Many years ago I used to traipse from record fair to record fair, record shop to record shop looking for 7” singles. I even had a list of the treasures I was looking for that I ticked off as I found them. One of my prize 7” records is the single ‘Wouldn’t it be Good’ by Nick Kershaw, which cost me a whole of $1.50. So here we are many years later, and I may be giving my age away, but I’ve now got a pretty sweet collection of vinyl singles – and LPs for that matter. With some 10” mixed in. But one 7” single continued to elude me in all my searching, and when the record fair’s and stores started closing down, my supply of black golden goodness dried up. I also seemed to run out of one of the most important ingredients needed when looking for vinyl – time. Transitioning into full-time grown-up-hood really steals away that extra time you have for trekking all over town, and doing fun things.
So what was this elusive record you ask? Ah ha! Something I couldn’t even track down on eBay. Something that I lamented over every now and then in conversation. It became my white whale. An enjoyable frivolity, a dream that one day I would track down this record, and play it’s 80s pop/new wave goodness on my record player. More clues. The band hail from Los Angeles. The single I sought out was their biggest hit. Late in their career they released a live album, recorded in Melbourne Australia, my home town. Know who it is yet? OK, I’ll tell you. Wall of Voodoo. The song, Mexican Radio. If you don’t know the song, that’s OK too, I’ve included the video below.
So back to this 7”. I had searched high and low, asked others to look for it for me, and until this day had no luck. Then I bumped into my neighbour on the tram (for my overseas friends, a tram is like a train but much slower, unless you get a lunatic driving one!) this morning and we got to talking. About vinyl. And I told him of my quest. ‘Have you seen this website?’ he asked ever so casually, directing me to Discogs.com – which of course I had never heard of. Within a few seconds he had typed in the name of the treasure I sought and lo! There is was for all of $1.22! My search was over as I purchased it almost immediately. It was all too easy. I now await it’s arrival by post from sunny England. It also appears that Discogs is the kind of website where you could blow your whole week’s pay in a few moments on musical delights. I must be strong. Yet now that my search of 20+ years is finally done, and I have my prize, I feel slightly sad – maybe because it was too easy in the end – some part of me wanted the record to cost hundreds of dollars and in order to pick it up I would have had to complete a series of challenges including solving a number of complex riddles. I must be mad! And so it goes, the mission is done. Now I need a new white whale to search for. Suggestions welcome!
P.S Thanks Tim – you made my day! Best. Neighbour. Ever!