David Atkinson’s Vinyl Treasures

David Atkinson had a successful career in procurement line management, sat on the CIPS Board and Council around the same time as me, and now works as a consultant / trainer / lecturer / adviser as well as writing very well. His Four Pillars blog is always well worth following, reflecting his enquiring mind and desire to really think about procurement issues.

He is also an absolute music fanatic, with a collection of albums and CDs that makes me look like an amateur. He once told me he’d bought the complete works of Stravinsky – a 22 CD set - in the HMV sale.

“I didn’t know you liked Stravinsky”, I said.

“I don’t”, he replied. But seeing the set, he just couldn’t resist – and in the days pre Spotify he would buy CDs by unknown artists he had never heard, just so he had their work represented in his collection.

Anyway, following in the Spend Matters tradition, he’s now started blogging about music as well as procurement! In his blog here, introducing his series, he accuses me of making “recommendations of new bands or ‘artistes’, all of which are young, uber-cool and part of the zeitgeist (or something) but are mainly loved by spotty, gel-haired kids that wear their jeans halfway down their a***”.

I’ll take that as a compliment then, David! So he’s taking a different line, focusing on his huge collection of vinyl – yes, real records....

“So instead, we’re going to serve the vanishingly-small number of music anoraks; the fans who actually went to gigs; where the bands were ugly, but could play their instruments. Who, on Saturday afternoons, would hang around their local independent record shop swapping recommendations and looking jealously at the really cool guys that worked there.  Some of these anorak-wearing blokes (yes, it’s almost exclusively men) are getting old now but many still have their vinyl and occasionally dig it out as they recall the halcyon days of prog rock, heavy metal, punk, classic rock and Debbie Harry”.

In his first selection, he covers everything from Saint-Saens to Genesis, Miles Davis to the Ruts – eclectic would be putting it mildly. It’s entertaining as well as informative, and has made me look up a few of the bands and albums to remind myself of their work.

Atkinson says his first ever gig was Genesis, Newcastle City Hall in 1975 for the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour. Coincidentally, my first ever gig was the same band, same venue, two years earlier for the Foxtrot tour, Peter Gabriel dressed as a giant daffodil and all that. Not many gigs have lived up to that very first live rock experience...

Anyway, check out Mr Atkinson’s website and discover or re-discover some great albums. Here's one that was new to me - Grey DeLisle and a track from her album The Graceful Ghost. She's also one of the world's top cartoon and computer game "voice artists" - a fascinating person, well worth a few minutes googling!

 

Voices (12)

  1. Planbee:

    Not seeing early Queen is a deep regret, and also The The.

    Not sure about ones that got away, but in hindsight I should have gone to all the gigs in my first year at Lancaster Uni. They had everyone from the Beat to U2, in a hall of 1500.

    Dont have too many ‘they became great later’ moments, but I did see Mr Hudson and the Librabry, actually perform in a Library (Swiss Cottage) which given he went on to have a no1, was pretty cool

  2. David Atkinson:

    ‘Vinyl Show and Tell’….I feel a blog coming on…. 🙂

  3. David Atkinson:

    Some lovely comments here. So nice to see that there are indeed some who still have (somewhat supressed) anorak tendencies!

    Good question on great bands one never saw…. for me, Wishbone Ash, Mott the Hoople, King Crimson, (early) Queen, Earth, Wind & Fire….plenty others.

    One I saw and thought they were rubbish was Simple Minds – with their LPs crafted with precision, I thought the live show would be the same – a absolute shambles (I’d had a few, mind you, so it might have been me who an absolute shamble).

    One I wished I’d paid more attention to was, early 70s sould band ‘War’. Me and a mate won free tickets the hall was almost empty. Shame.

    I still reckon that vinyl sounds ‘the best’, but really I’m talking about the whole experience of the ritual selection and playing. Sp please mister, don’t leave that vinyl in the loft!

    1. The Guitar Man:

      David, have been lucky enough to see Mott (terrific live), Crimson, Wishbone Ash and Queen (sat next to Bob Harris in stalls at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park in 1975!). Woud have loved EWF and War and glad I’ve managed to avoid Simple Minds but can recommend other 80s stalwarts Duran Duran. Seen some great soul, funk and reggae bands (jimmy Cliff was awesome and the atmosphere terrific) too, but would loved to have seen James Brown, Otis Redding etc. let’s arrange a ‘show and tell’ day and bring our favourite vinyl into work! 🙂

  4. Paul Howard:

    My wife has been pestering me for months about getting a turntable to play some of my old vinyl which I resolutely won’t part with and still resides in a book case in the lounge (I threw away my last turntable in 2004 as the CD player part of the system packed in – oh the irony!).

    Similar to the Guitar Man but a different part of the country, I was brought up in East Manchester, where the Manchester Apollo, Band on the Wall, The Hacienda, several other small venues and occasionally the Ritz were all just a bus ride away. My first gig was the Skids at the Apollo and I found myself entranced by the guitar work of Stuart Adamson whilst Richard Jobson bounced around the stage like a demented kangaroo, classic stuff and great songs. I saw REM at the Ritz 2 years prior to them breaking through in the UK and Big Country at the Hacienda when 26 people (I counted them) turned up – I so miss the Hacienda!

    In terms of acts I’ve paid good money for and wished I hadn’t, has to be Simple Minds at Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986, I liked their studio albims but that day for reasons known only to myself I thought they were awful. On the other side of the coin, I had the chance to see Oasis before they went stellar but turned it down to go to the cinema with my (then) girlfriend and now can’t even remember the film we went to see!

    There isn’t one where I’ve finally caught up with someone but how about a gig you went to that you didn’t realise at the time how significant it was? For me, it was Johnny Cash at the Manchester Apollo in 1981, wasn’t in my sphere of musical interest at all at the time and I only went because I’d got a free ticket from my mate’s dad but it was a great gig!

    1. The Guitar Man:

      Great post Paul! With reference to the suggesstion in your final paragraph. I keep going to see Bob Dylan assuming it is his farewell concert/tour and he keeps coming back!

  5. The Guitar Man:

    About 15 years ago, as a sort of ‘muso’, I was asked by a (mature-ish) student to take a test comparing the sound of vinyl vrs audio cassette vrs CD digital (we had no concept of digital downloads then) into my ears! I was part of a test proving that as you get older (and/or deaf through continuous listening to, or playing of, loud rock music), you find the warmer sound of vinyl more appealing. It was true, I passed with flying colours as someone, clearly old, who in a Pepsi/Coke test chose vinyl every time. Like David and Peter, I have a very extensive collection of vinyl (in my loft), audio cassette (in my loft), CDs (in the living room), MDs (who knows where?) and thousands upon thousands of digitals downloads and also subscribe to ITunes Match and Sporify Premium (more money than sense? – and I haven’t got that much money!. I too rarely crack out the vinyl and love the idea of a ‘musos’ vinyl club where we mull over the warm sounds of our favourire music (as many of us did in a 6th form common room or with our mates at lunchtime or in the evenings.

    Being brought up in the East End of London, we were very lucky with venues for gigs. The Chez Club in Leytonstone (above the Red Lion in the High Street) had Friday evening gigs featuring the likes of Status Quo, Roxy Music, Slade, Genesis etc around 70/71) and there were many other ‘rock/music/ pubs. My first scale gig was in November 1971 to see Led Zeppelin in the Electric Circus show featuring circus acts etc and music support by Stone the Crows and Home. Wow what a show! Went on for hours, featuring music from the recently released Led Zep IV. All for 75p (although we still knew it as 15 shillings as we only got decimalised that year).

    I’ve been really lucky to see almost everybody I’d want to see since then (including Zep four more times and many many others). One question for you all – is there any act you’ve seen and paid good money for but wished you hadn’t – saw the Sex Pistols support the marvellous Pretty Things at the Lyceum in 76 and thought they were worse than awful but in hindsight I wish I’d have paid more attention – or one you missed but wished you could have been there – Beatles is an obvious one for me here – or someone you finally caught up with – Mott the Hoople and the Police a couple of years ago comes to mind.

    http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/18/UKWinter1971.jpg/170px-UKWinter1971.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Led_Zeppelin_United_Kingdom_Tour_Winter_1971&usg=__6WEjpNOjSK0dEN702zSEGPiMEmc=&h=224&w=170&sz=24&hl=en&start=2&zoom=1&tbnid=m_nUhikocBQXQM:&tbnh=108&tbnw=82&ei=aegQUa-nNfOp0AWBloDYAg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dled%2Bzeppelin%2Bposter%2Bwembley%2B1971%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1

  6. Planbee:

    Ahhh Vinyl

    No one can deny the convenience of a digital collection served wirelessly throughout the house, or even before that CD’s

    But if you’ve not done it for a while go and put a vinyl LP on. The whole reverence of getting our of the (perhaps) gatefold sleeve, placing it on the deck, carefully placing the stylus on the record and listening to the first crackles before Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (insert own song here) starts up. And then having to get up 20 minutes later and having to make another decision rather than have a whole stream of music wash over me.

    The playing of Vinyl was a performance in itself, the playing of digital music no more than a txt.

    BTW mine was Lindisfarne at Hammersmith

    1. David Atkinson:

      Like it Planbee. I have Spotify Premium and 4 iPods full of digital music, but there’s nothing as involving as putting on that physical LP.

      In my youth, me and my mates bought records, and actually (and actively) LISTENED to them – no TV, magazine, distracting chit-chat; just listened. Somehow the music communicated more vividly as a result. I still try and do that today, despite the Many Too Many (insert own song here 😉 digital toys vying for my attention.

      Keep listening….

  7. Jon Hughes:

    This is brilliant, Peter. Started some interesting discussions over breakfast this morning. Being a fully paid-up member of the Woodstock generation I’m not quite sure I can remember most of the early gigs. Bob Dylan, Isle of Wight? Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett, Cambridge … Jack’s memories are even earlier. She can remember Jimi Hendrix at Chislehurst Caves and the Savill Theatre.

    Well done, Dave. Beats SRM!!!

    1. David Atkinson:

      Ha ha. Thanks Jon.

      Indeed it does beat writing about SRM and the like! My biggest challenge is getting the first 30 done without including all Ganriel-era Genesis and Springsteen LPs!

      Sounds like you got some milestone gigs in your early years to share too. I’ll be checking-out the Future Purchasing home page before the end of the week. 🙂

      1. David Atkinson:

        Gabriel….of course.

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