Thea’s Missing Records
Have you ever lost something that meant the world to you? Picture this: a collection of vinyl records, each one a memory, a story, a piece of my heart. It was my pride and joy, curated from the late ’70s through the early ’90s. It wasn’t just music; it was the soundtrack of my life.
And then, one day, quite recently, I noticed many were gone. Over a hundred and fifty records, each with its own tale, mysteriously vanished.
This is not just a story about loss, but also one of rediscovery, of embarking on an adventure to reclaim what was once mine, and perhaps finding new treasures along the way.
Join me, as I try to unravel the mystery and share the journey of bringing my beloved collection back to life.
Firstly, the backstory…
My Back Catalog
In the ’80s, my life was inextricably linked with music. After high school, I worked in record shops, including the iconic Tower Records (Mountain View and Later Glasgow) and briefly at Rainbow Records (Sonoma County).
My journey took me through internships at major and indie record labels like RCA, A&M, WEA, and into a position at IRS.
The end of the ’80s culminated with my foray into radio – starting with college then commercial radio in Scotland in 1992.
These experiences weren’t just jobs; they were gateways to a world of rare vinyl treasures – promos, cutouts, and limited editions that most music enthusiasts could only dream of.
My collection was more than just a hobby; it was a reason for living, with each record representing a unique chapter of my journey.
Where’s the Vinyl Been? Where Did it Go?
The saga of these records is a tale of transitions and trusts. Since the early ’90s, they had been safely housed at my father’s place. His passing in 2018 marked the beginning of their journey through the hands of various friends who took up the role of guardians.
Fast forward to January 2024 when the boxes had finally made their way to Scotland. It was then, amidst the familiar yet distant echoes of the past, that I sensed something amiss.
Pieces of my musical mosaic were missing. This unsettling feeling led me to delve into a deep dive through archived photos I took in January 2020 and then photos and videos in October 2022.
A startling discovery awaited me in those digital memories.
While I had been reunited with only eight boxes, the photographs clearly showed there were originally ten. The reality made my heart skip a beat.
Through the lens of the past, I could visually identify the records that were no longer with me. It was a revelation that brought more questions than answers…
The Three Possibilities
As I grappled with the reality of the missing records, three potential scenarios played like different tracks in my mind:
- Did I set some aside to be stored at my friend’s for safe keeping? It’s a slim chance, but worth exploring. I am eagerly awaiting her reply, hoping for a sliver of good news amidst this devastation.
- Could my friend have inadvertently pulled them out to play during lockdown and simply mixed them with his collection and subsequently moved them interstate? Perhaps this is wishful thinking, a hopeful note in an otherwise uncertain dismal situation.
- The most likely scenario? Someone with an exceptional ear for music hand-picked these records. But who, when and why? Was it to add to their own collection, or with an intent to sell?
I may never know...The not knowing is agonising and has been keeping me up at night for weeks, with this haunting refrain that lingers in my thoughts… Where have the two boxes of records gone?
The Digital-Analog Tussle
There’s been an inner civil war within me.
On one hand, as some less than sympathetic friends have pointed out, these are just material possessions.
Then they scoff that it’s digital age of music, thus all the songs are just a click away on Spotify or YouTube and the like.
Heck, I even own some of them on CD…
But on the other hand, this collection was more than just an assortment of vinyl. It was my pride and joy, a tangible piece of my life’s journey.
Many of the records hold a story, an irreplaceable memory – like the Cure album, a cherished gift from my dear friend Carol on my 16th birthday, or the Nick Heyward album, a limited edition record that led me to living in Scotland.
This is not just about the music. It’s about the moments, the people, and the experiences that those records represent. They’re the soundtrack to my life, not just a playlist, but a personal anthology of memories, now incomplete.
By the way you may be wondering, “If you valued them so much, why didn’t you ship them sooner?”
It’s because I thought it would cost thousands to ship. It turned out that was not the case.
The other mistake I made was not writing down every single record, in every box, into a spreadsheet and noted who had which box during the pandemic. Those are a few of my mistakes in all this and I have to own them.
My New Adventure Begins
The idea of a Go Fund Me has been floated around by several people. In an overwhelming display of empathy, a few kind souls have even offered albums from their personal collections.
For now, I’m taking a beat to consider which ones are essential to rediscover.
Perhaps this is an opportunity to explore new musical landscapes with albums I’ve never owned.
Amidst the notes of uncertainty, I remain a firm believer in silver linings. I’m certain this experience, though tinged with a touch of melancholy, will harmonise into something unexpectedly positive.
The quest to track down my most treasured records has already struck its first chords. This week alone, I’ve scoured a few of Glasgow’s charity and records shops, including the aptly named Missing Records, and ended up replacing a couple and picking up a few entirely new ones too.
Stay tuned for the next chapter of ‘My Missing Records’, where I’ll share more about these recent finds, each a new note in the melody of this ongoing adventure.
Below see the list of my missing vinyl…which I’ll update as I go.
Love Music Too?
If you are still reading this, you’re either a dear person to me or you love music too (or both). Thank you….
Thea’s AWOL music by theanewcomb