Saturday, February 11, 2012

Uncle Rob!

The latest collector to give me the pleasure of interviewing for my blog is no stranger to most in Fredericton. If they don't know him to see him, they definitely know him to hear him.
 I have been listening to Uncle Rob on my drive home from work (on 105.3 the fox) ever since I moved to Fredericton! I have heard him do some fantastic interviews with Canadian artists that pass through Fredericton. He is a fantastic radio personality and really knows his shit when it comes to rock music! 
I was fortunate enough to be at the receiving end of a nice blog Uncle Rob wrote about my past blog and am happy to return the favour.

Introduce yourself!
Name: Rob Pinnock a.k.a “Uncle Rob”
City/Town: Fredericton
Job: Afternoon drive and music director for 105 FM The Fox

What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..
I aquire a lot of music through work, but if I make a purchase, it’s usually vinyl, and my weakness would be colored vinyl.  I also like reading magazines like Record Collector, Uncut & MOJO, and now have quite a few of them.  I guess you could say I’m collecting those too, because they sure as hell are piling up.  I’ll still buy the occasional CD, but mostly they’re second hand and quick, impulse purchases.

Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)
I think most people agree that vinyl does sound warmer, and based on packaging and cover art, I think that records make for more interesting pieces, but I can’t really call myself a purist either, because I also have a solid digital collection.

What is your favourite genre of music? Some of your favourite artists?
To collect, I’d have to say Rock…leaning more to the early alternative stuff.  The Replacements have been my favorite band for close to 30 years, but I also dig Bowie, Stones, Springsteen, Big Star, Velvet Underground, Alice Cooper Group, Stooges,  NY Dolls, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Damned, Clash, Dr Feelgood, Husker Du, The Nils, Slow, Dinosaur Jr, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, The Pixies… In the 90’s it was Nirvana, Sloan, Buffalo Tom, Radiohead and Superchunk. 
Since 2000, I’ve focused myself more domestically.  I’m a big fan of the current Canadian crop.  I collect Plaskett, Hollerado, Matt Mays, Matt Good, The Trews… 

How big is your collection?
Sadly, a fraction of what it used to be.  I once had in excess of 1000 LPs, and a few hundred CD’s.  I used to trade a lot of stuff too, so I’ve been in ownership of, I’m guessing, another 500 LPs at one time or another easily.
I hate thinking of all the things I let go of when I needed cash.  The Nirvana stuff alone that I unloaded, would be enough to make you cry.  I even had an autographed copy of Sonic Youth’s first single at one time.  I believe I got a fair dollar for it, but now I’d much rather have the single. 

Pretty much all thats left of my Nirvana collection
I’d say it’s probably down to a couple hundred albums, about 150 7” singles, and close to 400 CD’s…the bare necessities…lol.  But I’m beginning to buy more again, so maybe the rebuilding process has begun.  There are certainly bigger collections around, but I like to think I always went for quality over quantity.  I know guys that have just picked up hundreds of albums because they were handed to them.  I never was that kind of collector.  Even when the radio station was cleaning house on its vinyl, I might have only grabbed 50.  Most of the vintage ones were pretty beat up anyway.  I guess I’m picky.

Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?
The only band that I’ve attempted to get everything by is The Replacements.  There are still some promo singles of theirs that I’m missing, but overall I’m in good shape.  Now that he’s releasing so much of it, I’m starting to grab Plaskett vinyl too, but other than that…it’s wide open
What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?
Sweet-Desolation Boulevard.  They were my first infatuation.  Ground zero for my love of rock music.  I was 9.   I still have a big soft spot for them.  Looking back, as a band I think they were really underrated.  The bubblegum stuff was great, but when they broke out of that, and started doing their own material, They turned into a really tough sounding band.  But they never sacrificed the hooks, it was always catchy stuff.  They get written off as fluff by a lot of people, which I don’t really think is fair.
A lot of people talk about how older brothers and sisters influence their tastes.  Well, there certainly was lots of that going on, but I was so into it, that they eventually started coming to me for music too.  These were guys 7 and 9 years older than me, so I thought that was awesome.  I’m sure they were thinking, sure let the dumb kid spend all of his $$$ on music, so I don’t have to…lol. 
Getting back to the question, this particular copy was borrowed, went to a high school party and didn’t make it home.  I’m pretty sure I freaked out.  It was replaced…but God knows where MY actual first record ended up, somewhere out towards Stanley I guess.  If anyone knows anything about its whereabouts, regardless of condition, I’d like to have it back.

What is your favourite item in your collection?
Favorite?  I’ll pick few for various reasons.
A DAT recording of my old group, Mona…not because it’s great, but because it’s proof of a moment in my life that meant a lot to me.  Limited edition of 1.  Someday maybe I’ll press a 7” from it.
My favorite piece of vinyl to look at is a Lemonheads Luka 7” that is blue and gold marble.

Lemonheads Luka 7"
I’m quite fond of my all my Replacements LPs, The Nils Sell Out Young EP and Slow’s Against The Glass EP.  I think they were all blueprints for modern rock and I’ve carried them with me for a long time now.  They’re like very old friends.
There’s an old Folkways album I got at a flea market once, by a guy named Henry Jacobs.  It was just awesome considering it was the early 50’s.  It’s got everything…music, tape collages, comedy.  It’s pretty experimental for the day, and I think that’s what I like about it.  
They’re not albums, but I treasure my autographed Willie Nelson 8X10, and my NY Dolls poster signed by David Johansen and Sly Sylvain

Willie hangs in the hall and greets me everyday
I have a 7” Husker Du promo single for Celebrated Summer with an SST press release that was typed on a manual typewriter.  That’s kinda cool.

Husker Du promo 7" w/one sheet from SST
As for most valuable?  I have a sealed box set of U2 7” singles that sells online for between $400-500.  It was a gift from a dear friend and it will be with me for a long, long time.

U2 7" box set... rare and still sealed
There are also many ‘radio only’ things and promos that I have literally picked out of the garbage here at work.  One in particular is a Bowie special Live from Montreal, the opening night of the Serious Moonlight tour.  It’s a 2 LP set complete with cue sheets.  I’ve never seen it ever in Goldmine or Record Collector.  I have no idea what it’s worth, but I’m fairly certain there aren’t many of them floating around…and Bowie is always collectable.  

Bowie special LPs w/cuesheet

Cue sheet for Bowie special

Do you still actively collect or was this something you concentrated on in the past?
I left it for a while, but started again lightly a couple of Record Store Days ago.   I still pick up things, just not as feverishly as I used to.  I think I might average out to maybe an album a month now, sometimes they’re new…sometimes they’re not.  Last week I ordered a Deertick LP from Backstreet.  Remember, I still get a lot of things sent to me personally through work, probably 100 releases a year…easily, so I do get off kinda lucky that way when it comes to newer stuff.  Mind you, we’re talking CDs and not vinyl, but if I really want to a physical copy of a release, it’s usually as simple as banging off an email to somebody involved.  Not much vinyl comes to the station anymore though.  The odd specialty promo thing, but that would be about it, and that’s rare.

What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?
All of the above.  I can’t drive by a yard sale either…because you never know, right?  I’ve only bought a couple of things online but I can see that becoming dangerously addictive. 
My favorite record store?  Without hesitation Backstreet.  We gotta get behind our local spot.  It’s a great vibe, Eric knows his stuff…good selection of new and used…it’s been my store since the 80’s.  After all of those chain stores closed in Fredericton, I think it’s cool that little old Backstreet is the last man standing. 
For older stuff,  I still like pawing through the CD’s at Digital World too, I can always find something second hand, and since we’re only talking 4-8 bucks a disc… some are even 3 for $10, you don’t mind rolling the dice a little.

How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic?
The vinyl is in a wooden cabinet…NOT under the fishtank.  CD’s are shelved in my bedroom.  A lot of it is at work with me in my office.

Does your significant other support your collection? Did you have to convince him/her?
Nancy is awesome.  A love for music would be the thing that first brought us together.  Her tastes are different than mine in many ways, but that has only broadened my palate, and I hope I can say that I’ve offered her the same.  She has turned me onto lots of cool stuff, and is very open minded.  Nancy and my music have never been a problem

What is on your “wish list” at the moment?
I think I want the Beach Boys Smile box set on vinyl…I don’t think I’d listen to it often, but that whole project intrigues me.  Brian Wilson alone intrigues me.

Do you know any other collectors? 
I’m envious of the collections of a couple of the label reps I deal with, they would be the most serious collectors I know personally in terms of rarities, but I really don’t network with collectors much anymore.  I sorta keep to myself with it.  I haven’t even been over to see your stuff yet Brad.  Gotta do that soon.    

1 comment:

  1. Great interview, Brad... really great questions, and Uncle Rob wrote fantastic answers.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.