VINYL DESTINATION

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VINYL DESTINATION

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THE BEATLES IN AUSTRALIA

This strip was originally planned to be on the Vinyl Destination web site but I had finished up there before the anniversary arrived. I decide to place it on the Let It Be Beatles Face Book page a couple of panels a day leading up to the anniversary of their arrival.

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YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT

THE NEXT BEATLES WHEN.....

Over the years i've known and worked with a number of people who were in bands so this strip is a kind of observation of some of the lesser moments associated with this choice of career.

 

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A GUIDE TO CONCERT ETIQUETTE

It's no secret that I don't particularly go for live music, It's all about the records for me. In truth I am so easily distracted at concerts I find myself more fascinated by the antics of crowd members than the performer. This strip is a collection of observations I've made over the years at live gigs. 

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arrive late

This happens at every concert.

first note

I've never understood why people clap the minute they think they recognize the first notes of the next song. In fact some people clap at the beginning of the song in the hope they know what the song is. When Morrissey first performed The First Of The Gang To Die people in the audience started clapping Morrissey stopped and said "You don't know this song I've never done it before"

This widens the mystery.

insights

This happened at a Little Band Of Gold concert when a guy behind me was giving anyone who would listen a run down on his history of the band. This may not seem annoying but the band were playing at the time. And why was such a good friend of the band watching from the back of the hall.

bit of a dance

That's what the seats are for I guess! 

clap the solos

I've seen Leonard Cohen many times but since the Live In London DVD the crowd has persisted in clapping after each member of the band plays a solo. This of course becomes an obligation when you consider that if you don't clap someone's solo they may be offended. This then results in 3 minute songs turning into 12 minute songs. No wonder his concerts go for 4 hours.

sing-a-long

Some friends of mine told me they went to an Oasis gig and members of the crowd were singing along with the songs at the top of their voices. Noel Gallagher told them to shut up. We need more Artist intervention.

spill drinks

Pub gigs ... you can't beat 'em!

phone

I guess this is the concert equivilent of taking a photo of your restaurant meal for Face book...Look what you're missing!

comments

It's not often you feel embarrased for an artist but when someone shouts out a request for a song which makes him seem like a one hit wonder you feel embarrased to be a part of the audience as well.

dance in front of the stage

Well you pay for front row seats and a heap of people from the back decide they'd like to dance in front of the stage. I guess it's called having a good time.

HOW TO BE A MUSIC SNOB

IN TEN EASY LESSONS

(NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT)

It's a funny term Music Snob, and they way I've heard it used lately is if you prefer Revolver to Sgt. Pepper you are a music snob. I think some times it's hard for people who are really into music (Those who own 1000 or so Records or CDs not Downloads) to appreciate the opinion of those who aren't into music (Those who own a couple of 100 Records or CDs, although they've probably got rid of their records). Those who aren't into music prefer to listen to music in the mainstream while those with big collections tend to delve beneath the surface a bit more. In the end it doesn't really matter it's Only Music. I intend to follow this strip up with another (Appreciating The Music Snob)

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AND SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS

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THE GREATEST ALBUMS NEVER MADE!

the beatles

Not much chance, even with 2 of them dead they still have 2 better drummers.

Public Enemy

I never thought this band had a sense of humour.

Madonna

If only.

Gallaghers

This album could have included the Everly Brothers and Ray and Dave Davies.

Joy Division

An instrument they never considered.

joan Baez

Well OK this is a bit rough on Joan.

tom waits

Tom got plenty of royalties from this album.

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No comment required.

 METALLICA

As above.

9 DISCS WE'RE NOT TAKING TO

THE DESERT ISLAND.

It seems every music magazine or even newspaper is obsessed with lists of what is best and what is worst. That spawned this strip as some album genres which are really popular today have not produced many essential records. I know there are several Live albums which people love but considering there is probably a live album for every successful act ever to grace the stage there is not that many which would earn the title Classic no matter how much that word is misused today.

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There have been many successful solo projects over the years but like live albums they tend to be in the minority no-one is going to remember Jagger or Robbie Robertson for their solo work.

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Concept albums will always have filler because the story must be told and many have that uncomfortable touch of Vaudeville or Hollywood musicals which were never cool.

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How many people are going to make tribute albums to Nick Drake? if it's not on vinyl then there is a tribute night to him at your local pub.

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I've never trusted the word remaster. After all it "can mean" taking a song from one source and simply putting it onto another source. The Small Faces released remasters but couldn't find the master tapes. Years later when the tapes turned up they released them again.

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I Like "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" which the Beatles released using tapes of a dead John Lennon  but not many of these come back records ever did anything for the artists rerecording them. In fact it's frustrating when deceptive marketing lets you buy a CD only to find out it was recorded 20 years after the band broke up with a new version of the band including one original member, usually the drummer.

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Has a good one ever been made? Why do people keep doing them?

Even Dylan did one.

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For crooners and old blues singers only. 

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These must be the worst records in the world. It always seems actors who think they can sing have the type of voices that just add nothing to a song and that's why they are actors.

WHY VINYL RULES!

There are so many reasons why Vinyl was such a better product than CD MP# etc. In fact there is no better reason than when you purchase a vinyl album you only have to look at it and you know you have something special. I never felt that way purchasing a CD no matter how good the packaging was. It doesn't' matter what they do to package The Beatles CD's they will never have the excitement of holding one of the original vinyl releases. This strip lists some of the reasons VINYL RULES.

the cover

THE NEEDLE MEETS THE WAX

THE SINGLE

THE EP

THE BOX SET

COLOURED VINYL

THE PICTURE DISC

THE 12 INCH SINGLE

THE DOUBLE ALBUM

FAME PASSED THEM BY.

I started working on this strip 10 years ago. In fact I think the first time I saw Elton John sitting behind the piano dressed as Donald Duck I wondered if some other performer had ever considered to go on stage dressed as Donald. Or in fact if another artist dressed as Mickey Mouse now blames Elton for stealing his act. I used to watch an Australian talent show called New Faces which was full of acts that were never going to make it, I still have video tapes of some of them. Those acts inspired this strip.

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1. Elton Johnson

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2. The Beach Men

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3. Three Duck Night

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4. Shakey Steven

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5. Buffalo Springsteen

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6. Bosley, Mills Cash and Hung

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7. Beer Belly

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8. Guns And Posers

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9. Tori Anus

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10. RSL Speed wagon

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11. Frankie Goes To Collingwood

 

INFLUENTIAL MAGAZINES

I did this strip mainly to try and tell the story of how record collectors found music in the days before the internet. I always found that the best information always came from magazines dedicated to music and not from columns in newspapers. My life and record collection was framed largely from reading these magazines.

Everybody's was a lifestyle magazine in the style of Australasian Post. It had a music section called Disc which had a really good coverage of the Australian Music Scene and together with Go Set they are the best printed references to Sixties Aus Music from the time.

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magazines

45 SIXTEENTH AVENUE

EPISODE 3 THE BOOTLEG

HITS MELBOURNE

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45 SIXTEENTH AVENUE

EPISODE 2 THE IMPORT SHOPS

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One of the most exciting things about collecting records in the early seventies was the discovery of the import shop. There were plenty in Melbourne including Archie and Jugheads, John Clements, Euphoria, Gaslight, Penetration, One Stop, Discurio, Stax of Wax, Pop Inn, Pipe imported Records and plenty of others over the years.

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It wasn't only a packaging thing. In these pre-internet days information on a lot of these artists was very rare. We would recieve the British music press aproximately 2 to 3 months after it was issued in the UK. And these papers were only available in the city and selected suburban newsagencies. It would be decades before they reached the average suburban news agents.

And quite often by the time you got to the newsagents some of the papers were sold out. Rare glimses of these bands were seen on television and could be heard on one or two radio shows because this wasn't the type of music which made the charts. It was underground for want of a better word. And when you discovered that additional photos and information had not been issued with the Australian pressing you just had to have the import copy.

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45 SIXTEENTH AVENUE

45 SIXTEENTH AVENUE

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Mark from Vinyl Design said to me the title 45 Sixteenth Avenue sounded very American. The reason it's called that is that it features two record speeds 45 and 16. In the 70's and 80's I was a compulsive record hunter around the Melbourne shops this strip contains a lot of the experiences i encountered over that time. This first episode is about the changing face of the record shops. I based it on one building with constant changes to neighbours and the facade of the shop.

THE FIFTIES

THE 1950s

In the late fifties my parents and my brother used to buy records from the local appliance shop in Newport. I have vague memories of the front window of the shop but my first record was purchased here.

EARLY 1960S

THE EARLY 1960's

In the early sixties record shops became more prominent. Years later I would still be hunting down the things that were sold in these shops. And the things that were given away as well.

THE LATE SIXTIES

THE LATE 1960s

The late sixties saw the arrival of the Import shops these would become more prominent as well. Local manufacturers complained about the competition and Import shops were eventually banned from selling overseas product which was locally released. There was a petition titled Save The Import Shops in the mid to late 70's.

THE SEVENTIES

THE 1970s

The seventies was really the peak of the record shop in Melbourne Local sellers Brashes and Allens were in the city along with import shops Euphoria, John Clements, Discurio, Archie and Jugheads, One Stop and Penetration.

the 1980s

THE 1980s

The 80's saw the beginning of change when chains of stores started to dominate sales. Prices were dramatically cut and this attracted huge trade.

 the 1990s

THE 1990s

The nineties virtually saw the end of the Record Shops in Melbourne. Gaslight would survive into the 2000s but eventually fall to the download market.

2000s

THE 2000s

Vinyl started to appear again in some specialist shops but it was now a c.d. world but more stores would close others only surviving by the variety of appliances and extras that supported their sales.

 2010s

THE 2012's

On visiting the Vinyl Destination warehouse I couldn't believe the sheer number of titles that have been released. Anything from Shirelles and Ronettes albums through to the latest Bon Iver album. It's true what they say It's all back in the rack.

 

THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

STEVE EARLE

STEVE EARLE - SIX DAYS ON THE ROAD

The album behind each artist contains the featured track.

 THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Whenever I heard this song I instinctively added the line about Andy Partridge. While working one day I started putting all the album titles to the song. I never liked the song 5705 by city boy in fact I always listed it in my ten least favourite songs but added it for that reason Initially I included 5 to one by The Doors. It backfired a little as no one with the exception of a few of my collector friends could remember the song. You can check it out on you tube, you'll probably hate it as-well.

How Billy

 

Late last year I started doing some cartoons for Vinyl Destination pushing the Pro Vinyl message to the ever increasing return to Record Buying. The first full strip I submitted was a send up of the famous Charles Atlas advertisement changing the subject from body building to choice of music format.

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It seems you can say whatever you like about someone's religion, family or occupation without reaction but if you criticize their musical taste they get offended. I think this attitude is now moving into the music format industry. The convenience of the newer formats allows easier selection of the tracks you want to play or can give you hours of music without leaving your chair. It has however pushed music into the background and probably killed off the experience of listening to an album. Sure some of us still do it but in my experience many people seem to be doing their listening on trains or driving. That's a lot different than sitting down and listening carefully to what you have just purchased, reading the sleeve notes and admiring the cover art. The record demands your attention more than the modern formats. It's really horses for courses and records are just to much trouble to store and play for those who are not collectors or fans of the experience. I never stopped buying vinyl when shops didn't stock it I got it at Record Fairs and Garage Sales.

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There's a little bit of cynicism in this panel being a Beatles collector I have bought the same material over and over again across the years and they have always been at full price. There are very few budget Beatles records. So new formats are a little tiring. Now downloads and Blue Rays of the same stuff.  I replaced the Newspaper with a Laptop for this panel to emphasize another modern format change.