beatles.
If you could have dinner with any musician from any any time, who would it be and why?
I’d have dinner with David Bowie and then we’d have ice cream for dessert and Prince would join us. Why? Who wouldn’t want to experience that?
Any recommendations on movies, tv shows or music?
Of course! Movies: I’d highly recommend “Serpico”, “Being There”, “CQ”, “Idiocracy” and “The Wackness”.
TV: “Mr. Show”, “Newsradio”, “Mike Tyson’s Mysteries”, “G.L.O.W.” and “Ballers”.
As for music, these days I’m into Brittany Howard’s solo debut record “Jaimie”, The Black Pumas’ self-titled record and anything by Prince. Oh, I’ve also been listening to Radiohead’s song “Let Down” a bunch lately.