I have just given away every scrap of vinyl I have ever owned.

All of it.

Hundreds of seven inches, 12 inches, remixes, white-labels, albums, gate-fold sleeves, picture discs, coloured discs, 3-D coloured picture discs, limited editions, Oxfam bargains, student radio promos, stuff I nicked from my time at hospital radio, bargain-bin purchases, birthday & Christmas presents - the LOT!

There were about a dozen carrier bags-full. And one of those little seven-inch record carrier boxes in a fetching burgundy-with-diagonal-fractured-grey-and-black stripes.

Oh yes, ladies. I am THAT cool.

Form an orderly queue.

Included was the first album I ever bought (Complete Madness), a Hanoi Rocks 3-D picture disc I won from the Daily Star (seriously, I did. Read that sentence back and wonder how far we have evolved), the best 12 inch tune in the world , and the first record I ever bought... more later.

The story of my vinyl is quite an interesting one. Not the accumulation of it, that's standard, no the fact that I had already thought I had lost it forever.

A few years ago I was at my mate Sweary Soo's house and we were marvelling at my new i-pod. It was tiny, had 64gb of memory and could fit every tune I had ever heard in my life & it would fit in my pocket. This was the stuff of fantasy, like hover-boots and a Sunday-lunch in a pill. We drunkenly blathered about all the times we had bought records in record shops and what those records meant to us.

There was a reflective pause after I said "I don't even know where my vinyl is anymore..."

You see, I had moved around a lot. I'd packed up cars and been to new homes in Manchester & London, as well as various and many homes in Leeds. I have spent most of my adult life like Robert DeNiro in the overly-praised piss-poor action film "Heat" - always have everything you need to move at a moment's notice.

Or summat.

To be honest I lost interest when the cuban-heeled, Grecian 2000-loving shouty midget Al Pacino took out Henry fucking Rollins in a fistfight.

Al Pacignome??
Beat Henry Rollins???

In a fight??

Rollins could burp Pacino into a fucking coma.

That stupid little fuck has made a career of pissing away his legacy. Not convinced? Try watching Dog Day Afternoon with the knowledge that the same wonderful protagonastist now fancies a trans-gendered Adam Sandler.


But I digress, back to Sweary Soo's.

"It's next door." She said, referring to my lost vinyl.
"You left it here when you sold me that record cabinet".

It's true. I did sell her a record cabinet when I was between homes and stayed with her for a little while. It was my Mum & Dad's. Not that they were big vinyl fans.

But they had a cabinet.

Mum was a big fan of Roxy Music and Bowie (I definitely inherited that) and she had that Beatles single when they look like they've been at the bus-station Photo-Booth.

There were also comedy records by Billy Conolly, Rowan Atkinson & the very first Amnesty International "Secret Policeman's Ball" album - which, as children WE WERE NEVER ALLOWED TO LISTEN TO.

Which we did. Every time their backs were turned.

I can still recite, word-for-word Alexei Sayle's "What's On In Stoke Newington"

Oddly, despite him being a scooter-riding old Mod, I can't remember my Dad having any records at all.

But this was their cabinet. Full of Abba, Boney M, Roxy and other, quite frankly, more boring stuff.... although it did have Barry Ryan's version of "Eloise" - which was a fucking treat and a half.

Anyway,  I had sold it to Sweary Soo.
Contents intact.
My stuff as well as theirs.

I was ridiculously happy when she dropped it all back at my house - but then I realised: I don't want it anymore.

Who needs vinyl? Who needs the big dusty idiots? I've got every tune I need in my pocket. They're not, as some would suggest, beautiful items. They're big, stupid, black flat space-consuming nonsense, It's like keeping betamax copies of "Countdown". Historically accurate snapshots - but who cares?

Vinyl is dead.
Dead as a Dido remix.

I'm not gonna play any of this stuff.

My beautiful tiny ex-girlfriend got me one of those turntables that converts vinyl into MP3's and you can then download them to fit back in your pocket. But once that's done... why keep the vinyl?

Or the turntable?

And so it goes - as the genius Tony Wilson used to say (who also produced the Duruti Column's ill-thought-out sandpaper record sleeve - but unfortunately, I don't have that one.)

I am now vinyl-free. For the first time in thirty years.

And I don't feel sad.

As I bagged up the songs, poems and beautiful orchestrations that have been the soundtrack to my life I felt absolutely no remorse. I'm happy they are out of my life. They're stupid, big, dusty and, for the most part, balls.

And what did I buy?? Loads of 90's indie bobbins (airhead? l7? menswear? lush? curve? carter usm? cud? eddie grant??  hang on... when did I buy eddie grant...??)

So I've passed it on to my old mate Pete, a giant of a man who can turn from the cuddliest man you ever saw to a wall of hairy fury in the blink of an eye. He loves his music but is furiously judgemental about anything that is "bad" music, and so it was a condition of mine that he could have my vinyl - but only if he he took ALL of it.

Because amidst the clear vinyl Bowie "Sound & Vision", the limited edition 7" box set of Paul Weller's "Stanley Road", the Stevie Wonder collector's edition of "Songs In The Key Of Life", the interchangeable covers of Pulp's "Common People", the white vinyl version of Radiohead's "Street Spirit (Fade Out)", Johnny Cash Live At San Quentin and an original Scott 4... there's some right old tat!

The obscure soundtracks.

The spookily decorated classical albums.

Now That's What I Call Music Volume 4.

He had to take everything.

All of it.

That was the deal.

And I can honestly say that I have never seen him happier than when we loaded up the boot of his car. We stood around for about five minutes after loading up because he could barely keep still, he was jittery with excitement.

Pete loves music. He loves records. He adores vinyl.

This is his Disneyland.

So, I have got rid of clutter and made my best friend happier that he's been since the birth of his beautiful tiny daughter.

I consider that a good weekend.

(That said, his partner Clare texted me later on and called me a "fucker" for adding to their houseful of tat and nonsense!!)

Anyway, it's not like I haven't been through this before. About three months ago I gave away a box of old cassette tapes to my old college friend Mark. I have nothing to play cassettes on and he wanted some old tapes. I had no idea why but it seemed like a good deal. He popped around with a bottle of rum & skipped away with an old tomato-box full of TDK 90's.

If you are ever in Leeds, check out his bar - WAX.

And while you are enjoying your boozes take a moment to have a look at the lampshades.

Yeah. They're my old cassettes.

I love that.

So, I mentioned the first record I ever bought. Yeah?

Let me pre-warn you, NOTHING in the next paragraph can ever be considered cool.

I'll just say it how it was:

In 1982 I was on a scout jamboree in Norfolk and tried to impress some Venture Scouts with my recent purchase of "High Fidelity" by The Kids From Fame.... I even sang the B-Side.

The Kids From Fame's musical version of "Othello".

They 80's-popped Shakespeare.

Boy scout.
Trying to impress Venture Scouts.
Singing a Shakespeare interpretation.
By The Kids From Fame.


In fucking Norfolk....

So, brace yourselves:

Good riddance, vinyl.

I loved you, but I had to leave you.

Now just wait until I get round to sorting the fucking CDs.

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