What made you start collecting records?
I am not really sure exactly but when I was in High School in New Mexico, I had a group of friends that were all really into music and we had a fantastic store called Merlin’s Record Workshop. They stocked all the coolest music and had a small bathroom with a box of bootleg vinyls and that is where I started collecting Pink Floyd boots. Anyway, Gilbert, John and I were regulars in this store and we just got hooked. I was working at a pizza place and every other week when we got paid we would go buy records! In 1980, Doug, who took over Merlin’s Record workshop started to stock the NWOBHW singles from Neat, EMI, etc.. and we were totally hooked then.
Do you remember your first purchase?
The first record that I bought with my own money was Aerosmith’s debut album. Soon after I also bought the ELP-Brain Salad Surgery 7” at K-Mart as I loved the cover. I had a few records already from my dad at that time like Chuck Berry Golden Decade Vol 1 and 2, Creedence Clearwater Revivial- Greatest hits, Jerry Reid, Johnny Cash-Live at San Quentin..
What sort of music do you mainly focus on?
In the 80s I collected Pink Floyd and heavy metal records when I ran the fanzine Metal Madness but today I am mostly collecting space and psychedelic Rock albums. I don’t buy heavy metal records anymore.
How do you discover new music?
I still read a lot about music and review music for my music blog (http://writingaboutmusic.blogspot.com) . I have a subscription to Classic Rock magazine for the last many years. The Obelisk (http://theobelisk.net) is a great music site where I also learn about a lot of new bands. I also go to a lot of music festivals (Roadburn, Sweden Rock, Heavy Days in Doomtown, Freak Valley, etc.. where I learn about new bands..
Where do you prefer to buy your records?
These days I almost only buy records on the internet. We have some pretty cool record stores in Copenhagen like Rock Uglen, Route 66, Skoven Kalder, Insula Music, etc.. but you can still get Danish records cheaper from Germany than buying them in the store here, which is a bit sad… Kozmik Artifactz and Sapphire Records in Germany are two mail orders I use a lot.
For a long time, you have been heavily involved in the Scandinavian underground music scene. How did everything start out?
I did a lot of tape trading when I lived in the USA and people like Chris Snow in Idaho and Chuck Wax in Michigan turned me onto a lot of bands from Denmark and Sweden before I moved to Copenhagen in 1997. I was also writing for Aural Innovations in the USA and doing interviews and record reviews.. This connected me with other underground places like the Freak Emporium and the Delerium record label, which then connected me with Chrohinga Well… I also had a subscription to Ptolamaic Terrascope Magazine since the early days and they were into these sort of bands. The real push came when I went to the Space and Rock Festival in Jonkoping, Sweden in Summer of 1998 and I met and saw Dark Sun (Finland), The Spacious Mind (Sweden), Pseudo Sun (Sweden), Darxtar (Sweden) and became friends (and still am) with all those bands.. In Denmark, I met Ralph Reijly (RIP) and he was managing and working with the bands On Trial and Gas Giant here in Denmark and I became good friends with all of those people and helped them out in many ways and played and managed Gas Giant from 2001-2004.. This gave me a strong connection to the Danish scene.
As a long-timed member, you’ve played live many times with ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE. Any particularly great memories from certain gigs?
We have had quite a few really cool and memorable gigs.. Playing the Burg Herzberg Festival in July 2014 was an amazing experience as there were 2000 people or something and they were totally into it and we played great. The gigs at the Psychedelic Network at Café Cairo in Würzburg set up by our friend Horst… We also played quite a few really memorable shows at our local underground club called Dragens Hule, which sadly is not around anymore.. A show with Damo Suzuki of CAN, a mushroom tea evening where the audience and the band were flying… and many more gigs..
You also run a record label, called Space Rock Productions. Could you tell us more about it?
Yes… I had another label with Ralph, Henrik and Lars from about 1999-2004 called Burnt Hippie Recordings and we released some cool bands like On Trial, Dark Sun, Gas Giant, Korai Öröm but we went under.. Space Rock Productions was originally created to release the music of the Univerzals (Nick Hill’s band) and Øresund Space Collective. We have been expanding but still sticking with cool space rock bands from Scandinavia like Black Moon Circle, Deep Space Destructors, Tuliterä, and Third Ear Experience from California! The focus is space rock as the name implies.
In the 80’s you ran the heavy metal fanzine “Metal Madness”. Denmark had it’s fair share of great heavy metal bands in the 80’s (MERCYFUL FATE, WASTED, MALTESE FALCON, ARTILLERY etc.) Did you ever play in a heavy metal band? And if so, when did you realize you wanted to musically explore the field of space rock?
I had a blast putting out Metal Madness from 1984-1988 (12 issues) and I had some contact with a few of the underground Danish bands, Evil, Maltese Falcon and Artillery. I never played in a HM metal band but did manage one back in 1984 called Max Trixxie. IT was a bunch of young guys and we had a good time but due to internal conflicts the band only lasted about a year but they worked up a big enough following to make a demo and played a big concert opening for Lita Ford. She was a cool lady…
Iron Maiden- Soundhouse Tapes
When I got the Running Free 7” in 1980, I was really into Iron Maiden. A few months later the debut album was released. I collected up all the singles through the mid 80s but in 1981 I read about the Soundhouse tapes and it was like the holy grail of Iron Maiden singles (Still is!) and one of my penpals (Deb Johnson, I think) found me a copy and sent it to me and then another penpal of mine also sent me one so for a while I had two copies! Stupidly, I sold one copy in the mid-80s for about 50 dollars… Anyway, this still means a lot to me..
Gas Giant/WE- Riding the Redhorse to the Last Stronghold of the Freaks
This is a very special record for me as it was the first record that I ever played on, it is two of my favorite bands from Denmark and Norway and we released it on our own record label, Burnt Hippie recordings. IT was pressed in 500 copies with a cool insert and fold out sleeve. The cover was done by Henrik (Hobitten) from On Trial. I still think this is some of the best music that either band ever produced. This was never released in a digital format.
Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon
In the 70s, I had only heard the radio songs by Pink Floyd but from Merlin’s Record Workshop, I got turned onto all their records and I would say until I discovered Motorhead, Pink Floyd was my favorite band for a time. I actively collected everything thing I could afford and this includes owning 8 copies of Dark side of the Moon. Quadraphonic, two different picture discs, one of which is very rare and only came in a special box set, the UK pressing, the US pressing, Dutch white vinyl, the mobile fidelity release, which was the best sound quality of all of them… Plus it came with these postcard stickers, and two amazing posters… Still love the record.
And finally: What do you see in the future of record collecting?
Well, I think the future looks bright. The older records as like collecting stamps, they will continue to be rare and people will still want them. I think in the next few years a new technology for making records will appear and this will close the bottleneck in production and a lot more records will get out there. I think as long as you keep buying the records produced in 300 or 500 copies, these will be rare and valuable in 10-20 years…… music lasts forever, when it is on a vinyl… the digital files can disappear but you can always find a magical record in a box somewhere that has a history, a special meaning…. It will continue to be fun and exciting…and also expensive…